John A Hemingway (OH 1976-1983)

John started at Hereford Catherdral School in September 1976 and quickly joined in various activities: rowing, rugby, Venture Scouts and CCF. He became Underofficer with the CCF, driving and hosting Inspection Day.

John set his sights on a military career and spent time in Germany with the Royal Corps of Transport with a view to becoming a helicopter pilot, with the possibility of sponsorship to Sandhurst.

John was appointed Head of Stuart House but during this time developed cancer, He was having debilitating chemotherapy but attended school as often as he was able. On leaving school Headmaster Barry Sutton said he was an example to staff and pupils alike. His hopes of taking up a military career were now out of the question. When he was 21 he was given 6 weeks to live, but with the help of the Royal Marsden Hospital he got through it.

Initially he joined the family Toy business and eventually moved into the tourism market. He studied Travel, Heritage , Archeology and Business Studies at the University of Plymouth as a full time mature student. Attaining his degree with distinction and was top student on his course.

He loved travel and over the years scuba dived in the Maldives and the Carribean, and spent time in Ghana.

In 2008 he became ill again and it was discovered the chemotherapy he had received in his youth had damaged his heart. He was airlifted to Harefield Heart Hospital for surgery including a defibrulator and pacemaker and he was placed on the heart transplant register.

Later the same year he became increasing unwell and it was discovered he had cancer of the oesophagus which was terminal as a result of his treatment earlier in his life.

On May 10 2009 after a bravely born illness, John lost his fight and died.

John was always a very popular person who is greatly missed. As one of his university friends said 'he was a real diamond guy'

By Patricia Hemingway
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