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.

Regards,
David Francis

http://www.worcester.ac.uk/discover/sports-science-students-heading-off-to-help-paralympic-athletes-in-rio.html

http://www.kentnews.co.uk/sport/maidstone_student_off_to_rio_to_enhance_performance_of_team_gb_wheelchair_basketball_teams_in_paralympic_games_1_4672277

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

Jack Long

Received from Maggie Clark [mailto:maggzz@btinternet.com]

Dear Graham,

I’m sorry to have to tell you that sadly Jack died peacefully here at home from terminal cancer on the 5th November 2015. He was my partner and I have been checking his emails and found yours. He was very fond of his old school. So thank you for keeping him up to date.

He is sadly missed by myself and all his friends.

My best wishes,
Maggie Clark

Eric Haslam

I recently made a visit to the OM Website and on inspecting the Register of members noticed that there was reference to our oldest recorded member Eric Haslam who left the School in 1935.

I don’t whether you are aware that Eric died aged 96 on 21st April, 2014.

He was a distinguished Police Officer who was the holder of the OBE and the Queen’s Police Medal for outstanding service.

I served with him at Gravesend in the Kent Force and later followed his career when he became Deputy Chief Constable of Kent and later Chief Constable of the British Transport Police

Best wishes
Denys E. Whatmore
1944 – 1949