Nick Kemp (04-10) has pursued a business career related to the marketing of professional sport since he left the College in 2010. After a degree in Sports Management from Coventry University where he also worked as a sales consultant for Aspire Group, he joined West Ham United FC in 2014 and remained with the club for three years working first as a corporate sales executive and latterly as an executive for Club London.
In October 2017 he moved to Twickenham as an account manager for England Rugby Hospitality. The job is related to the arrival of the redeveloped East Stand next season when England Rugby Hospitality will become the official provider of all match day hospitality in the East Stand.
Mike Smith (60-65) writes:
“Just back from India where I addressed 70 MBA students and 70 computer engineering students at the Chandigarh Group of Colleges (CGC), India, on 10 February. I was the guest in Chandigarh of Dr Ramandeep Saini, Head of International Relations and Associated Professor at the CGC Landran campus of 13,000 students, which was founded in 2001.
After the event CGC reported: “In an inspiring and insightful session organised at CGC Landran, Michael Smith, former Head of Business Programmes, Initiatives of Change, UK, delivered a lecture on “Pillars of Trust and Integrity—Encouraging Social and Ethical Values in Business and Entrepreneurship.”
Defining integrity, cooperation, stewardship, purpose and sustainability as five pillars of trust, he cited case studies to highlight their importance and applicability in businesses. He also urged the students to do silent introspection and keep working towards self- realization to make more conscience-based decisions which, going forward, will help them become efficient business leaders.”
Michael also adds news of another event he is involved in:
“The oustanding Dutch social entrepreneur Merel Rumping will speak at the Initiatives of Change centre, 24 Greencoat Place, in London next week on the evening of Tuesday 20th February. Her theme will be ‘Social entrepreneurship: going out on a limb’. Merel Rumping is the founder of LegBank, which provides easy-to-fit prosthetic limbs to victims of land mines and other accidents, which she is pioneering in Colombia following the decades of civil war there. Last year she was chosen as Alumnus of the Year by her university of 30,000 students in The Netherlands. Her company received a million-dollar grant from Google to take forward her work. More details about her talk are at: http://uk.iofc.org/social-entrepreneurship-going-out-limb.
The evening will begin with sandwich refreshments at 6.30pm with the main talk starting at 7pm. It will be hosted by Talia Smith, National Network Coordinator for Initiatives of Change UK. Space is limited to 100 people on a first-come-first-service basis. Please RSVP to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The 48th issue of the OP Magazine, The Pangbournian, has been published. All OPs whose addresses are on the OP data base held at the College should by now have received a copy. If you have not, please contact Joanne Whitmore at Joanne.Whitmore@pangbourne.com who will arrange to send you a copy.
The Magazine is also now available online in a pdf version on this site if you look in the Magazine section and click on 2018.
In full colour, the Magazine this year is 66pp and covers events in the centenary year at Pangbourne College and the many gatherings and celebrations that OP took part in both within the UK and around the world. The visit of HM The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh to the school on May 9th 2017 is fully reported. The most successful OP Dinner ever held is covered in detail as is the Gloriana row by OPs down the Henley Regatta course, Founders’ Day 2017, OP Sport in 2017 and News of OPs. Special articles include four about the College in the past one hundred years, a piece about the remodelling of Devitt House and profiles of OPs Giles Fuchs and Will Broom.
Other regular features include Obituaries, Book Reviews, News of OP Ladies and reports by the outgoing and incoming Chairmen of the OP Society, the Chairman of the Board of Governors and the Headmaster Thomas Garnier.
James Lewis (96-01) writes:
“I got married on 17th November 2017 to Amy Latchman. The reason I’m in touch is most of my groomsmen are OPs so I thought the attached picture might be a column filler for your magazine. The OPs in the picture are:
Left – Rupert Merritt 96-01
Third from Left – Euan Rollo 96-01 (Best Man)
Fourth from left – Me 96-01
Right – Damian Stubbs 96-01
Second from Right – Jon Deacon 96-01
Third from right – Ken Masuno – 97-01
Myy brief history since Pangbourne is that I went to Exeter University to study Statistics & Management. I have worked in various industries since then but for the last five years I’ve co-owned and run a cardboard, paper and plastic recycling business called Ecogen Recycling in Hampshire with William Nicholls 97-01.”
- In December 2017 Tom. Copinger-Symes CBE (82-87), the Army’s Head of Operations based at Army HQ near Andover, was promoted to the rank of Major General.
Commander Robert James Fidler (44-48) MBE RN died peacefully on January 20th, 2018, aged 87. A funeral service will take place at Wessex Vale Crematorium, West End, Southampton on February 7th at 12.15pm.
Cdr. Fidler sent his son Simon to the College from 1977-82. At this time, we have no further information.
The wife of Richard Small (76-81), Jennine Heymer Small, informed the OP Society from Australia in January 2018 that her husband died suddenly on December 3rd, 2017. She wrote: “Richard was a kind and gentle man who has left behind 15 year old twin girls.”
Commander Tony Pearse (37-40) lives in Lymington. He joined the Royal Navy in 1941 and spent his first two years onboard HMS Warspite. This ended at the Salerno Landings during the Italian campaign where the ship was very badly damaged by new German glider bombs. Further wartime years, passed mostly in convoying. After that, there were two years of bomb disposal work in Grecian waters and two years as Commanding Officer of HMS Royal Arthur, the Petty Officers school.
In 1976 he retired from the Navy after 35 years and joined Camper & Nicholsons (the luxury yacht business) as a salesman of naval and maritime equipment, eventually becoming sales director and travelling to 31 countries. He retired for a second time in 1992 and concentrated on his memoir From Stormy Seas to Calmer Waters which was published in 2008 and is still available on Amazon.
