MCS was informed by fellow OW John Whitlock (1951) that Geoffrey Green (OW 1935) had sadly passed away on Sunday 27 January. Geoff had been the school’s oldest living OW, having celebrated his hundredth birthday in 2018.
Geoff was born on 15 June 1918. He attended the school from 1932-35, and was in receipt of an academic scholarship. He joined in the Fifth Form, and went into engineering after leaving MCS.
He lived in Combe, Oxon, for most of his life, until moving into a retirement village in Witney. He last attended an event at the school in 2017 – the OW Dinner on 25 March, accompanied by his son, Michael.
Geoff remembered the school fondly, replying to the OW Magazine of 2005 with this note:
‘Being temporarily confined to ‘barracks’ with a cold; I have read the OW published Michaelmas ’05 – a truly remarkable publication that re-aroused my interest in the old school. The achievements of so many old boys are really extraordinary, owing much of their success to their days at MCS.
By contrast I have enjoyed a mundane life as a lifelong farmer, still living in the 18th century rented Manor farmhouse where I was born. It was an occupation that enabled me to travel widely between seasons.
Entering MCS in 1932 assisted by a scholarship from New College School that paid almost all my tuition fees, I was put in the fifth form under the great classics master, with the aquiline nose, ‘Pump’ Pullen. Chemistry and Maths were taught very ably by ‘Flick’ Simmons – he had a knack of carrying you along with him as he worked a problem to its solution. He also instilled fear into a young cadet in the OTC as it was then, but everyone respected him. In the laboratory Mr Riley was in charge – he could expound brilliantly on the laws of Physics. The teaching of French was in the hands of ‘Froggy’ Stoneham who really knew how that language should be spoken. Divinity was drummed into us by ‘Botty’ Johns – a man of short stature who could bend down and walk between the two opposing rugby scrums urging them to push harder.
I recall that some misdemeanours were punished by having to write 100 lines. I remember pumping the organ in chapel for a musician who suffered deflation when the contract expired! Assigned to Maltby house I came under the captaincy of Stuart Pether, a great sportsman who subsequently earned his triple Blue at Oxford. He sharpened up his golf on the playing field while I thought it was a silly game! How I wish I’d got into my swing then, instead of starting in middle age and only acquiring a mediocre handicap; but I often play a round at the North Oxford in less strokes than my age, as I approach my tenth decade!’
The Master said: ‘We are sad to hear of the death of Geoff Green, our oldest Old Waynflete. He was a familiar face in Combe, the village of his birth and where he lived most of this life. We were fortunate enough to celebrate his centenary with him in June 2018 as MCS students serenaded Geoff, fellow villagers, family and friends in a packed Combe Village Hall. I saw Geoff quite often in the village, and many is the slice of cake we shared in the Reading Room there. Geoff attributed his longevity to his working life on the farm, his family, and never having touched a drink. We shall miss him’.