John G Russell (OH 1936-1942)
12/11/2012
The Club has been informed of the death of John G Russell OH 1936-1942, John passed away on 12 November 2012. He also attended the Cathedral Prep School from 1930-1935.

Lifelong friend, Randy Langford pays tribute:

“I felt greatly privileged to be asked to speak at the thanksgiving service for the life of John Russell, my dearest friend whom I have known for over 80 years. It was as if I could hear him speaking to me: ‘Ran - don’t praise me too highly, the congregation won’t recognise whom you are talking about.’ Oh dear!

We first met at the Cathedral Prep School in September 1931. Miss Clay was our 1st Form teacher and Miss Gamlen was the Headmistress. In later years we often referred to those days in the Prep with memories of Miss Gamlen and Miss Clay teaching us how to behave and how to treat others as you would have them treat you. Be thoughtful. Be kind. Be helpful. We never forgot those principles.

We left the Prep in 1936 and joined the ‘Big School’. We were now faced with MASTERS and strong discipline. The cane was often applied not only by masters but monitors as well. On one occasion, John and I decided to disrupt a music lesson; I bought six stink bombs at 1d each from Turner’s Toy Shop and threw them in the classroom. Chaos ensued. The masters assumed only two pupils would be responsible for that - Russell and Langford - and we were despatched to Deputy Head Charles Scott for six strokes of the cane. Happy Days. We played in the same rugby and cricket teams and spent much time together.

John became very friendly with Barry Parker whose parents farmed Instone Court near Bromyard. Leaving school in 1942, John lived with Barry’s family to gain farming experience, having decided that one day he would be a farmer. He left in 1943 to join the army and eventually finished up in India.

After the end of the war, John spent a further six months farming at Instone Court. When building a hay rick he suffered an accident: he fell on a pike which went into his leg and was treated at Hereford General Hospital. It was there that he met his future wife Esme.

In 1947 he attended agricultural college and then worked on a farm near Ross-on-Wye. His father introduced him to the Bulmer family and in 1949 he began working on Mr Bertram Bulmer’s farm at Breinton.

John had kept in touch with Esme who had returned to South Wales, after finishing her training. They were married in October 1950 and I had the pleasure of being his best man. In 1951 he obtained a farm manager’s post near Banbury, where they settled down and their daughter Sally was born in 1952 and son Steve in 1955.

In the early Sixties they bought their own house and a small amount of land in Syresham near Brackley. John began specialising in breeding pigs and then they expanded and developed a successful egg business. When they were not quite so busy they spent holidays in Spain; in 1986 they bought a villa by the sea in Southern Spain and retired there spending their time creating a terraced garden. After thirteen years of happiness, Esme became poorly and died. John stayed on and I visited him there three years in a row - an opportunity to reminisce. However, after developing poor health, John returned to England to be near his family for the last six years of his life.

I can honestly say that he was my oldest, dearest friend and a lovely man, and I feel so privileged to have known him for so many years. A thoughtful and helpful person and he will be greatly missed by everyone who had the privilege of knowing him.”
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Email : c.morganjones@herefordcs.com or development@herefordcs.com
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