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Obituaries 2011

[Forward to later obituaries]
Items listed in chronological sequence

Frank Cottrell 1921-2011

The Eastern Daily Press  dated 14 December 2011 contains the sad news that Frank died at the NNUH on 9 December. '. . . husband of Elsie . . . funeral at Earlham Crematorium on 6 January 2012 at 1.30 pm . . . donations to British Heart Foundation.'

Frank joined HMSO in 1966 and transferred to Norwich as EO in Finance Division, where he stayed until his retirement.

Mike Mahoney adds:  Named Edward, but always known as Frank, (but definitely not Frankie). He served in F3 for a few years and finished up in HR. He retired at 60, and passed peacefully away at 90 ― a 30 year innings at the Retirement Wicket. We went out for a drink nearly every Monday between 1967 & 2011. All the best Reg ― Hope all as good as can be with you. Mike M

Alan Hynes 1952-2011

We have received the sad news that Alan died at his home in Spixworth, Norwich, earlier this month. His funeral will be held at 2 pm on Thursday 22 December at St Faith's, Norwich.

Alan joined HMSO Print in 1977 and worked in Norwich until privatisation. His father, John, had been Senior Works Manager in London Presses.

Cyril Pendergast 1921-2011

Brian Whitefield has heard, from a contact in the London area, that Cyril died in his sleep shortly after his 90th birthday in October 2011.

He worked in St Stephen's Parliamentary Press for many years, as I remember fondly from when I was on a Management Services project in 1975. He was one of the most helpful contacts I came across, and always good company.

 Sir Robin Mountfield 1939-2011

Sir Robin (who died in November 2011) ended his career as Permanent
Secretary of the Cabinet Office.

Alan Pawsey added this paragraph to The Times obituary on 17 November.


Philip HJ Storey 1924-2011

We were sad to read, in the Norwich Evening News  dated 29 October, that Phil 'who spent most of his working life in the Civil Service and was a well-beloved Medium in the Spiritualist Church' died on 9 October 2011. Cremation to take place at St Faith's on Thursday 10 November at 2 pm.

Phil was top of the Clerical Officer establishment list in HMSO, with a date of 1 January 1946. He joined HMSO in June 1967 to get back to his native Norfolk, working mainly in Reprographic Supplies.

Anthony Everest Bennett 1926-2011

The Eastern Daily Press  dated 27 October contained the sad news that Tony died on 21 October. His funeral will take place at St Edmunds Church, Acle, on Monday 14 November at 2 pm, followed by cremation at St Faiths at 3.30 pm.

Tony worked in Sovereign House, mainly in the Registry and as Clerk of Stationery.

Philip Marriage adds : Tony had a number of interests: he was a keen chorister and sang in the Choir of St Peter Mancroft for many years; a steam enthusiast, jointly authoring a book on London Transport Railways and another 'Coastal Steam Vessels of the British Isles' illustrated from his meticulously maintained archive of colour transparencies. His house, in Acle, was called St Hilarion and I once asked him why so? As a young serviceman just after the War he called into Cyprus and fell in love with the late 11-century St Hilarion Castle near Kyrenia and this began a fascination for the place that lasted a lifetime.

23 October 2011 Funeral arrangements for RG 'Basil' Radford (for Obituary Notice see 16 October 2011 entry)

Hello again Reg. Kevin Radford has now let me know about the funeral arrangements for 'Basil'. This will take place at the Basildon Cemetery, Bowers Gifford, on Thursday 27 October at 10.40 am. It is possible that one or two former Basildon folk might like to know; John Gilbey (from MOD) hopes to attend.

