J I Packer – 1926 – 2020 (1937-1944)
J I Packer was a pupil of the School from 1937-44 before going up to Corpus Christi College, Oxford in 1944.
He was a celebrated evangelical theologian and writer in the low-church Anglican and Calvinist traditions. He was considered one of the most influential evangelicals in North America, known for his best-selling book, Knowing God, written in 1973, as well as his work as an editor for the English Standard Version of the Bible. He was one of the high-profile signers on the 1978 Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, a member on the advisory board of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, and also was involved in the ecumenical book Evangelicals and Catholics Together in 1994. His last teaching position was as the Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, in which he served from 1996 until his retirement in 2016, due to failing eyesight.
There are many obituaries to J I Packer on line, including this from the Gospel Coalition
Lindsay Pickering – 17 Feb 1959 – 26 Apr 2020
Old Cryptian (1970 – 1975) Lindsay Pickering passed away peacefully in the early hours of Sunday 26th April 2020.
Lindsay’s long term partner Peter Routely writes –
“Lindsay was a beautiful strong man who survived many serious health issues over the last twenty odd years. We had been preparing for this day for nearly all of that time. We were lucky to have had the opportunity to say everything that we ever needed to say to each other. Finally he is at peace.
Lindsay’s funeral was held on Tuesday 19th May at 12.00 at Taunton Deane Crematorium. Because of the current situation and limitations on numbers it was by invitation only. We are not asking for donations for any charity because Lindsay believed charity only existed because the government had failed us.
Thank you all for your kind messages and shared memories.
Ben Brown – Istanbul Challenge
It is with great sadness we learn of the loss of former Cryptian Ben Brown.
Ben left the school about 6 years ago to go to Welbeck College and then on into the Army. Sadly, Ben took his own life two weeks ago. He had hidden his struggle with mental illness from everyone and it came as a great shock to all his family and friends. He was always an outgoing person and had a likeable cheekiness in his approach to life, so it is hard to believe that he has passed.
Following this tragic loss, Ben’s family and friends have joined together to honour his life and raise awareness about the issues surrounding mental health, neuro-diversity and the prevention of young suicide.
Ben was a big part of Typhoon Squadron in the Army and one exercise he was extremely fond of and could not wait to see come to fruition was ‘Trans-Europe’, a summer long exercise covering the majority of Europe in four stages. Starting in Loughborough, the Squadron planned to travel all the way to Istanbul and back again; however, due to the Coronavirus pandemic the exercise could not go ahead. Typhoon Squadron have now decided the best way to honour Ben is to complete the journey he had originally planned and have set up a team challenge to run the 4600 miles to Istanbul and back.
You can follow the progress of the “race” to Istanbul and back at the Challenge website.
Air Vice-Marshal John Lawrence CB, CBE, AFC
We are sad to learn that Air Vice-Marshal John Thornett Lawrence CB, CBE, AFC, who was educated at the school, died on 18 December.
There are obituaries available on line from
Also a brief biography on the RAF Web.
*We have requested permission to reproduce the obituary in full which we will do assuming permission is granted.
Gerald Harris 1947 – 1953
Gerald Harris, born in 1936, died on 28th October 2019 aged 83 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. He was a husband to Irene, dear father of Jane, Claire and Fiona and much loved grandfather and great-grandfather. The funeral service was held at Gloucester Crematorium on 27th November.
After the Crypt School, he attended St Luke’s College, Exeter, qualifying as a School Teacher. He was to become a well-respected Headmaster of Warden Hill School in Cheltenham.
Gerald captained the Old Cryptians’ Rugby Football Club, playing in 217 matches.
He was an ardent and loyal member of the OCC committee for many years.
[A full obituary will be published in the next Cryptian magazine.]
John Crowe (1934 – 40)
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of John (CJ) Crowe. John died on 10th May 2019, aged 95. He was a loving husband to Connie, father to Geoffrey and Brian, father-in-law to Jane and Hilary, and grandfather to Jared and Joel. The funeral service at will be held at Tunbridge Wells Crematorium at 2.30 p.m. on Monday 3rd June. Refreshments at Wildernesse Golf Club, Sevenoaks. All enquiries to Francis Chappell & Sons. Tel: 01732 450203.
John was a high achiever in his career with ICI which built on his graduation from the London School of Economics.
John was very generous to the Crypt School in his lifetime. He was a very loyal, long term and popular member of the Old Cryptians Club and this was recognised by Life Membership. He attended events in Gloucester, Oxford and London until quite recently. Old Cryptians will be welcomed on the 10th May but please contact the family via the ‘phone number above.
J B Griffiths 1932 – 2018
John Griffiths of Pound Hill, Great Brickhill, Buckinghamshire was a pupil at The Crypt Grammar School from 1943-48 and studied for his qualifications in Chemistry before taking up National Service in 1957.
His entire working career was spent at Unilever where he spent time in Nairobi before ending his carrer as a director of a large Unilever subsidiary.
Peter Hobbs remembers him thus:
Derek Rowles ’47-50 , whose father was managing director of Barons Engineering in Gloucester.
ROWLES Derek Died suddenly and peacefully at home on Saturday 2nd February 2019, aged 83 years. Rosemary his wife and Susannah his daughter will miss him keenly. His funeral will be held at Gloucester Crematorium on Monday 25th February 2019, at 1:30pm. No need for flowers, donations if desired to www.mndassociation.org
An article by Derek about Brixton Windmill – the last working windmill in London – which was painted by his mother and featured in an exhibition at Gloucester City Museum in 2004.
A GloucestershireLive article about a Blue Plaque unveiled to commemorate Dame Sidney Browne, founder and first President of the Royal College of Nursing installed on Derek’s house in Cheltenham.
John Danter 1941-9 went to RMA Sandhurst rather than university. See Valete in the December 1949 Cryptian.
Roy Price Nicholas (1936-2019)
Roy Price Nicholas (1936-2019)
Roy Nicholas, a talented former Cryptian, has recently passed away after a lifelong service to the local community. Roy was at the Crypt during the immediate post war period and distinguished himself from an early age in the field of mathematics and science. He was also a prodigious musician excelling at the piano and later organ. Roy had the misfortune of losing his father during his teenage years which forced him to leave Crypt prematurely to help look after the family.
He took an apprenticeship at GAC in Brockworth and worked on the development of both the Meteor and the Javelin. He later joined Smiths Industries (Aviation division) at Cheltenham working on instrumentation for the Concord.
His strong personality stood him in good stead as he rose to Shop Steward. Later he worked as Personnel Manager at Bensons based in Brimscombe before the company moved to Malaysia.
Roy was on Minchinhampton Parish Council for no less than 50 years and for a long period from the 1970’s on Stroud (Urban) District Council. He supervised the eventual move to Ebley Mill and was instrumental in helping to found the Longfield Hospice in Minchinhampton. His many interests apart from Organ playing at the Crypt school and many Provincial Masonic functions included singing as 2nd Tenor with the Dursley male voice choir.
After a very busy and productive life we remember Roy with considerable pride and extend our condolences to his son Stedman and daughter Sarah.