The OD Issue 3 - page 23

2014 · ISSUE 3
21
ORBITUARIES
Obituaries
Larry Holt-Kentwell
(OD 1928)
Lawrence Edwin Arthur Holt-Kentwell was
born in Oxford in 1915. His barrister father
Lawrence was brought up in Hawaii and his
mother, Annie, was a Hawaiian. He was the
youngest of six children and the only son;
two of his sisters also attended the Dragon.
At seven Larry entered the Dragon
School, before proceeding to Sherborne. In
1933 he went up to New College, intending
to read History but switching to Law,
possibly under his father’s influence. It
was a subject he disliked and in which he
eventually gained only a Third. Nevertheless
he enjoyed playing rugby for the college and
rowing in Torpids. He spent a fourth year
studying for a diploma in economics and
political science at Barnett House.
In 1937 Larry joined the probation
service. On the outbreak of war he enlisted
in the Royal Army Medical Corps, serving as
a captain of a unit of ambulances supporting
the 6th Armoured Division throughout the
North African and Italian campaigns. When
the war ended Larry went to Vienna to look
after its children, then desperately short of
food. In 1946 he joined the Foreign Office
and was despatched to Egypt. There, he got
to know a girl in the British Embassy, Joan
Rahtkens, whom he married in 1950.
Larry then transferred to Uganda where
he founded its probation service. In 1959 the
family moved to Hong Kong. By the time
Larry left, his responsibilities – for which he
received an MBE – spanned the probation
service, prisons, addiction, immigration and
housing shortages. He also served as a JP
and president of the YMCA.
In the mid-sixties Larry returned for a
year to the UK to do a diploma course in
Criminology at Cambridge, which he found
not only practically useful but intellectually
reinvigorating. Larry finally returned to the
UK in the early 1970s as Assistant Director
of Social Welfare in Cumbria. In the late
1980s he retired to his true home, Oxford,
enjoying a long, happy time and many trips
abroad. Sadly, he lost his wife in 2010 and
incapacity finally necessitated his move
to a nursing home in Bampton. He died
August 2012 aged 97, survived by three
children, four grandchildren and one great
grandchild.
With thanks to Peter Snow, local author
and neighbour of Larry’s.
June Soper (née Brown)
(OD 1932-37)
June Soper was born in a boarding house
at the Dragon School in 1925. She was the
daughter of J.B. (Bruno) Brown who was
on the staff of the Dragon from 1919 to
1963; Bruno produced an annual Gilbert
and Sullivan and a Shakespeare production
for many years and June starred in these
performances from a young age and
continued to do so throughout her time
living at the school.
June was a generous supporter of the
Dragon and returned to the school on many
occasions, most recently attending the Pre-
1950s Leavers Reunion in 2011. She wrote to
the Headmaster after the event to say what a
wonderful and particularly moving occasion
it had been.
June died in January 2013. She is survived
by her beloved husband Tom, son David
(OD 1978), and stepson Andrew.
Captain Andrew Angus
(OD 1935)
Captain Andrew Angus was a Grenadier
Guards officer who was awarded an MC for
his brave rescue of wounded men from a
minefield in Italy in 1944.
Andrew Drummond Angus was born
in 1921 and attended the Dragon between
1930 and 1935. He was then educated at
Shrewsbury and Sandhurst. He went on to
join the Windsor Castle Defence Company,
who were responsible for defending the
castle in case of attack by enemy parachutists
and for escorting the royal family to safety in
case of a major invasion.
In 1943 Andrew fought in the North
Africa Campaign and in 1944 travelled up
through Italy with his party of signallers,
trying to establish communications with
the forward companies. On the journey
the group travelled through treacherous
minefields, following in the tracks of another
tank. Two S-mines were set off initially, and
a further three exploded when two dispatch
riders overtook the jeep. Although badly
injured himself, Andrew rescued two injured
soldiers from his group and returned to
rescue the other severely wounded men.
He drove the men back to the Regimental
Aid Post where he collapsed from loss of
blood. He was awarded an immediate MC
for his bravery. Andrew recovered from his
injuries, managing to rejoin his battalion in
Florence in 1945. Andrew was mentioned in
dispatches twice.
On demobilisation in 1946 he moved
to work at Jardine Matheson in Hong
Kong with postings in Shanghai, Japan and
Singapore. He returned to England in 1963
and subsequently opened a Liverpool office
for the Ionian Bank, finally retiring in 1973.
Andrew died in November 2013. He
married Cecily Ayris in 1952 and is survived
by his two sons Moray (OD 1967) and
Thomas (OD 1975) and three daughters.
Richard Evans
(OD 1941)
Sir Richard Evans was a member of the
Diplomatic Service for 36 years. He
specialised in economic and Far Eastern
affairs and ended his career as Ambassador
to China.
Richard was born in 1928. After the
Dragon he went to Repton, and then
Magdalen College, Oxford. The son of a
former member of the Colonial Service,
Richard entered the Foreign Service in
1952 where he was assigned to Chinese
language training and spent two years in
China, working for the Chinese Secretariat
of the Embassy in Beijing before becoming
a Diplomatic Secretary. He was Chinese
Secretary in Beijing from 1962 to 1964 and
was promoted to Counsellor and Head of
Department in the Foreign Office from 1970
to 1974. Following a sabbatical at Harvard in
1974 he held further positions in Stockholm
as Commercial Counsellor and in Paris as
Economic Minister.
As Ambassador to China from 1984
to 1988, Richard was involved in the
completion of the agreement to end 150
years of colonial rule in Hong Kong and was
in attendance at the Queen’s visit to Beijing
in 1986. He was central to the handover
negotiations for which he was formally
thanked by the British Cabinet. As a serious
student of Chinese language and culture
Richard was able to bring a deep contextual
understanding to diplomatic discussions.
In his retirement he wrote
Deng
Xiaoping and the Making of Modern China;
a substantial academic achievement, it won
admiration both in the West and in China.
He was supported, as a resident fellow, by
Wolfson College, Oxford and later became a
fellow emeritus.
Richard remained in contact with the
Dragon throughout his life. He was a Stooge
in 1950, a Dragon parent in later years,
and in 2011 he attended a Reunion for his
generation and wrote to say how much he
had enjoyed the occasion and opportunity to
meet with old friends.
Richard was appointed CMG in 1978,
KCMG in 1984 and KCVO in 1986. He
married his second wife, Grania Birkett in
1973 and had two sons.
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