Obituaries

Old Ashfordians will be sorry to learn of the deaths of some of our members.  Our condolences are with the family and friends of each:

Roy Stevenson passed away in October 2016 at the age of 87.  Roy joined the Ashford Grammar School (AGS) in 1940.  After leaving, he entered Teacher Training.  His first position was at Willesborough Primary School before moving to Faversham.  He returned to Ashford at Victoria Road Primary School, before returning to Willesborough Primary School, from where he retired.  His son Andrew (1972-1980) is an Old Ashfordian.

Richard Filmer (1956-1963) passed away in May 2017 aged 70.  Richard worked in the Estate Agency profession for 54 years.  He earned widespread respect for his qualities, knowledge and expertise in the property world.  Richard wrote several books on the history of Ashford, as well as being an acknowledged authority on early country trades.  His sons James and Tom are ex NKS students.

Peter Dahlhoff (1954-1962) passed away in February 2017 aged 73.  Peter was a loyal attendee at the Annual Dinner for many years.  He was a highly respected motor car dealer and servicer, following in his father’s footsteps.  He lived in Wittersham where he actively supported village and church life.

Roland Hayward passed away in September 2016 aged 88.  Roland attended AGS from 1938-1943.  He was a keen sportsman and obtained his cap and colours in the First XI for both football and cricket.  Roland recalled playing football with a then very young Mr. Mortimore during the war years.  Roland loved his time at AGS; one of his abiding memories was taking his School Certificate exam in the air raid shelter.

Roland was called up in 1946 to do National Service with the Royal Signals.  Following his training at Maidstone and Catterick, Roland was posted to Berlin and Hannover where he continued to play football.  Roland later worked for Seaboard (Ashford Urban district Council), and then for the International Department of Midland Bank (now HSBC) where he carried on playing cricket into his fifties.  Roland and his family moved to Tunbridge Wells in 1962 where he did at home after a full and active life.

Air Commodore Ernest ‘Jeff’ Jeffery (1937-1942) passed away in September 2016 aged 90.  Jeff followed his brothers Herbert and William in attending AGS and whilst there he was an active member of the ATS.  He joined the RAF in 1946 as a pilot, flying fighter planes such as Lightnings and Javelins, and received the Queen’s Commendation for Services in the Air in 1959.  Jeff retired in 1981 having served his last tour as Assistant Commandant at Cranwell.

Following his retirement from the RAF, Jeff devoted his time to serving as a member of his local Parish council and as Church Treasurer.  He was a staunch supporter of the Royal Air Forces Association, as Chairman of the Eastern Area, and of the Royal British Legion.  For many years he worked with Sir Peter Tapsell in his capacity as MP for Louth and Horncastle.

Jeff’s first wife, Phyllis and son Christopher predeceased him.  He is survived by his second wife Pamela and his daughter Penny.

Revd. Laurence Spratt passed away in October 2016 aged 88.  Laurence was pupil at AGS from 1941-1946.  He joined the Army when he was almost 16 and served postings in Palestine and North Africa.  After leaving the Army, Laurence worked for Sun Alliance in London, and later for Barclays Bank at their head office in London.  Whilst at Barclays, Laurence also worked in Hamburg, German South West Africa (now Namibia), Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria, Southern Rhodesia, South Africa, Botswana and Liverpool.

Laurence and his wife Ann were committed Christians, and before he returned to the UK, Laurence had decided to become an ordained minister.  He attended Lincoln Theological College before obtaining parishes in South Yorkshire and Suffolk.  Laurence and Ann retired to Argyll and later Ellesmere.

AGS played a significant part in Laurence’s life, and was one he remembered with great fondness.  AGS gave him the drive and enthusiasm to achieve much in his life, shaping many of his thoughts and actions.  He spoke of the school on many occasions, and was able to visit the school again in 2005 with his son Paul.