FOR THE RECORD
A beautifully produced biography of the great 18th century Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus, Doctor Carl Linnaeus Physician, published
in May as No. III of the Mundus Linnæi Series, has been presented to the School by Silvester Mazzarella (GR 1950-56), its
translator from the Swedish of N-E Landell. For those with strong stomachs there are interesting accounts of dissections related
to our own William Harvey (1588-92)’s epoch-making account of the circulation of the blood.
NEWS OF OKS
Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor, DSO, OBE (GR 1929-31) and Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire have been corresponding for over
half a century, and their letters from 1954-2007 have been published as In Tearing Haste, edited by Charlotte Mosley
(John Murray, ISBN 9780719568689), to widespread and favourable reviews. Best news of all may be that when William Dalrymple,
who was inspired to become a travel-writer by reading Leigh Fermor’s books whilst at Cambridge, visited the latter recently at
his home on the Mani, he saw “an 8 inch-high pile of manuscript, some of its ring-bound, and some in folders, on which was
scribbled in red felt-tip: Vol. 3”. So perhaps the trilogy about the epic walk from Holland to Constantinople, which began on a
wet afternoon in London on 9th December 1933, will finally take us to the gates of Byzantium, more than twenty years after the
marvellous first two books, A Time of Gifts (1977) and Between the Woods and the Water (1986).
On a visit to Canterbury, James Fyfe-Smith (MO 1949-54) has left us his Jaimz’s Jottings, a little book of how King’s appeared
to a bright but non-academic boy, from an unusual background, in those now mythical times. It is salutary for teachers, present
and retired, to learn how some of their (excellent) predecessors appeared to a pupil. J F-S now lives at a safe distance (in Australia);
any OKS wishing to know more about his fairly unconstrained comments may contact the Assistant Archivist, at the School
Oliver Ford Davies (LN 1952-57) is playing Polonius to David Tennant’s Hamlet in the much-reviewed RSC production at the
Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon.
Rod Kent (SH 1961-65) has been in the eye of the financial storm this summer, as Chairman of Bradford & Bingley.
The Revd Canon Dr Gavin Ashenden (SH 1968-72) had the distinction of having his book on Charles Williams (previously
mentioned in Offcuts no. 22) reviewed by the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Times Literary Supplement of 20.6.08.
In Charles Williams: Alchemy and Integration Gavin Ashenden sets himself (the Archbishop wrote) two main tasks and performs
them with elegant efficiency. The first is to investigate Williams’ involvement in the occult during the 1910s and 20s and the second
how this Rosicrucian/Kabbalist mélange of ideas came to be a crucial element in what was certainly Williams’ most original
contribution to twentieth century Christian thought, his theological evaluation of the erotic.
This (Dr. Rowan Williams concluded) is altogether a very well-crafted book, using a great deal of epistolary and other
documentation for the first time and opening up a good many new avenues. It should be the first swallow of a new summer in the
study of someone who was, despite the oddities and even grotesqueries, a deeply serous critic (who made a deep impact on both TS
Eliot and WH Auden), a poet unafraid of major risks, and a theologian of rare creativity.”
Stephen Barlow (GR 1968-72) scored a bullseye this summer as the conductor of Grange Park Opera’s Russalka.
“Antony McDonald’s brilliant new production of Dvorak’s late fairy tale Russalka ranks as one of the best evenings I
have spent in an opera house so far this year. Stephen Barlow obviously loves the score and extracted fine playing
from an enlarged English Chamber Orchestra. This was GPO operating at the top of its game.” Sunday Times 6.7.08.
Martin Vye (Common Room 1969-95) had an unpleasant experience of the new aggressiveness of Russian policy when on an
official visit to a youth conference in Vladimir, north of Moscow, recently. This was his sixth visit to the town, which has cultural
links with Canterbury, since becoming Lord Mayor four years ago. The town officials who had invited him were furious – but
helpless – when he was snatched off the town hall steps (along with a youth worker from Whitstable) by a gang of men in black
and taken to a deserted warehouse-type building for three hours of questioning. Cllr. Vye’s ostensible offence? – he had entered
Russia on a tourist visa, and his interrogators warned him that if he came to Vladimir again it would have to be on a business visa.