Colin Stevenson (52-56), who died in December 2017, was at Pangbourne between 1952 and 1954 and “was an active participant in all College activities,” writes Ben Brundell (53-56). “A keen cricketer, he was an aggressive fast bowler, a strong swimmer and a more than average student. He had a good voice and was a member of choir for a long time and his height made him outstanding on the parade ground.
[Founders’ Day 1953 – inspected by the Duke of Edinburgh]
He joined P&O when he left the NCP and moved steadily up the ranks. In 1967 he decided to make a career change and he emigrated to Australia and joined the Australian National Line, eventually reaching the rank of Captain. He married his wife Nancy during that time and they had two children, Mark and Alexandra.
Returning to England in 1978, he left the sea and ran firstly a B&B in Somerset and then a hotel in Devon. Looking for further challenges he went to University, achieving first a Bachelor’s degree, then a Master’s and eventually a Doctorate in Maritime Business and Law. He lectured at Southampton Institute and later was appointed Dean at the Institute’s Athens Campus. He undertook several consultancy roles and ended his career as a Professor at the Centre for Maritime Studies at the University of Trinidad and Tobago, where he was highly respected as he had been throughout his life.
On retirement, he returned to his home in Lee on Solent with his wife Nancy and was never happier than when either watching or talking about cricket, for which he had a life-long passion. An impressive career, a strong family man and a good friend.”
On the night of October 28th 1941 an extraordinary encounter took place off the Libyan coast involving two brave Old Pangbournians. Both went on to be awarded DSOs and both were killed during the war, one at sea and the other in a German concentration camp.
At the time of the chance meeting Mike Cumberlege (19-22) was a 36-year old Lt. RNR in command of a secret para-naval force assembled by the SOE (Special Operations Executive) to wage subversive war in the Aegean following the German invasion and occupation of Greece in May 1941. By October he was in charge of two caiques, HMS Escampador and HMS Hedgehog. Lt. Michael Willmott (22-25) was the resourceful, decisive 33-year old captain of a Royal Navy T-class submarine HMS Talisman returning to Alexandria after a reconnaissance patrol along the Cyrenaican coast.
Visibility and sea conditions were poor. Because of this Hedgehog was towing the smaller Escampador towards Crete where the two boats were to land arms and stores for the local resistance movement and collect “stragglers” – servicemen who had been left behind on the island in the precipitous Allied evacuation in May. At 10.18pm while travelling on the surface Talisman ran into what its Log, written by Willmott, describes as “a one-masted motor lighter (Hedgehog) armed with a stern quick-firing gun,” and a “motor lifeboat” (Escampador) on course 330 degrees at 7 knots in position 32 degrees 18’ N, 27 degrees 55’E.
After the challenge, which was answered correctly, the motor lighter skipper (Cumberlege) announced their destination as Crete. Willmott then realised that the little caique was on a clandestine mission and ordered his crew to secrecy. Talisman went on its way. Willmott later described one of the two occupants of “the lifeboat” as “a most suspicious-looking character of appearance similar to ‘Electric Whiskers’” – a reference to the famous appearance of Annibale Bergonzoli, the fascist commander of Italian forces in North Africa, who had been captured by the Allies earlier in 1941. The “character” most likely was ‘Captain Boreas’ (real name Stefano Delavasili). Only weeks before Boreas had made an amazing escape from Crete in a decrepit, leaking boat and immediately volunteered to return to the island with the para-naval force. He became a firm ally of Cumberlege, a piratical figure himself with his buccaneering ways and one ear pierced with a gold ring, who was always on the lookout for recruits with flair and panache and a fighting spirit.
Escampador and Hedgehog reached the coast of Crete, delivered their cargoes and returned to Alexandria safely together with nineteen refugees. Talisman, too, returned to Alexandria and subsequently undertook a succession of increasingly hazardous and incident-filled patrols in the Mediterranean during the rest of the year. After the fifth patrol, during which the submarine hit an Italian torpedo boat, sank a 15,000 ton enemy supply ship and got into a surface fight with a U-boat which ended with the German submarine sinking directly under Talisman, Willmott was awarded the DSO “for outstanding skill, courage and devotion to duty.” He had taken over command of Talisman in early March 1941, been described by his Admiral as “unorthodox” and been involved in two Boards of Inquiry for various tactical errors while on convoy duty in the northwest Atlantic so the medal must have been a welcome turn of events. Cumberlege made three trips to occupied Crete and had previously made an abortive attempt to blow up the Corinth Canal as German forces advanced through Greece. His exploits earned him the first of two DSOs – this one “for daring and enterprise.”
It must be doubtful if Cumberlege and Willmott knew each other. Cumberlege had left Pangbourne the term before Willmott arrived. Yet it is possible. Both had served for years in the 1920s and 1930s as officers in the Royal Naval Reserve and gone on lengthy training voyages and courses with the Royal Navy. Both were RN officers based in Alexandria. And the NCP was a very young school, founded in 1917. Most of the early entrants knew each other, especially those who ended up in the RN, because of a love of the sea or sailing and shared an identity as pioneers in the initial era of the Nautical College.
Sadly, this is not a story with a happy ending. Cumberlege, after further hair-raising exploits, was captured in Greece in May 1943 trying again to blow up the Corinth Canal. Treated as a saboteur, not a prisoner-of-war, by the Nazis he was taken to Mauthausen concentration camp and severely tortured before spending twentyone months in solitary confinement in Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin. He was executed in February/March 1945 as the war was ending. His second DSO was awarded posthumously to his widow in 1946. Willmott undertook more patrols in the Mediterranean through 1942 until September 18th when Talisman was lost with all five officers and fifty-eight ratings having, in all probability, hit a mine in the Sicilian Channel.
by Robin Knight (56-61)