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:

Read more…

Derek Rowles

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

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

John Danter 1941-9 went to RMA Sandhurst rather than university. See Valete in the December 1949 Cryptian.

John, peacefully after a short illness at Perth Royal Infirmary on Friday 1st February 2019, aged 88 years. Former South Staffordshire Regiment, and Chartered Surveyor with Bidwells, beloved husband of the late Heather, father of Alistair, father in law of Helen and deeply loved grandfather of Fiona, Molly and Tara.

The Funeral Service was held on Wednesday 13th February at St Ninian’s Cathedral, North Methven St, Perth at 11 a.m. and after at Jeanfield Cemetery, cortege arrived at the Rannoch Road Gate at 12 noon attended by family and friends.


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.

John Harris (1944 – 49)

John Harris died on Sunday, 28 October 2018 in Toulouse a few weeks short of his 86th birthday.

After leaving the Crypt School he was apprenticed as a draughtsman at the Gloucester Aircraft Company.  He subsequently moved to Europe and entered the space industry.  Whilst working in Holland he entertained touring Old Cryptian Rugby teams.He then moved to Toulouse and worked for the European Space Industry (ESA).  He became part of the management team at ESA and worked for them both in France and in Kourrou, French Guiana.

He had played almost 200 times for the OCRFC.

He leaves his wife Ilse, son Roy & daughter Tonia.

Eddie Calver 1942-49)

Eddie Calver, an Old Cryptian for many years, passed away on Thursday 27 September in the Brunswick Nursing Home after a long illness, aged 86.  He leaves his wife Ruth, four children, nine grand-children and three great grand-children.  He had a brother John and another brother Brian who now lives in Torquay.   All were former pupils of the Crypt School.  Eddie enjoyed Rugby (he captained the Old Cryptians RFC) and also played golf.

The funeral has been arranged for Monday, 15th October at the parish church of Upton-St.-Leonards at 11.30 a.m.  Afterwards all who knew Eddie are invited to the Bowden Hall Hotel for drinks, sandwiches, refreshments, etc.  Ruth and his son and daughters have said that sombre dress is not required.  Club ties and, in particular, Old Cryptian colours will be very much appreciated.  No flowers, but donations to the Edward Jenner Clinic would be appreciated (via Ernest Cocks and Sons, Funeral Directors).

Professor Douglas Brewer (1936 – 1943)

Douglas Forbes Brewer (born 22nd May 1925) died peacefully on 16th July 2018 at his home in Lewes, Sussex at the age of 93.  He attended the Crypt School from 1936 to 1943 where his brother (Derek Brewer) was also a pupil, two years in advance of Douglas.  He had a most successful academic career and was Emeritus Professor of Physics at Sussex University.  He came to the University from Oxford in 1962 as one of the founding members of the Physics Department within the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences. He helped to establish the low temperature group at Sussex which rapidly achieved international renown.

His daughter Charlotte has asked, on behalf of the family that if any of his Crypt contemporaries are still alive they would be very grateful if this sad news is passed on.  (Contact via the Membership Secretary )