David Chisholm (MR 1974-79) earns his living drawing cartoons for the Sunday Times and Mail on Sunday and uses his leisure
time strenuously. His latest achievement is to have swum the English Channel in 15 hours and 41 minutes, raising money for the
Special Care Baby Unit at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, where David and Jo, née Horwood, (MO 1978-80)’s twin
daughters, now 15, spent the first three weeks of their life.
His previous achievements include being in the British bobsleigh team in the 1980s, completing the alpine ski mountaineering ‘Haute
Route’ from Chamonix to Zermatt in 2006, and canoeing the length of the River Thames in 2007.
How about training yourself up for the Graeco-Roman wrestling in 2012, David?
Ben Jones (MR/MT 1977-83) is the publisher of his mother Anneli Jones’ book Reflections in an Oval Mirror. Mrs Jones, whose
other sons Adam (1964-69) and Goronwy (1968-72) were also in Marlowe, was, in her own words, ‘a country bumpkin’ on her
father’s extensive farm in East Prussia from 1923, the year of her birth, to 1945, when the family fled before the victorious and
(understandably) unforgiving Red Army. Every reader of this honest book will face this question: “Being neither saint nor hero,
how would I have behaved?”. Given that most British people have no more experience of oppression than perhaps a bullying
employer, and yet ‘The End of History’ no longer seems nigh as oppressive regimes gain rather than lose strength, it is a question
that regrettably may become more pertinent.
Reflections in an Oval Mirror may be obtained from Ozaru Books, Street Acre, St Nicholas-at-Wade, Kent CT7 0NG for £9.99 plus
£2.00 p and p. ISBN 978-0-9559219-0-2; or online http://ozaru.net/books.aspx (tele 01843 847701).
Ysenda Maxtone Smith (née Maxtone Graham) (SH 1978-80) was praised for her writing on cathedrals when Canterbury
held its Service of Thanksgiving and Dedication for Cathedral Volunteers on 3rd June, as part of the national Volunteers’ Week from
1st – 7th June 2008.
“I love this book,” said the Dean, The Very Revd Robert Willis, singling out the teasing quality of Chapter 8: The Point of Cathedrals
(in Ysenda’sThe Church Hesitant,1993) as “one of the very best”.
“Evensong today 5.30 (Said). It would be, wouldn’t it? Byrd yesterday, Byrd tomorrow”, and “The thought occurs to me: this
building is full of volunteers; they work here, for love”.”
Thomas de Waal (MT 1979-84) is Caucasus Editor at the Institute for War and Peace Reporting in London. The views in his article
on the crisis in Georgia for The Observer (10.08.08) could be aptly summarised by its heading: “Georgia’s volatile risk-taker has
gone over the brink”.
Thomas Del Mar (GR 1986-91) continues to command attention “in association with Sotheby’s”, his latest auction of Antique
Arms, Armour and Militaria having been held there on 25th June. If your heart’s desire is set on stonebows, slurblows, or pistol
crossbows then that was the place to be, as also it was for basinets, comb morions, and zischägges.
Henry Hawkins (BR 1987-92) accompanied Professor Hans Georg Nader, from Germany, as the latter broke Sir Richard
Branson’s record for crossing the Channel by amphibious car on 1st July. The Mercedes-powered four-wheeled amphibious vehicle,
called Tonic, developed by a Swiss company, set off from the slipway at Dover Beach and drove up the slipway at Sangatte an hour
and a quarter later, beating Sir Richard’s record by 25 minutes.
