Michael Holmes, Headmaster 1969 – 1990

Former Gloucester headteacher Michael Holmes has died, aged 78.

Mr Holmes, who lived in Hucclecote, was the head of The Crypt School from 1969 until his retirement in 1990. He passed away peacefully on May 10 after a long battle with cancer.

Born in Essex in 1927, Mr Holmes attended the local grammar school in Earls Colne. After leaving school he went on to join the Royal Corps of Signals and served in the Middle East with the cipher section during the Second World War. At the end of the conflict, Mr Holmes returned to the UK and signed up to Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he studied for a degree in history followed by a diploma in education.

His career in teaching began soon after with the appointment to a post at Reigate Grammar School. He went on to teach at Chichester High School for Boys, where he was deputy head teacher.

But in 1969 he was given the top job at Crypt School and so he moved to Gloucester. The Crypt School flourished under his guidance and he worked tirelessly to ensure it remained a grammar school – something he was extremely proud of. After leaving his teaching career, Mr Holmes became a magistrate and served on the Gloucester bench. He was also an active member of both Gloucester Rotary and Probus clubs.

In his spare time Mr Holmes was a keen walker and had trekked in the Himalayas, once reaching Everest base camp, as well as completing several long distance walks to raise money for Cancer Research.

Mr Holmes also loved singing and was a member of the Cotswold Savoyards performing in many Gilbert and Sullivan operas. An avid cherry and whites fan, he often enjoyed a Saturday afternoon in the shed at Kingsholm. Among his other interests were cricket, golf, gardening and painting.

His wife Gill said: “Michael was very much a family man and a true gentleman; he had high moral standards and was widely known and respected throughout the community.” As well as his wife, Mr Holmes leaves his four children Ian, Jane, Mark and Kate and five grandchildren.

A thanksgiving service for Mr Holmes was held at St Philip and St James’ Church, Larkhay Road, Hucclecote, on Friday, May 19. No flowers, and donations in lieu, if desired, can be sent to Cancer Research UK or to Macmillan Cancer Support, Gloucestershire c/o S C & B S Cocks Funeral Directors, 59 Hucclecote Road, Gloucester, GL3 3TL