Kevin would also be pleased to hear from any of the colleagues who may have memorable snippets of Basil's office career, which he can mention at the Service. [The family is already aware of the now famous trip to Peterborough in his old Robin Reliant 3-Wheeler!]. He can be contacted on

Many thanks. John Nash

Hello John. Thank you for the update, I have copied to various likely candidates for possible reminiscences and will send a note to Kevin. Best wishes. Reg

RG 'Basil' Radford 1927-2011

John Nash (from the Isle of Wight) has passed on the following sad news:

'A few weeks ago you asked for further snippets for HMSOldies but unfortunately this is a sad contribution. So I am sorry to have to report the recent death of R G "Basil" Radford. By virtue of his knowledge and jovial personality he was widely respected within our OMTS and other Government Reprographic Departments. Prior to his own retirement he also ran the HMSO Rep Unit in Basildon. He was of course a stalwart of the CRS team and whilst to us he was always known as "Basil" we have only just learned that in reality he was Richard Radford. A valued colleague and true friend.'

Reg Walker adds:  Basil joined HMSO in 1950. I first knew him when I worked on S6B, with Tommy Taylor and others, ordering photocopiers. Basil was one of the CRS contacts who recommended machines. I was in telephone contact with him- and Stan Smith, Jim Stewart, Les South, Don Arthur, Clive Almond- every day. They all knew far more about the job than I ever would, but Basil was always very helpful and willing to pull out the odd iron plunged into the fire by ignorant S6 clerks. Must have been the soothing effect of his pipe . . . .

Tributes to Basil received by HMSOldies:

John Eveson:  I did several projects with Basil and always found him to be good company and a thoroughly nice person.

Bernard Johnson and Allan Quinnell, lately of Addressograph-Multigraph: remembering happy days (especially lunchtimes).

Tony Gummett:  :(last post DDS4) knew Basil as long ago as 1943, when they were both on a GPO training course. They retired within a few weeks of each other in 1987, with Tony signing off that 'he was just the same at 60 as he was at 16.'

Jim Wretham:   (still working on the HMSO Rump) has memories of Basil in his last post at Basildon:

'I wrote to Basil earlier this year and he acknowledged the letter but never followed up with a reply. He lost his wife Edna several years ago and I know that hit him hard.

Basil was tremendously kind to me when I worked at Basildon although from his somewhat gruff manner I first thought that he didn’t like me very much. But beneath that gruff exterior was the proverbial heart of gold. He was also one of those people for whom the expression character  could have been written.

One of Basil’s real gripes used to be women in his litho production team going off on maternity leave. Casting aside all political correctness, Basil once stormed into the Basildon canteen and complained about the fact that he had got another one of his operators pregnant. John Brunton’s reaction was to say Bas, you really need to be more careful in future.

There was also the story that Alastair Gemmill recalled involving a time that he and Basil were due to attend a training course in Peterborough. Rather than travel by train, which was Alastair’s preference, Basil insisted on the two of them travelling there in Basil’s Reliant Robin. Things were going well until Basil took a wrong turn and on the motorway that took them miles out of their way. There ensued a white knuckle ride in a three wheeler in a effort to make up for lost time. Alastair said that it was one of the most terrifying experiences in his life. A sad loss.'

We understand that John Gilbey , an old MOD contact now in his 90s, proposed to attend Basil's funeral. His colleague Ron Carman  is not well enough to travel.

Trevor Copperwheat 1936-2011

The Eastern Daily Press  dated 15 October 2011 reports the sad news that Trevor died, aged 75, on 8 October. There will be a Requiem Mass in the Chapel of Reconciliation at the Shrine of Our Lady, Walsingham, on Tuesday 25 October at 2 pm. Interment will be at Colney Wood at 11 am on Wednesday 26 October.

Trevor joined HMSO Norwich in September 1989 and worked in Print Procurement.

Ernie Downs adds:

I was sorry to see the report of Trevor’s death. He did work in PP, and he was also a JP (as I used to say to him, dispensing with Justice). On leaving the office he went to live in Southwold. He was a steam buff, and the last time I saw him was in London Street: he had just been diagnosed as having contracted Parkinson’s.

Adriane H May 1919-2011

Jeanne Southgate passed on the following sad news on 11 October 2011:

'I have just heard from Adriane May’s niece that Adriane died on 2 October - age 92. Funeral arrangements will be as given in the EDP  : 10.45am on Friday 21 October 2011 at St Margaret’s Church, Old Catton.