Peter Whittlesea (MT 1988-91) continues to be one of the most prominent and reliable reporters for BBC TV’s South East
Nicholas Tattersall (MT 1991-96), now Reuter’s Chief Correspondent in Nigeria and briefly home to be Best Man at Tom
Wacher’s wedding, gave a talk called Changing Perceptions of Africa in the Friends’ Meeting House in Canterbury on 17th September.
Lucy Clayton (MR 1991-93)’s wedding at the 16th century Fordwich Town Hall on 26th July was a new use for one of the
smallest town halls in the country, which has its own prisoner’s bar, jury bench and room, and jail. 35 guests were able to be in
the hall, whilst the rest watched on television screens in the adjacent Fordwich Arms. Lucy is Head of Communications for
Médecins Sans Frontières in London.
Paul (MO 1991-96) and Mark (MO 1994-99) Wharton have been charity bike riding to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society,
their mother having been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s in her early 50s and now at 56 requiring full-time care. They began
by cycling from London to Folkestone (about 85 miles) but Mark moved on to the more ambitious target of London to Geneva
(600 miles) in August. It is hoped that a fuller account will appear in the next Offcuts, both to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s and
to request sponsorship for the riding.
Rupert Reid (MR 1998-2003) (baritone) and Ed Rex (GL 2001-06) (alto 1) were among the Choral Scholars of King’s
Cambridge, Collegium Regale, who gave a concert in aid of the Save Canterbury Cathedral Appeal on 8th September in a well-filled
Quire. Besides sacred music there were close harmony arrangements of popular songs, and the evening ended with Rupert’s fine
rendition of Myfanwy, in very creditable Welsh. On Friday, 7th November Harry Christophers’ (MR 1967-72) marvellous choir
The Sixteen will be returning to the Cathedral in aid of the Appeal. They will be performing the Choral Pilgrimage 2008 Treasures
of Tudor England. Tickets may be obtained on 01227 464764 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
MATHEMATICS: AN UNUSUAL STORY
Following his tour of Gallipoli last year Edward Holman (MR 1963-68) visited Thessaloniki in June with
the Salonica Association where a short memorial service was held in the
cemeteries containing the graves of four OKS who died fighting the
Bulgarians in World War I: PB Cottrell 1906-12, W Lucas 1898-1906, PH
Nixon 1904-07 and JS Wacher 1905-13. It was at ‘Saloneek’, as he always
called it, that ‘J.B.’ (JB Harris,Common Room, 1919-59), won his Military
Following the OKS Lunch on Sunday 29th June 2008 on the Green Court, I chatted to Paul Pollak, who suggested I write about
my late awakening of interest in Maths. If nothing else, I can demonstrate that the most unlikely of individuals can become
interested in Maths, and that it is never too late to start. I did not shine academically at school in Mathematics. No account would
be complete without mentioning my teachers. My teacher for ‘A’ level was a chap called Sharman. He was a kindly fellow, but
not a disciplinarian. My teacher for Chemistry was Bob Bee, while Frank Stanger taught me Physics. Frank was an amusing fellow
who used to perform ballet high kicks and pirouettes in front of the blackboard. I also had some Physics classes with Paddy Whelan,
who died tragically young from cancer. Paddy was a highly competent and organised teacher, who had bought, as I remember, two
identical fine-cut, rather loud, brown suits. He was a stickler for punctuality. I took the ‘A’ level exams, and passed Physics and
Chemistry with reasonable grades, but obtained only an ‘O’ in Maths. I think that this caused something of a stir with my parents,
and the staff. For in the next scholastic year I was placed with Denis Ball. If my memory serves me correctly, some of the other
erstwhile pupils of Mr Sharman also joined his class. Denis Ball was able to maintain firm discipline, and in my view was very
competent at his work. After a further year of study I managed to pass the ‘A’ level with a D grade.
