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“For me, drawing is a reflective process…ambiguous, fragmented and surreal”

King’s College undergraduate Danny Martin has had his art exhibited in Cambridge for the first time – and now some of his drawings are on display at the Japanese embassy in London after being shortlisted in a manga-drawing competition.

Danny’s work was displayed in the Art rooms at King’s, overlooking the famous chapel, in an exhibition he entitled Full House.

Danny is in his third year at Cambridge, reading Architecture.

His comic strip, Balanced World, was shortlisted and then came eighth overall in Manga Jiman 2019. Manga Jiman is a long-running annual manga-drawing competition run by the Japanese embassy. (Manga are Japanese comics, sometimes called whimsical drawings, typically, but not exclusively in monochrome).

Balanced World is on display as part of an exhibition this month at the embassy on Piccadilly opposite Green Park, following a prizegiving ceremony last week, which Danny attended.

Danny describes it as “a unique take on the creation story where two God-like characters that represent nature’s opposites work together to create a world from scratch”.

In his notes for the exhibition at Cambridge, Danny wrote: “For me, drawing is a reflective process, much like writing a diary. Unlike a diary, however, the output here is far more ambiguous, fragmented and, quite frankly, surreal.

“Impenetrable plumes of visuals erupt out of a subconscious that simply can’t make up its mind.

“The pieces sweat out characters in an attempt to hide their true meanings and ink blotches desecrate and abolish any once-legible text.

“I present to you Full House, one man’s fantasia that, like real life, has not enough facts, too many villains and a ubiquitous sense of the unknowing.

“Let curiosity be your guide.”

Danny returned to Queen Elizabeth’s School last year to judge a Year 10 architectural modelling competition run by the Art department as part of QE’s Enrichment Week.

  • This story was updated on 21st February 2020 with fresh images and additional information about Balanced World. Click on the thumbnails below to view Balanced World.
One to watch! Magazine shines its spotlight on Abbas as a future leader

Abbas Adejonwo is in the spotlight after being named one of the UK’s most outstanding African and African-Caribbean students.

Abbas (OE 2011-2018), who is at Warwick, was named among the top 100 in the current issue of Future Leaders magazine after impressing the selectors with his academic record and his work for the university’s African & Caribbean Society (ACS).

Now he has been profiled on LinkedIn and on social media by the magazine. An annual publication sponsored by HSBC UK bank and Oxford University, Future Leaders is aimed at students in sixth forms, colleges and universities, and highlights role models such as Abbas to inspire young people and raise attainment.

To feature, candidates must first be nominated, or nominate themselves. Those shortlisted are invited in for interview at the magazine’s offices and then the final 100 are selected.

They must be in UK university education with a grade average of 60 per cent or above, or undertaking a post-graduate degree. They must also have at least 300 UCAS points.

In addition, the magazine’s website states: “They must be doing something exceptional outside of their studies which marks them out as a person of distinction, be it running a successful business, mentoring younger students, doing something outstanding in their community or anything else in that vein.”

Abbas is reading German and Economics in his second year at Warwick. Future Leaders’ profile on him states: “As Freshers’ Rep for Warwick ACS, Abbas was a bridge between the students and the executive team, which involved running focus groups where students could give anonymous feedback on the running of the society.

“Abbas played a key role in the society’s first-ever Insight Day. The idea was to reach out to schools and invite BAME [black and minority ethnic] students for taster sessions. Abbas was tasked with contacting London secondaries and also leading an economics workshop for pupils. The events brought in 150 students and won hugely positive feedback.”

“Recently appointed ACS vice-president, Abbas is closely involved with the organisation of 2020’s AfroFest, the annual ACS cultural showcase.”

The profile also mentioned Abbas’s sporting prowess, recognised when he was at QE: “A keen long and triple jumper, Abbas was Jumps Captain for his secondary school athletics team and has regularly filled in for the current captain at Warwick. This involves leading sessions with the jumps team.”

