John Francis (OM) and the Paralympics

We have received the following from John Francis’ father, which may be of interest to those of you who were at school with him.

I thought you may be interested in the two links below from online newspapers in respect of my son, who is a former pupil of Maidstone Grammar School (2009). An article has also appeared in the Kent Messenger this week.

John Francis left MGS in July 2009 and started studying Sports Science and Coaching at the University of Worcester. He has continued his studies at Worcester and is currently working towards his PhD.

The PhD is in conjunction with GB Wheelchair Basketball. John has been involved with the Wheelchair Basketball for nearly four years and is Head of Performance Analysis for both the Men and Womens teams, and for Rio, he is also the Men’s Team Manager.

With the Opening Ceremony for the Paralympics due for tomorrow evening and the first games on Thursday 8th September I am sure MGS would wish to support the Paralympics and to roar on Team GB.

David Francis

John Willmington (OM 1956-64)

The following was received from Adrian Gaunt, who we thank for the input

It has come to my notice that John Martin Vanderlure Willmington has passed away. He was born in 1945 and died on 11th April 2016 aged 70. He was at Maidstone Grammar with me from approximately 1956-1964. He graduated with a BA from what was then St David’s College in Wales in 1969, took a further degree at Oxford in 1969 and was ordained in 1972. He served as Curate at St Mary Abbots, Kensington, from 1975-1983, as Rector of Perivale 1983 – 1991 and as Vicar of Acton Green 1991-2014. He retired in 2014 and was living in Hampton at the time of his death.

Philip Thompson (MGS 1979-1985)

Taken from a post to the LinkedIn Old Maidstonian group by Simon Peacock.

It is with great sadness that I report the untimely death of Philip Thompson (MGS 1979-1985).
Philip was killed in a fall 100m from the top of Mount Elbrus in Southern Russia on 26th May.

His day job as an Accountant belied the fact that Phil was a keen climber and adventurer who had reached the summit of many of the world highest peaks, swam at the North Pole and spent time in Antarctica and many other remote parts of the planet.

Also a keen Rugby fan he occupied the seat next to myself at Harlequins for the last 15 years.

He is survived by his brother Alex (also former MGS), 2 Nieces and a Nephew

Pictures from the 2016 Annual Supper

Some photos, courtesy of Peter Weaver:

Lindsay Evans, former chair of Governors, was made an Honorary Vice- President of the Society by the President, Richard Ratcliffe.

The President and Lindsay Evans The President and Lindsay Evans
DSCB4710alr Roger Crittenden, the President’s Guest speaker, who proposes the toast to the School
DSCB4714alr The Headmaster, Mark Tomkins, replies
DSCB4720alr The School Captain replies
DSCB4721alr The President makes the Alec Stewart award
DSCB4722blr The President makes the Clifford Award for History
DSCB4723blr The Clifford Award
DSCB4725alr Handover of the Presidency
DSCB4726alr The new President, Neil Turrell (President 2016-17)

OMS Membership and recruitment

The membership increases year on year. However, the current level of 1,500 is only a very small percentage of the number of students who have attended the school. We are conscious that many of you are in contact with ex-students who are not registered as members. If you know of an ex-pupil who is not a member of the Society, would you please forward their e-mail address (to and we will take it from there. (Note added by MAHM: we are especially keen to improve coverage among who are neitherretired already nor recent leavers)

MGS Development Fund Administrator/Alumni Relations Officer

Dear Old Maidstonians

Following the launch of the Maidstone Grammar School Development Fund back in September 2014 we have received generous support from over 120 families and individuals which now totals over £22,000. This is such a pleasing start in the Fund’s infancy.

To ensure its continued development we are seeking an MGS Development Fund Administrator/Alumni Relations Officer. This will be a voluntary role to support the School and Charity as the Fund grows in size and impact. The role would involve spending between 10 and 15 hours a week in School working closely with me and other key staff. If you are interested in being a part of this and are able to offer a number of hours per week then please contact my PA, Denise Friend via email who will send you the Role Description.

If after reading the Role Description you are still interested then please let my PA know and then the Trustees of the MGS Development Fund Charity will consider all interested parties. It would be helpful if you could provide a short statement of any experience that you have in this area and how you see the Development Fund evolving.

Yours sincerely
M Tomkins