Chris and I used to visit her care home until recently when she didn’t recognise visitors. A strong character, and not everyone’s cup of tea! Travel and subsistence was her patch. She always took an interest in Chris and I because she was responsible for arranging my transfer into HMSO in order to disperse to Norwich with Chris.

She shared a home in Old Catton for many years with Jean Page, who unfortunately developed dementia and was moved to be nearer her family, I think, in Kent. Adriane did have an accident in her kitchen some years back and badly burned herself. She didn’t really ever recover and subsequently took to her bed, literally.'

Rabi Das Gupta 1939-2011

Brian Whitefield has alerted us to the following sad news:

'Rabi Das Gupta, formerly of Laboratory in London and Norwich, died at the N&N on Saturday 17 September. Admitted for angioplasty for long-standing angina he suffered a massive cerebral haemorrhage and died shortly after.

In his time in Lab notable achievements were assessment of the Texacryl process for long term document preservation by the then British Museum Bindery and quality assessment of computer media. When HMSO took over the latter role from CCTA there was no in-house expertise so Rabi was dispatched on a tour of manufacturers in the UK, USA and Europe to establish what kind of testing was required and the instrumentation necessary. It was extremely intensive and by no means a joy ride. The outcome was a service that although short-lived was greatly appreciated by Margeurite Finn and her team, users and suppliers.

Beyond HMSO Rabi was widely regarded for his cookery knowledge and skills, providing Adult Education classes in Indian cookery at several centres. People still speak warmly of his fund-raising lunch for Children In Need in the Sovereign House canteen in 1992.

The funeral will be at 12.45 at Earlham Crematorium on Tuesday 27 September.'

Rabi joined HMSO London in April 1974 and moved to Norwich upon Laboratory dispersal.

From Marguerite Finn:

Dear Reg, I was very sorry to hear about Rabi Das Gupta's death. I was unable to get to his funeral today but I was thinking of him. We worked together a lot and without him and the Laboratory we could never have built up the multi-million pound magnetic media business we did have.

He was a lovely man. May he rest in peace. Marguerite

Thank you Marguerite. We will add your tribute to the HMSOldies item. Best wishes. Reg

From Jitu Raithatha:

Hello Reg. Sorry to read about Rabi. Unfortunately I only read your message yesterday so cannot attend his funeral.

Rabi was one of the nicest man I have met. He was calm and always with a smile and words of wisdom when I worked in the Lab as admin. We had many a discussions on Bengali arts and culture, on which he was very knowledgeable - Rabindranath Tagore, Satyajit Ray, V. Shantaram and Ravi Shankar to name but few.

Please convey my condolences to his family. Jitu

Hello Jitu. Thank you for your fine tribute, which we will add to HMSOldies. I have copied to Brian Whitefield, who alerted me to the sad news, which does not seem to have made the local Press. All the best. Reg

From Mike Betts:

Very sad to hear the news that Rabi Das Gupta has died, but many happy memories of his enthusiasm for Indian cooking, and his warm and friendly personality. Many moons ago, Mike Seppings and I decided that we would like to learn Indian Cookery, and we encouraged one another to book into Rabi’s evening cookery classes at Taverham High School. We were the only men on the course and the only people who had no experience of cooking, but we loved every minute of it and soon introduced the entire class to the inspirational pleasures of a bottle of wine when you are cooking!! Rabi was brilliant and soon taught us about the importance of freshly grinding all our spices for each meal and the subtleties of getting the temperature right, and we were very privileged to be given some of his personal recipes. I will always appreciate the fact that Rabi taught me to cook and introduced me to yet another of the great pleasures of life. I also will treasure those recipes and keep using them for the rest of my days!

Stan Dongray 1931-2011 

 We were sad to read, in Norwich Evening News  dated 20 September 2011, of Stan's death on 11 September. His funeral will take place at St. Faith's Crematorium at 1015 hours on Friday 30 September.

Stan joined HMSO London as PO in ITW in November 1965 and moved to Norwich where he worked for some time in Technical Services.

Sandra Perry 1942-2011

We were sad to read, in the Eastern Daily Press  dated 16 September 2011, of the death of Sandra Perry '....peacefully, at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on 4 September 2011, aged 69....the funeral service will take place at St Andrew's Church, Eaton, on Monday 26 September at 12 noon followed by interment at Eaton Cemetery. Family flowers only........'

