Obituaries 2021

If you have any queries, or would like to let us know about a friend or family member in the Millfield community who has passed away, please email us here.

Ralph B Clark (Former Staff)

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the death of Ralph B Clark, former School Governor and father of Judith Derbyshire (1968-1973; Day). 

Ralph played a huge part in the culture and history of the local area around Millfield. His and Judith’s ancestors, Cyrus and James Clark, founded Clarks Shoes almost 200 years ago, in 1825. The Clarks headquarters are still based in Street, just down the road from Millfield. 

Ralph will be deeply missed by his friends, family, the local community and all who knew him. 

Diana Bray (Former Staff)

We are sad to report the recent death, after a long illness, of Mrs Diana Bray, a former member of staff at the Prep School, who, with her husband Arthur, ran Hall House from 1975 to 1986.

We extend our deepest sympathy to Arthur and his family.

George Coppen (1957-1958; Joan's Kitchen)

We are sorry to share the news of the recent passing away of OM George Coppen.

Our sympathies are with George’s family and friends at this time and he will be fondly remembered by those who knew him in the Millfield community.

David Whatmough (1965-1967; Kingweston)

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of OM David Whatmough earlier this month.

David will be greatly missed by the Millfield community, and we wish his family and friends the best at this difficult time.

Sheila Barnes (Former Staff)

We have received the sad news that former staff member, Sheila Barnes, has passed away.

Sheila and her husband, Harold, were Houseparents at the Lakes in the early 80s. Harold continued to teach Maths and to run the Duke of Edinburgh scheme at Millfield until 1989. Sheila was also active in Scottish Country Dancing locally.

Our thoughts go to Sheila's family and friends at this difficult time.

Julie Kent (1972-1976; Southfield)

We are sorry to share the news of the passing away of OM Julie Kent on 4 June 2021.

Julie was full of life; she was an accomplished rider and skier and enjoyed travelling around Europe. She also had a successful career and never wavered from her ‘can-do’ attitude.

Julie will be fondly remembered and missed, and our thoughts are with her daughter, Jessica, her siblings, Sally, Christopher and Debbie, who are also OMs, and the rest of her family, at this difficult time.

Photo of Julie (centre), with siblings Debbie, Christopher and Sally.

If anybody would like to pass their condolences onto Julie's family, please email us at and we can provide their address.


Ray Hopkins (Husband of Former Staff Member)

We are sad to announce the death of Ray Hopkins, the husband of Miriam Hopkins, former Head of Classics and Housemother at Oaklands, 1978-1995.

We extend our deepest sympathy to Miriam and the rest of Ray’s friends and family at this difficult time.

There will be a private family funeral; donations in memory of Ray should be made out to the Salvation Army and addressed to Miriam at her home address. 

Paige Roberts (2002-2007; MPS/2007-2012; Overleigh)

We are deeply saddened to share with you that OM Paige Roberts passed away in April, at the age of 26.

She was a wonderful pupil who made a great contribution to school life at Millfield. She was an active sportswoman and a respected member of the school First XI Girls' Hockey Team.

After leaving Millfield, Paige went on to Cardiff University.

Paige’s mother, Jane, is also a former member of Millfield staff.

Our most heartfelt prayers and condolences go to Jane and the rest of Paige’s family at this impossibly difficult time.

Sheila Burdett (Former Staff)

We are sorry to have to inform you that former member of Millfield staff, Sheila Burdett, who had been in declining health for some time, passed away on Good Friday at her home in Butleigh, surrounded by her family.

Sheila was John Davies’ secretary from 1980 to 1995, when he was Bursar, and he counts himself fortunate to have had such a capable assistant.

We offer our most sincere condolences to Sheila’s three sons, James, Newman and Richard, all OMs. Her late husband Tony, also a long-standing Millfield member of staff, passed away in 2019.

William Thornton (1962-63; MPS/1963-67; St Anne's) 

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of OM William Thornton, who sadly passed away in April. 

William attended both Edgarley and Millfield and was a keen sportsman during his time at school. He was involved with the rugby, soccer and athletics team. 

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his brother, George, and his sister, Mary, and all his family and friends during this difficult time. 

Patrick Vaughan (Former Staff)

We are very saddened to report the death of Patrick (Pat) Vaughan, a long-serving, much admired former member of staff at Millfield.

Pat joined Millfield in 1969, immediately taking over as Housemaster of High Ham. He helped the students with football and maths and eventually became an Admissions Tutor, continuing until his retirement in 1994.