I then attended Leeds University from 1966-1969 and studied Civil Engineering. In common with most Engineering courses there
was a very heavy Maths component in the first year. Somewhat to my astonishment I did quite well in the exams. Mathematics
did not really start to make sense to me until I got to University. However, considering this to be something of a flash in the pan,
I selected non-mathematical options for the remaining two years. In my second year I discovered the University Air Squadron, and
this grabbed my attention fully. Learning to fly with the University Air Squadron, and enjoying the very active social life that this
entailed, was for me a very wonderful time. So for the remainder of the course I did the minimum necessary to pass the exams,
and duly emerged with a Third Class Honours degree.
I then went to work for a number of engineering consultancies, of which perhaps WS Atkins is the most well-known. Curiously,
during my work I seemed to gravitate more towards the mathematical R&D side of things than the project work. In 1984 I was
working for a small engineering consultancy in Horsham, Electrowatt Engineering. I was approaching middle age, and thought that
I needed some intellectual stimulation outside work. I had the very great good fortune to be able to enrol on a part-time
Mathematics course, with what was then Brighton Polytechnic. It is now Brighton University. The course was taught in the
conventional way by direct contact, two evenings a week. I joined the course on the last year that it was possible, for they were
phasing out the course. The Polytechnic gave me credit for my B.Sc. in Engineering, and allowed me to skip two foundation
modules. I really cannot speak too highly of the quality of teaching I received. The full-time courses at the Polytechnic tended to
be more vocational in content. However, on the part-time course the staff really let themselves go, and there was a wide range of
fascinating options to choose. Analysis was my favourite, but very demanding, topic. However, I think we navigated the conventional
content of a University Mathematics course, with modules on Group Theory, Topology, Functional Analysis, Lebesgue Integration
and Measure, the last of which underpins modern probability theory (A.N.Kolmogorov is the prime contributor here). Thirtyfive
of us started the course but I was the only one to emerge with an Honours Degree in 1990. In fact I achieved a good-quality
First, and received a charming letter from the course leader, David Blackman, who remarked that I was both the first and the last
student on their part-time course to achieve First Class Honours.
After completing my course my thoughts turned to undertaking a Ph.D. The Polytechnic were very happy to offer me this
possibility, but they also assisted me in making contact with Sussex University. I attended interviews in the Mathematics Department
at Sussex, which were successful, and the University offered me the opportunity to study for a D.Phil. by research part-time.
Sussex, like Oxford, award the D.Phil, but the qualification is essentially the same as a Ph.D. I was given a wide range of topics to
choose from. I selected a topic on the filtering of stochastic differential equations, and started the course in 1991. My supervisor
was Professor John Bather, a formidably intelligent individual. Undertaking a research degree is very different from taking a taught
course. I would meet with John around once every two to three weeks. We would spend a few hours together, and he would
comment on my work and make suggestions. Every year on the course it was necessary to write a comprehensive research report.
Continued registration on the D.Phil. course was conditional on making satisfactory progress and providing a satisfactory research
report. I did find the discipline of aiming to produce these reports by the end of the academic year provided some very useful
pressure and impetus that enabled me to make the progress required. The highlight of the course for me was to attend a conference
at Charles University, Prague, with John Bather, and present a paper. (This paper has been placed in the School Archives – Ed.)
Charles University is where Albert Einstein began to flesh out the General Theory.
I finally graduated in 1996 and am now approaching the end of my working life. Currently I work with a small R&D team and I
use my Maths skills every day. Who could have credited that someone like me who was hopeless at Mathematics as a schoolboy
could end up deriving a living from it? I would recommend anyone approaching middle age to do as I did, and enrol on a challenging
course of study. I found it rejuvenating, and broadening. However, for part-time study I think that it is important not to take too
many credits together, and to set a sensible workload that will allow for all the other activities that daily life involves.