Asked where he saw himself in ten years, Abbas told the magazine: “I’d like to go to Nigeria or Tanzania and work for a development bank, or to own a company micro-financing smaller businesses.”

Speaking to QE, Abbas said how honoured he was to be selected among the top 100. He also gave details of two additional recent achievements:

  • “I’ve designed, introduced, and organised a personal statement scheme which has helped over 70 students of African and Caribbean heritage applying to Warwick.” This involved bringing together a network of 50 volunteers drawn from ACS members. “So far, we are aware of 40 people receiving offers for their desired courses.”
  • “I played a role in organising and directing a showcase which is being nominated for the Warwick Students’ Union Best Event of the Year 2019-2020.”

From 2018-2019, Abbas took an Introduction to FinTech (financial technology) Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) with the University of Hong Kong. He is now a member of Warwick’s Trading Society and its Finance Society.

Having achieved grade 8 horn and grade 8 violin while still at QE, Abbas is also a member of the university’s Brass Society, playing with the Brass Band and Symphonic Brass ensemble.

In his spare time, Abbas is a volunteer with Parkrun, undertaking tasks such as marshalling on the weekends when he is not doing the 5km run himself.

Living the dream: Dhruv reflects on winning award in New Year’s Honours

Old Elizabethan and City lawyer Dhruv Chhatralia has been giving his reaction after receiving a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours.

An international mergers and acquisitions lawyer with global law firm Gowling WLG, Dhruv (OE 1996-2003) is also a regular speaker on the benefits of yoga and the importance of strong mental health. He is the author of 21 books on Hinduism and has given more than 325 public talks totalling over 350 hours on spirituality.

After receiving the BEM ‘for services to Hinduism and to developing young people’, he has spoken  of his surprise at being nominated for the award and of the importance of maintaining mental wellness in order to successfully manage the challenges of the modern world.

In a statement published by his firm, Dhruv said: “I was honoured to find out that I had been nominated for this award; it was completely unexpected.

“The importance of wellbeing and taking care of your mental health can’t be underestimated, and it’s a privilege to work with young people and professionals, many in high-pressure roles, to help them find practical solutions for mental wellness. It’s certainly helped me in my own role as a lawyer.”

Headmaster Neil Enright said: “My warm congratulations go to Dhruv on this notable achievement. We try to inspire in our boys the value of working for the good of others and are always keen to celebrate those in the School community who embody this. It is therefore a great pleasure to hear about Dhruv’s own very telling contribution.”

After leaving QE, Dhruv went to Kings College London to read Law and then trained at the BPP Law School.

His achievements include:

  • Writing the longest-ever English commentaries on the great Indian works, the Bhagavad Gita, the Hanuman Chalisa and the Shree Suktam, between them comprising more than 3,467 pages. All the proceeds from these books went to charity.
  • Creating a programme of more than 180 Bhagavad Gita, Hanuman Chalisa and Shree Suktam classes in English to educate young people about the Indian scriptures.
  • Speaking on Hinduism to the British Army and at the House of Commons, House of Lords, Home Office, Ministry of Defence and Metropolitan Police, as well as at many major companies and at community halls around the UK.
  • Conducting a live yoga session in the City of London that was televised nationally by the BBC.

“I am honoured and humbled to receive this recognition from the Queen,” he said. “My dream has been to make these enriching Dharmic teachings available to everyone in English without any costs, travel, commitments or other obstacles. I hope that this recognition inspires many young Indians to take up volunteering service to the community in order to preserve, protect and promote this beautiful wisdom.

“I bow down to Shree Krishna for blessing me on this wonderful journey and for moulding my character through His teachings in the Bhagavad Gita. I would like to thank my parents for bringing me up with Dharmic values and for instilling in me the qualities of hard work, selflessness and service towards other people. I also offer my obediences to my Gurus and the entire Indian Guru tradition for inspiring me with the teachings of the great Indian scriptures.”

