Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Britain in 2013 was no longer a country for and said "Goodbye" to 35 remarkable old men, some rising from unpropitious circumstances, who lived for 2863 years

Film and TV directors

Michael Winner : 77
His father propped up houses blitzed in the Second World War and used profits to invest in  property and fund his wife's gambling, which, Michael later complained, so distracted 'Mumsie', that he was neglected and, for example, left in the bedroom with the mink coats of guests who came to his barmitzvah, only to play poker with her.

                         Jim Goddard : 77
His father was a director of John Bolding & Sons and Thomas Crapper Ltd, sanitary engineers and led Jim to claim that if his day job failed, he knew how to repair a lavatory.,

Robin Hardy : 84

Anthony Hinds : 91
His father had interests in cycling shops and theatres and trod the boards himself as one half of a comedy double-act, 'Hammer and Smith' and formed Hammer Films in 1934 with his business partner, Enrique Carreras.

Brian Barr : 70
His father, James, who was  Musical Director of the Glasgow Corporation and encouraged him to play the oboe and as a boy gave a tv performance of 'Holst’s Oboe Concerto' with the BBC Scottish Orchestra.


                                        Richard Briers : 79
His father drifted between jobs and he himself left school at 16 without any formal qualifications and got his first job in a clerical post with a cable manufacturer in London, went to evening class to qualify in electrical engineering, but left to became a filing clerk.

Richard Griffiths : 65
His father, who was a steel-fitter, drank, could not always earn enough to feed his family and, to make ends meet, fought all-comers in pubs for cash and both he and Richard's mother were deaf and he himself gradually learned to speak and by the time he was four was taken everywhere by them as their ‘voice’, translating their sign language in shops.

Laughter makers

                               Norman Collier : 87
A comedian, he was born into a working-class family in a 2 bedroomed terraced house with no hot water and an outside toilet on Christmas Day 1925 and grew up as the eldest child with seven brothers and sisters.

Eddie Braben : 82
A comedy scriptwriter, his father, a butcher in St John's Market, invested in a fruit and vegetable stall for him to work at after he had left school.
Animators and fantasy makers

  John David Wilson : 93
A film animator, who during the Second World War, while driving an Army jeep in North Africa, took a direct hit from a German bomber and lost a leg and while recuperating, one of the Christmas cards he made for the hospital found its way to a printer in Durban, South Africa, where, following his discharge he was offered and accepted a job as a designer.

Bob Godfrey : 91
Was known as the Godfather of British film animation.

Stuart Freeborn : 99
A movie makeup artist who, growing up in the 1920's, it was assumed would follow in the footsteps of his father, an insurance broker, but showed artistic leanings from an early age and said : "At school, if I did paintings, they were the ones that would be put on the wall."

         Ray Cusick : 84
A TV production designer, wanted to be a sculptor and, in his teens, attended evening classes at art school, but his father felt he should pursue a more practical path and so studied science and maths which he did not enjoy it and enlisted in the Army in the Second World War and served in Palestine.

TV presenters 
                                                 John Cole : 85

Alan Wicker : 87

David Frost : 74
He was taught in Bible class at his Father's chapel and subsequently started, but did not complete his training as a local methodist preacher.

Cliff Morgan : 83
He was born in 1930 in Trebanog, in the Rhondda Valley where his father was a coal miner.

                                          David Coleman : 87

Authors and crossword setter

Iain Banks : 59

Tom Sharp : 85
His mother and South African and his father was a Unitarian minister in his religion and a 1930s fascist, a follower of Oswald Mosley and believer in Adolf Hitler in his politics and when the Second World War broke out in 1939, moved continuously with his family to avoid his father being interned with other British Nazis.
Paul Torbay : 67
Was 61 years old when his first book, 'Salmon Fishing in the Yemen' was published and faced with a cancer diagnosis shortly afterwards, recognised the extent to which his time might be limited and said that he, perhaps treated writing like 'learning to ride a bike : he kept pedalling like mad because he was afraid that if he fell off he might not be able to get back on.'

                             Andro Linklater : 68

John Graham : 92

A much loved crossword setter, he served in the Royal Air Force in the Second World War 1942 at the age of 22, was forced to bale out over Italy and went into into hiding from the Germans, finding refuge with an Italian family, who hid him in a stable and took Italian lessons from a school teacher billeted with the family and in return taught her English and Latin.

Music makers

Kenny Ball : 82
A trumpeter and band leader he was born in 1934 in East London, the youngest of nine children where his father, who had fought and been decorated in the First World War, kept the family going throughout the 'Hungry 30's' on his wages as a bookbinder


Reg Presley : 71
A singer-songwriter, he left school at 15, played the guitar in a local skiffle group and by day worked as a bricklayer.

Tommy Whittle : 87

               John Taverner : 69 Composer

Photographers and designer

David Farrell :

                                    Storm Thorgerson : 69
                                          Graphic designer

                                     Lewis Morley : 88
A photographer born in Hong Kong in 1925, o a Chinese mother and English father, who was chief pharmacist to the colony and during the Second World War from 1941 to '45, was held, with his family, in Stanley Internment Camp by the occupying Japanese army.

Military men
                                         Alfie Fripp : 98
Was a Second World War, Royal Air Force Squadron Leader, shot down by the Luftwaffe and thought to be the longest-serving British prisoner of war.

Admiral Sandy Woodward : 81


Frederick Sayer : 95
Twice over Nobel prizewinner                               

Professor John Brocklehurst : 89
Geriatric Medicine

Dr David Barker : 75                                   Epidemiologist                                                          

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