2012 West Country Lunch
At the Belmont, Sidmouth, May 19th, 2012.
Our President Roddy Long welcomed a full house to the OH West Country Lunch at the Belmont Hotel, Sidmouth on Saturday 19th May 2012, and thanked Richard Bean, West Country Secretary, and Sharon Chatting for organising the lunch; he also wished Sharon a happy birthday.
Roddy then mentioned some forthcoming OH events: Golf Week, based on Lyme Regis and at nearby clubs, master-minded by John Harper, Shooting at Richard’s Clist’s Charmouth Range on July 8th, arranged by Wyatt Earp, Jim Rowe, and a Clay Pigeon match in October between teams from Milton Abbey, Allhallows and Millfield. The OH cricket match this year would be on the handsome Sidmouth ground adjacent to the Belmont. Myf Adams, née Gregson (Ch 69-71) is planning tennis for 2013 in the Sherborne area with a picnic, Pimms and other attractions. Some of our young ladies had been selling raffle tickets this morning to defray the escalating costs of posting the magazine.
Roddy said that when he joined Allhallows in 1958 Jeremy Churcher (St 54-58) was legendary; he had a reputation for doing what he wanted, though he had won the Taylor and Oag Cups and his Colours for Open and Miniature Range Shooting and Mrs Hill’s Junior Art Prize; he had started his career in the Army and been involved in exciting adventures in many parts of the world.
Jeremy said Andy Moore had inveigled him into talking and he would oblige for a few minutes before the buns started flying. It had been a pleasure to be at Allhallows. His father had been in the RN and he lost two uncles in the war; his mother was related to Naryshkinas and Natalia Naryshkina was Peter the Great’s mother. Jeremy’s father later served in the Indian Police Security and the family were directed towards Allhallows by the memorable Lt. Col. John Peart (1915-17) who had also worked in Indian Security. But our imperial days were over and our exit from India was hazardous.
Although Jeremy won a cricket bat in a shipboard raffle, he hated cricket and threw it into the Red Sea, but happily admired the fine cricketers Allhallows produced. He realised he was not destined for university, but spent many happy days at Allhallows which gave him a wide education. He was in Jack Jarchow’s Stanton and although Jack may have seemed severe he understood boys and was kindness itself. Henry Yool, an Olympic Shot, taught him his trade in Country Life and James Turner and that wonderful man RSM Harry Aggar taught him how to shoot fullbore.
Jeremy said he enjoyed hockey and playing on the Eton Fives Court, but cut short a cross-country run to Axmouth with a cream tea. He decided to leave school himself with a respectable collection of O levels, but sadly no maths, and joined the Paras for basic training, then went to Sandhurst.
But he soon realised the Army was not for him and the options from the PSAB; made ballet dancing and the Rhodesian Police didn’t appreciate him. However he was offered tea-planting, but India wasn’t for the British and he joined David Sterling and used his military skills in Africa and Aden and once found himself briefly in Evian prison in Iran, arrested as a spy until he was politely released; he worked with the Mounties in Canada and the backroom boys of the oil industry in Texas.
Allhallows gave him freedom to think for himself and he made great friends. Bill Weston was with him in Katanga under Tshombe dealing with a 22,000 UN Force; he had walked from Capetown to Algiers and flown over Duvalier’s palace in Haiti. To discover more about his life-style we should read ‘Deadly Secrets’
Hearty applause greeted Jeremy’s talk. Andy Moore thanked him and said Bill Weston had found Jeremy living in the Dordogne and Tim Doubleday had recommended him as a speaker, he had been proved right.