‘Casting new light on pivotal historical moments’: prestigious European prize for OE filmmaker and academic

Dr Frederick Baker has won a major EU cultural award for an innovative, large-scale digital project telling the story of the run-up to the 1938 Nazi annexation of Austria, the so-called Anschluss.

He led a team of filmmakers, historians and programmers involved in the project, which reached thousands of users via the internet, radio, television, and mobile phones, as well as through analogue media such as postcards, lectures, and print. In addition, it was the first digital exhibition on the website of the new Austrian Museum of History in Vienna.

And, in a move of political significance marking the 80th anniversary of the events, the work was projected on to the walls of the current-day Chancellery on the Ballhausplatz in the centre of Vienna in a presentation that included films, photographs and sound recording. During the annexation, this building was the scene of a power struggle between the local Nazis (following orders from Berlin) and the last Austrian President.

“The work is called the History Radar ‘Zeituhr 1938’ and is a web platform describing the key 24 hours in the Nazi invasion of Austria in 1938,” said Fred (OE 1976-1983), who added that the Chancellery was the Austrian “equivalent of Number 10 Downing Street”.

Born in Salzburg but brought up in London, Fred studied Anthropology and Archaeology at St John’s College, Cambridge, Tübingen and Sheffield universities and went on to gain a PhD from Cambridge in 2009. He was a Producer Director for the BBC, working for the corporation from 1994 to 2006. He is the owner of the Austrian film company, Filmbäckerei, and a College Research Association at the Centre for Film and Screen Media, Wolfson College, Cambridge.

Following the success of the project during the 80th anniversary period last year, it was announced this year that it had won the European Heritage Award/Europa Nostra Award in the Education, Training and Awareness-Raising category. The project was one of only seven to be named as one of the awards’ Grand Prix.

Fred received his award and a cheque for €10,000 from Placido Domingo, President of Europa Nostra, and Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, who co-hosted the recent major awards ceremony.

In his acceptance speech, Fred said: “This [project] was 100 per cent Austrian-funded…and I think that says something for the right side of Austria and the correct side of Austria and those who… stood up and are the winners in the end. Thank you very much for this really amazing prize which will help us a lot to carry on and give us support in difficult times.”

In their citation, the awards jury praised the project’s “impressively designed, interactive, web-portal that enhances the user experience and which is especially attractive for young users.

“This project has used innovative media to cast new light on pivotal historical moments in which crucial political decisions were taken. Curiosity was the driving force that provoked this historical storytelling, evoking the collective memory of eyewitnesses. The project’s pioneering technology allows for the constructive mediation of historical events.”

“This innovative approach enables a more nuanced understanding of individual responsibilities in securing democracy and the common values of society. It expresses the dangers of organised propaganda, which, in combination with a compliant media system, can encroach on democratic values and foster unfounded cultural and social bias,” the jury stated.

In a speech at the awards ceremony, Guillaume Poitrinal, President of Fondation du Patrimoine (France’s Heritage Foundation) highlighted the significance of the event: “We all believe here that Europe is not just about economics, Europe is not just about a single currency, Europe is not just about a common market: Europe is also about a common culture.”

The History Radar ‘Zeituhr 1938’ project was produced by Filmbäckerei, in co-operation with Dr Heidemarie Uhl, Dr Michaela Raggam-Blesch, Dr Eva Gressel and Pauli Aro at the Academy of Sciences in Vienna, with digital engineering by Thomas Prieler (Web-Tech) Christoph Kovacs/ Gernot Huber (Sensotix) and design Raimund Schumacher (Lost in the Garden).

Funding came from the Memorial Year 2018 fund of the Austrian Federal Chancellery, the Austrian National Fund of the Victims of Fascism, Austrian Future Funds, City of Vienna Student Research Scholarship funds, the Academy of Sciences and the Haus der Geschichte Österreich.