Sandra moved to Norwich upon dispersal in 1968 and worked in Sovereign House, as did her husband Dave (who subsequently moved from HMSO to CCTA).

Margaret Arkinstall (aka Margaret Wallis) 1926-2011

On 10 September 2011, Sid Brooks wrote: Upon return from the Lake District this week there was a call waiting for us from Kay Griffiths to say that, sadly, Margaret had died at the end of August from bowel cancer.   She had heard from her niece who said that there was to be a funeral on the 30th Sept at Kingston and everyone was most welcome, especially from the Office.
Margaret joined HMSO as Clerical Officer in 1946 and was  P A, as I recall, to both Philip McGrath and John Morgan and was in Supplies for a long while before moving to the Prison Service in preference to Norwich.

Harry Jackson 1922-2011

Dickie Dunn telephoned with the sad news that Harry died on Saturday 3 September 2011. He had suffered complications following pneumonia.

Harry's widow, Lucin, has arranged for his cremation in Norwich (family attendance only) followed by a Gathering at the Colney Wood Memorial Park, Watton Road, Norwich NR4 7TY at 1200 hours on Tuesday 20 September.

Henry Badham Jackson joined HMSO as the Bookbuyer (a solo post) in March 1949. He moved to Norwich, as HEO in Staff Inspection, in 1968 and retired, following subsequent promotion, from Office Services Division.

Jill Ward, a close friend of Lucin, is helping with the funeral arrangements and she has mentioned that the memorial service at Colney will be followed by light refreshments there.  Could anyone who expects to attend please email Jill on so that she can arrange catering for the appropriate numbers.  


Simon Gibbons 1958-2011

We were shocked and saddened by the news of Simon's sudden death on 5 August.

The Eastern Daily Press  dated 19 August 2011 reported that ' . . . Simon Gibbons, of Oak Lane Old Catton, collapsed and died while on holiday with his wife in Turkey, an inquest heard yesterday . . . a post mortem was carried out before Mr Gibbons' body was repatriated to England, and the cause of death was not yet available.'

Simon's funeral: Friday 26 August, 0915 hours, at St Margaret's Church Old Catton followed at 1015 hours, St Faith's Crematorium, for family, close friends and work colleagues.

Simon joined HMSO Norwich as a Printing Officer in 1981 and upon privatisation eventually moved to CDS St Benedict's Street where he worked on the MOD print contract.

Gordon Cooper 1924-2011

We were sad to read in the Eastern Daily Press  dated 12 August 2011 that Gordon Cooper has died, 'peacefully, after a long illness . . . husband to Hazel . . . friend to many within Surrey Chapel, The Parkinson's Society and HMSO. Commital at Earlham Crematorium on Wednesday 17 August at 1115 hours followed by a Service of Thanksgiving at Surrey Chapel at 1230 hours. Flowers or donations to Parkinson's UK c/o Peter Taylor Funeral Services, 85 Unthank Road, Norwich NR2 2PE.'

Gordon joined HMSO on 1 September 1947. He worked as a Clerical Officer in Publications, and moved to Supplies Division, Sovereign House, in 1968 as HEO.

George Adams 1920 (?) - 2011

I have just received the sad news that George Adams passed away on Saturday, 16 July 2011 in hospital. He leaves a widow, Ann. His funeral will take place at Lingwood Parish Church at 2 pm on Friday, 29 July 2011.

George worked in Print Procurement in Atlantic House in London and St Crispin's, Norwich. He retired in 1980.

Roy E Sendall 1922-2011

Alison Womack has alerted us to the sad news that Roy's death, on 30 June 2011, has been announced in the Eastern Daily Press.  His funeral will take place at Earlham Crematorium at 1030 on Wednesday 20 July 2011.

Roy joined HMSO as Messenger in 1970 and was appointed Senior Paperkeeper (PS) in 1982.