Jim Browne (LX 1961-66)
Christopher Snell was born in 1956. He joined Milner Court in January 1964 when he and his family lived in Bailey House in
Monastery Street, and then joined Marlowe in January 1970. Christopher very much enjoyed his time at King’s, particularly the
English, singing and drama, and went on to win a Choral Scholarship to read English at Corpus Chirsti College, Cambridge,
continuing his interests in music and drama whilst there, and afterwards working his way through in the theatre until obtaining his
With his natural tenor voice he sang the piece by Mendelssohn, “If with all your heart you truly seek me”, at Canterbury Cathedral when
aged 21, at his father Stuart Snell’s consecration as Bishop of Croydon, and after Cambridge he did Graduate Studies at the Guildhall
in London and at the Banff School of Fine Art, Canada.
Christopher managed to start a sustained career as a professional actor, performing in Fiddler on the Roof in London when Topol was
the star of the show, and in Pride and Prejudice and Much Ado about Nothing, and he acted and sang in many productions both in Britain
and in USA, moving to Hollywood in 2000. King’s Week saw his talents in the 50th King’s Week entertainment by OKS in 2001.
Christopher had a strong Christian faith which sustained him through to his death: his family gave him a “Holding Cross” which he
found a great blessing during his last week. He fought his illness, pancreatic cancer, bravely and with characteristic humour and
he died in the Peace Hospice in Watford on 14th June 2008. He is survived by his mother Margaret and his older brother Adrian;
his sister Julia sadly had also died of cancer
Judith Griffiths (old family friend) and other sources.
LEIGH, Charles Mark (MO 1973-77) and Selina, a son, Nicholas Raphael on 9 August 2008
WARRANDER, Julia (MO 1985-87), and Alan, a daughter, Theodora Letizia Caser on 6 March 2008
BALL, Sasha Effie Tellervo (WL 1994-99) and José-Luis González Sarría on 5 May 2008
GELLEN, Christina (LX 1996-97) and Alex FORREST (TR 1993-98) on 2 May 2008
BRIGGS, Richard Howard (GR 1979-84) and Nadia Ivanovna in December 2007
CLAYTON, Lucy (MR 1991-93) and Daniel Shapiro on 26 July 2008
ELIOT, Claire (LX 1992-97) and Matt Cochrane on 19 April 2008
FRASER, Oliver Drummond (MO 1993-98) and Annabel Cowper on 30 August 2008
GORT-BARTEN , Alexander Charles (GR 1991-96) and Anna PRICE (JR 1994-96) on 14 June 2008
LAMB, Elizabeth Jane (MT 1993-98) and Thomas Stanley on 21 June 2008
PAY, Camilla Mary (MR 1992-97) and Bob Knight on 2 August 2008
PERRY, Victoria Louise (JR 1993-98) and Marco Turrent on 5 July 2008
PETRIE, Sarah Edith (JR 1991-96) and Jonathan Gabbai on 17 August 2008
SAUNDERS, Andrew (GR 1991-96) and ROSS-GOOBEY, Charlotte (JR 1992-96) on 19 January 2008
WACHER, Thomas Blake (MR 1990-95) and Katy Duplock on 13 September 2008
WILLIAMS, Georgeanna Frances Wickliffe Breeze (JR 1991-96) and David Robinson on 9 August 2008
HAMILTON, Thomas Gottfried Louis (JKS 1941-43, GR 1943-48) on 11 March 2008
LAKER, Edwin ‘Jim’Tenterden (GR 1950-55) on 15 August 2008
METHERELL, Ray (JKS Common Room 1989-08) on 6 August 2008
MOSS, John David (Gr 1937-39) on 14 September 2008
SNELL, Christopher Stuart (JKS 1964-70, MR 1970-74) on 14 June 2008
TAYLOR, Gerald Henry (SH 1950-55) on 30 May 2008
OKS ASSOCIATION COMMITTEE
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OKS & Foundation Events & Marketing Coordinator
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Switzerland Mark Belsey: email@example.com (Zurich)
Switzerland Jeremy Davies: firstname.lastname@example.org (Geneva)
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UAE Julian Lee: email@example.com (Dubai)