David Kent (39-43)




David Kent (39-43) passed away peacefully in New Zealand on the 2nd October, 2017, as we were informed by his widow Margaret. Mrs. Kent wrote: “He had been failing in health for quite some time and needed rest, but he leaves a huge gap. He was in his 92nd. year so had done marvellously well.


Before entering Pangbourne, David had been educated at  Durlston Court Prep School ( then in Swanage) and having been a boarder since he was seven, settled down quickly to life at the College,  where he took part in many activities.   These included sailing, which he only recently gave up,  fencing,  .22  target shooting,  cross-country running as well as being Editor of the Log which he shared with fellow student and long time friend, Tim Hatton (39-43).  He loved his time at the Nautical College and always appreciated the values and the skills imparted which stood him in good stead for the rest of his life.


His intention had been to follow his brother, Barrie Kent (36-39) into the Royal Navy, but in his last year decided he really wanted  to study engineering – which he did at  Pembroke College, Cambridge University, graduating  two years later. He then joined the Royal Navy for National Service,  after which he joined a firm of Consulting Engineers – Sir Alexander Gibb and Partners – as a young  engineer


He was promptly sent up to Pitlochry, in Perthshire to work on the Tummel-Garry Hydro electric scheme.  During this time, he became an Associate Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers and some years later, a Member.  Whilst in Scotland he had an unfortunate ski-ing accident, the day after his engagement to me, which robbed him of his left eye, but his positive attitude to life never let it hinder him in any way.


His main interest was hydraulics and so he left Gibb & Partners and spent the next three years as a Lecturer in Fluid Mechanics at Imperial College, University of London before joining the family firm of George Kent, Luton, in 1954. In 1965 he was appointed MD of the Manchester operation of Kents, so the family moved up there, living in Cheshire for the next five years.


David’s next move  was  out to New Zealand to head the Kent company there and the family had 15 happy years living in Auckland before returning  to the U.K. for his last five years. During that time, David studied to become a Lay Reader in  the Anglican Church and as well as this work, had been  a willing volunteer in many organizations.


We returned to NZ in 1999  – to Christchurch this time – and have a son, who is also an Engineer,  living in Vancouver  and a daughter who is a Veterinary Surgeon  in Christchurch.  There are also six grandchildren.”