George Furn 1922-2011

George's son Richard has telephoned with the sad news that George died peacefully at home, surrounded by his family, on Monday 27 June 2011.

The funeral notice, which will appear in the EDP on 4 July 2011, is as follows:

FURN . . . on June 27th, at home with family after short illness borne with courage and dignity, GEORGE BERTRAM, widower of his beloved Margaret and dear father of Joyce, Gordon and Richard. Funeral service at Earlham Crematorium on Wednesday 13th July at 11h15. Family flowers only. Donations payable to either Marie Curie Cancer Care or WaterAid, c/o Peter Taylor Funeral Svcs Ltd, 85 Unthank Rd, Norwich NR2 2PE.

George joined HMSO in 1953, as an EO in Accounts Division. He worked in London as Director of Reprographics and Norwich as Director of Office Services.

Peter Mahoney 19452010

We have just heard from John Rumball of the sad news that Peter Mahoney died on 2 October last year — the news had only just reached him. Please see page 2 of the attached PDF for a photograph and a tribute to Peter by Bob Allder.

I met Peter a few times when he was at Met Police and I was with Formara. Always good company, and nicely laid-back. He will be missed. Reg

Molly Burgess 19272011

Marie Blake and Ron Atkins have notified us of the following sad news:

'Marie's mother Molly Burgess, aged 84, passed away on 2nd May 2011 at Thomas Tawell House, Road, Norwich. Molly was the first HMSO telephonist, employed by Arthur Jennings at Norvic House,Chapelfield Road in 1967 and worked for HMSO until her retirement in 1988.'

Molly was the doyenne of switchboard operators. How she remembered all those names and extension numbers was a marvel!

Hello Marie and Ron, Thank you for your note about Molly, sad news as it is. I remember her with affection:  she was always very helpful, amazingly efficient and cheerful when I was in Accommodation with Peter Taylor, Bob Courteen, Robin Kelly and Arthur Hewitt. Around 1977...a long time ago! Best wishes, and sincere condolences at this sad time. Reg


Arthur J Littlejohn 19292011

We are sad to report the following entry in the Deaths column of the Eastern Daily Press  dated 14 May 2011:

Littlejohn, Arthur peacefully at the NNUH on 8 May 2011, aged 81 years . . . husband to Audrey (deceased), father of Debbie and Kay. Funeral service at Earlham Crematorium on Monday 23 May 2011 at 1.30 pm. Flowers, or a donation to the Alzheimer's Society.

Arthur joined HMSO in May 1966, moving to Norwich as EO in Finance Division. He was an active and respected member of the HMSO Sports Society.

Stuart McLaren ‪adds:  I was saddened to hear of the death of Arthur Littlejohn. He was my first manager at HMSO when I joined S22A as a temporary clerical assistant in 1987. Arthur's calm, patient, almost zen-like mastery of the arcane paper trail that was S22 helped many a bewildered young recruit like myself cope with the mind-numbing tediousness of the tasks allotted us. That part of Supply Division was then billeted in the basement of Sovereign House, a space currently occupied by the kitchen and homeware section of QD in Anglia Square. Whenever I potter around there now looking for a new washing up bowl I shall think of Arthur sat imperturbable at his desk like one of those inscrutable Easter Island statues which he so closely resembled. RIP Arthur - you were truly a gentleman of the old school. Best wishes, Stuart McLaren

Hello Stuart, Thank you for your memory of Arthur,  I am sure that you have spoken for many a young recruit who was initiated into Proper Procedures at his hands! Reg.

Norman Douglas Parker 1914-2011

John Eason has received a letter from Justin Parker with the sad news that his father, Norman, has died, on 25 March 2011, at the age of 96. He joined HMSO London in 1950, working as an EO in Establishments, and moved to Supplies (S4) and subsequently RS2 (Norwich). He retired in 1975 and moved to Harston, in Cambridgeshire.

Funeral arrangements are yet to be finalised. The Daily Telegraph  will carry an announcement.

