Thomas Harold Lang (HH. 1960, M. 1960, V. 1962)
OBITUARY – BRIGADIER TH LANG QVRM RD* FRICS DL and OH
18 June 1946 – 25 August 2023
Tom Lang OH (and in his working life, Brigadier Tom Lang QVRM RD* DL) died peacefully at home in Compton Bishop in the Mendips on Friday 25 August 2023 aged 77, with his wife Amanda at his side as he had wished. He had been diagnosed with abdominal cancer back in May.
Tom entered Allhallows School in Rousdon, Devon, and the Headmaster’s House, in January 1960 moving to Middlemist that September and then, on the opening of the new Venning House in 1962 under James Turner, he was selected to be in the first tranche of entrants. Two years later he was Head of House and a School Prefect. He did well academically, gaining nine ‘O’ Levels and an ‘A’ Level in Geography before passing the Civil Service entrance examination for the Royal Marines. He was a keen and talented sportsman, playing rugby to 2nd XV standard, but excelling at Cross Country and Athletics captaining the first and being Secretary to Trevor Shoppee in the second in 1964. They shared the Victor Ludorum prize in that year, Trevor for Field Events and Tom for Track. He was a Staff Sergeant in the CCF, with this being a precursor to him finding his niche as a Royal Marine later. Extramurally, Tom was a member of eight school clubs, most of which met in the evenings or at weekends.
Apart from the larger part of his professional life in real estate, and earning the prestigious qualification of Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, Tom served as both a Regular in the Royal Marines for seven years in the 60s and a devoted and highly successful Reservist for many years afterwards, rising to the rank of Brigadier – the first Royal Marine to do so. He was well known throughout the Reserve Forces and Cadets' Association (RFCA) community and especially in Somerset where he had his home and where he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant. A member of the RFCA for nearly 30 years, he was Chairman from 2004 to 2010 and then Chairman of the Estates Committee 2010 to 2018. At national level he was the Vice Chairman Marines in the 90s and, more recently, the Chairman of the Council of RFCAs' Estates Group, bringing his civilian professional qualifications and experience to bear in guiding the RFCAs’ management of the Volunteer Estate.
Tom Lang was a modest, and popular, member of the Allhallows School alumni and a hero in the eyes of many; a very good advertisement for the Allhallows of our day. He went on to achieve great things, but among his proudest was his family.
Tom's funeral was held in a church packed with family, Royal Marines and other Service colleagues, together with many friends and admirers, in Weston-Super-Mare on 12th September. He faced his illness bravely and died content after a full and successful life in which he gave much to so many. He will be very sorely missed.
(Brigadier DCN Shaw CBE; fellow OH, Service colleague and very old friend
14 September 2023)