Obituary: Richard Lee (B1 1943-48)

RICHARD C Lee (Major retd) (B1 1943-48) was born in June 1930, at his parents home in Tackley, Oxon where his father was Rector.

He was the third child of 4 children: Christopher, Pat and his younger sister Elizabeth. From the age of 7 he successively attended a Dame’s School, the Dragon Preparatory School, Oxford and Brightlands School, Newham on Severn, Gloucestershire. From here he won a Foundation Scholarship to Marlborough College where he studied from 1943 until 1948.

All his work showed the mark of a discriminating and scholarly mind with a real love of letters, an uncommon but unmistakable talent. An open exhibition in modern languages (German & French) to St John’s College Oxford followed where he obtained his degree. This award was held over for him for 18 months while he completed his National Service as 2nd Lieutenant with the Royal Artillery. His first job in 1953 was as a master of French studies at the Ashfold Preparatory School located in Handcross, Sussex, which was relocated to Dorton House in Buckinghamshire. He converted to the Royal Army Educational Corps in 1956 at the Army School of Education, Beaconsfield where his talent for languages later saw him head of the Russian Language Wing in 1969.

His first marriage was to Susan Lee they went on to have Mark (B1 1974-79) & Hilary and consequently four grandchildren. As a member of the Armed forces they were posted variously to Dover, Singapore, Beaconsfield, Hongkong and Taunton. Richard returned to the Duke of Yorks Royal Military School, Dover, as a retired Officer teaching modern languages until retirement. He was a devoted and much loved teacher, obtaining excellent results with all his pupils.

Richard was three times married and a devoted Father, Stepfather and Grandfather to all. He led a very active and fulfilling life which involved many sporting and intellectual pastimes. He also had a strong preference for the arts with a special love of music and the violin which he played to a high standard. He immersed himself in many musical activities and was particularly involved with the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competitions where he frequently acted as a Russian Interpreter.

Richard was a committed Christian, attended church regularly and was actively involved in parish church life. He spent his last few years in Tye Green Care home, close to his children, where he was popular with staff and residents alike. Richard slipped away very peacefully after a short illness and will be sadly missed.

Funeral service to be held at Great St Mary’s, Sawbridgeworth, on Monday 24th September, at noon. Family flowers only please but donations, if desired, to St Clare Hospice or British Red Cross c/o Daniel Robinson & Sons, tel: 01279 722476.