In his life post-Millfield, Pat became an enthusiastic golfer and Captain of the Millfield Golfing Society. 

We extend our deepest sympathy to Pat's three children Will, Johnny and Rachel, and his wife, Ro, the senior figure at Millfield Reception for many years, whom he married in 1990.

To watch Pat's funeral as an online webcast, on the 15 April at 2.40pm, please click here and enter these details:

Username: tagi7689

Password: 632534

Margaret Elliott (Former Staff)

We were very sorry to hear that former member of staff at Millfield, Margaret Elliott, has passed away.

Margaret came to Millfield in 1969 and was Head of the Fashion Department until 1980.

We send our deepest sympathy to her son Timothy, who informs us that his mother had very fond memories of her time at Millfield.

Karen Wojcik (1992-1994; Johnson's)

It is with great sadness we share the news that OM Karen Wojcik tragically passed away in January.

Karen was kind, caring and selfless, and will be greatly missed by so many.

Our thoughts and prayers go to her sister, Vikki, and the rest of her family and friends at this difficult time.

Please see the fundraising page in Karen’s memory, and a tribute from her sister, here.

Neil Henshall (1962-1966; Shapwick)

We are sorry to share the news of the recent death of OM Neil Henshall, who passed away on Saturday.

Neil started Millfield in Glaston Tor House, before joining Shapwick, until he finished school in 1966.

Our thoughts are with Neil’s brother, Mark, and the rest of his family and friends, at this incredibly difficult time.

Paddy Newbery (Former Staff)

We regret to inform everyone that former Millfield teacher and House Parent, Paddy Newbery, has recently passed away.

Paddy taught at Millfield for 15 years, from 1964 to 1979, and was Housemaster of Butleigh House from 1973 to 1979.

He will be fondly remembered and greatly missed. Our condolences go to Paddy’s family and friends at this time.

Johnny Thomas (1951-1953)

We were saddened to recently learn about the death of OM Johnny Thomas in December 2020.

Johnny’s kindness and friendship will be greatly missed by those who knew him, and our thoughts go to his family.

Johnny was an influential figure in the world of old cars. Please see a tribute from the Vintage Sports Car Club here.  

Colin Keith (1953-1958; Holmcroft)

It is with regret that we inform you of the passing away of OM Dr Colin Keith earlier this week.

Colin served his community as a general practitioner and was the epitome of compassion, modesty, and dedication.

Our thoughts are with Colin’s family and friends at this difficult time.

Tom Dann (1994-1999; Millfield)

We are saddened to share the news of the death of OM Tom Dann, who passed away at just 40 years old. 

Tom played 1st team cricket and rugby at Millfield, and had toured with the Old Millfieldian Rugby Club many times. 

Our thoughts and prayers go to Tom’s wife and children, and all of his friends and colleagues, at this devastating time.  

He will be missed by many, and fondly remembered by the Millfield Community. 

Robert Link (Former Staff)

We are very sad to report the death of Robert on Wednesday 17th February at his home in Weymouth,  due to long term complications from type 1 diabetes. 

Robert, formerly of Baltonsborough and a 21 Club member, was Head of Design and Techology and i/c Activities (especially the fun ones!) at the Prep School from 1986 to 2013, and a popular and tireless teacher and colleague, not least for being the 'Mr Fix-it' member of staff for every eventuality.

We offer our most heartfelt condolences to Robert's wife, Anne, a former member of the Pre-Prep teaching staff, and their daughters, Emma and Amy, both Edgarley OMs.

Expressions of sympathy can be sent via Roger Parsons at the Prep school:

Alan Lerwill (Former Staff)

It is with regret that we share the news of the death of Alan Lerwill on the 6th of February 2021.

Alan was a loved and respected member of the Millfield community for the past 25 years. He was Head of Athletics for 11 years until 2006 when he retired. He then coached at the school, helping numerous athletes to international success.

Read a full tribute to Alan here

Julian Bott (1976-1980; Orchards)

We regretfully inform that OM Julian Bott passed away on the 3rd of January 2021.

Julian was a much-loved member of the Millfield Community, particularly within his close group of fellow swimmers, and he will be missed.

Read a full tribute to Julian here.

Martin Valentine (Former Staff)

In January 2021, we were saddened to learn of the passing of Martin Valentine.

Martin was a well-loved individual in the Millfield community as an art teacher and an Assistant House Parent at Joan's Kitchen and Orchards House from 1988 to 2001.