Archibald 'Dave' Davison 1915-2011

Ron George (lately of OMTS Cornwall House and Britannia House) sent us the following sad news on 29 January 2011:
'I don't know if you have been informed but I had a phone call from Martin (Archie Davison's son) to let me know that his father passed away last weekend. I did not speak to his wife June but I gather he had a peaceful ending. He had had a good innings — he was 95. Kind regards, Ron George.'

Reg Walker adds:  'Dave (as he was always known) joined HMSO on 23 April 1946- when I was 32 days old, as I used to remind him when I was S13 and he was EO i/c S13c, the OMTS Clerical Section. He was the model of courtesy and helpfulness, as could be verified by Messrs Beak, Farquhar, Crawford and Eaglestone — Managers for whom he worked - and Betty Chambers, Eileen Cowan, MN Ranganathan and dozens of other colleagues over the years — a lovely man.

Additional Note:

Dave's son Martin has written to say that his father 'passed away peacefully at home on 16 January 2011 at the grand old age of 95. His funeral service and burial will take place at Randalls Park Crematorium, Randalls Road, Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 0AG on Wednesday 9 February 2011 at 1230 pm. Afterwards at the Royal British Legion, Leatherhead. Flowers or donations to the Royal Marsden Hospital via Hawkins Undertakers, Highlands Road, Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 8ND.'

John Macreadie 1946-2010: CPSA Official

Alan Pawsey writes, on 25 January 2011: I am not sure whether you will have seen the recent obituary notice in The Guardian for John Macreadie (

John was for many years the full time CPSA Officer and Secretary of the HMSO Section Executive Committee (SEC). As Chairman of the SEC and subsequently as a Trade Union Side Officer I worked closely with John. Although I was on the moderate side of CPSA and John a leading member of Militant this did not get in the way of us working together in serving the best interests of HMSO staff. We became good friends and I was pleased both to be a guest at his house in Wimbledon and for he and his wife to be guests at my wedding to Janice. Our thoughts are with his wife, Roisin and their family.

Dennis Alfred White 1927-2011

On 21 January Ian McCall passed on the following sad news:
'I regret to inform you that Dennis White died on Wednesday morning, 19 January 2011. His wife died a while back after a long illness. Dennis's health had been bad for a while and he was blind. Last year he moved into sheltered accommodation in the Masonic home in Bury St Edmunds, but his health deteriorated and he was moved back to the NNUH.'

Dennis joined HMSO Norwich as a Printing Officer on 29 September 1980, at the age of 53.

Funeral to take place at St Faith's Crematorium at 11.45 hours on Wednesday 9 February 2011.

Bert Goodes ISM 1908-2011

On 17 January 2011 George Moore passed on the sad news that the oldest known ex HMSO employee has died at the age of 102. His funeral will take place at West Norwood Crematorium on Tuesday 1 February 2011 at 11 am with a reception at the Temple Bowling Club afterwards.

Bert was employed in HMSO Press Great Smith Street. HMSOldies published a congratulatory note following his 100th birthday on 16 October 2008.

17 January 2011 John Pitson remembered

Dear Reg, I thought you might be interested in an obituary I have prepared for John Pitson [see Memories and photos] with the assistance of Australian and UK friends. John Pitson was a significant figure in the publishing and design field not as a designer but as an administrator with a strong design background. Because of his age he has outlived most of those who know about his history and background. I met him when I began work as a designer in Canberra in 1973 and again last year when Philip Marriage and I visited him at his retirement home. His farewell to us prompted the obit. He said as we walked out the door, ‘Nice to know that you're not forgotten’. Yours, Adrian Young

Dear Adrian, An excellent obituary  thank you. It has the rare quality of being of interest to those who did not know him. I like the pictures, which set the period exactly. Best wishes, and thanks again. Reg

Sheila Cropley 1936-2011

We are sad to report the following notice, from the Eastern Daily Press  dated 15 January 2011:

'Sheila Mary Cropley, on 9 January 2011, at Mountfield. Died peacefully surrounded by her close family. Funeral service at St Faiths Crematorium Tuesday 25 January at 0930 hours. Family flowers only....donations in aid of The Alzheimers Society.'

Sheila joined the Sovereign House office in 1968 and spent most of her time with HMSO as EO in Personnel Services.

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