Fred is the winner of numerous awards – including a previous Europa Nostra Award for work done with Cambridge University – and is renowned for his work as a pioneer of immersive reality. A virtual reality experience based on the work of Austrian artist Gustav Klimt last year proved immensely popular with experts and the public alike. Having first won a Silver Medal for Cinematic Virtual Reality at the European Virtual Reality Halo Awards in Amsterdam, its run at Vienna’s MAK (Museum of Applied Arts) was extended by nearly six months and it was then staged at the Palais des Beaux-Arts (also known as BOZAR) in Brussels.

Inspiration and insights at Careers Convention as boys develop the skills they need to reach their goals

There was standing room only in several of the expert talks delivered as part of the 2019 Year 11 Careers Convention.

The convention – a major event in the QE calendar – this year featured an increased number of talks. The speakers for these were among representatives of 35 companies and organisations attending in total, including Old Elizabethans and other visitors.

They came from professions ranging from medicine to app development, and from chemical engineering to the law.

All gave their time to meet boys and their families as Year 11 start to consider their future career paths.

Headmaster Neil Enright said: “It was another tremendous evening. I am grateful to all those who helped our current pupils in this way, whether old boys or other friends of the School. The boys benefit immeasurably from the advice that they receive, not least because seeing alumni thriving in their various careers is in itself a source of inspiration and confidence to them.

“At this stage in their education, it is as important for the boys to develop the soft skills they will need when planning for life after school – in order that they can actually achieve their desired outcomes – as it is to provide insight into the many different options available to them.”

The main Careers Convention was held in the Shearly Hall, while the nine talks – several of which were repeated three times during the course of the evening – were delivered in classrooms. The talks included:

• Dental surgeon Dr Nirmal Wilwaraarachchi (OE 1996-2002) on dentistry
• Joseph Vinson (OE 2007-2013), an Associate Product Manager for US software firm, Granicus, on Getting a job in Tech
• Ramesh Pari (OE 1997-2004), who took up a senior role in engineering for online grocery company, Ocado, after more then a decade as an architect, on Architecture and its transferable skills.

Other talks were on general topics such as studying abroad and about choosing and progressing a career, such as the presentation by Kam Taj (OE 2004–2011) on How to find your ideal career.

The evening also benefited from experts attending from organisations with which the School has strong partnerships, such as the National Citizen Service (whose summer programme is always popular with Year 11 boys), the STEM Ambassadors programme and the RAF.

Alumni had a chance to catch up with each other at a reception hosted by the School before the event.

Celebrating the past, looking to the future: Old Elizabethans Association Dinner 2019

Former pupils from across the generations turned out in force for the annual Old Elizabethans Association Dinner, enjoying the opportunity to celebrate with fellow alumni, rekindling past friendships and forging new ones.

During an evening marked by much convivial chatter and by lively speeches, the diners also observed a silence in memory of former Headmaster Eamonn Harris, one of the great figures in the School’s recent history, who passed away only a few days before the dinner.

The celebratory tone was amplified by a good attendance from the ‘ten-year leavers’ – the class of 2009–2010 – while older Elizabethans present included Brian Gilbert, returning to the School after a gap of 50 years.

The event in the Main Hall was the first dinner to be hosted by the new President of the Old Elizabethans Association, Eric Houston, who taught at the School from 1976 until he retired, as Second Master, in 2010. Mr Houston is both a Governor and a Foundation Trustee of the School.

Another change this year was the reading at the dinner of the Queen Elizabeth’s School Prayer before grace was said. (The prayer is appended below.)

In his speech, Headmaster Neil Enright paid fulsome tribute to Mr Harris (HM 1984–1999): “Few can have had such a profound, transformational and lasting impact on Queen Elizabeth’s as Eamonn Harris, without whom we, quite simply, may well not be sitting here this evening.

“His bold decision-making, in making the School independent of the local education authority and then restoring academic selection, and the high expectations he had for all in the School community are the bedrocks of our present pre-eminence. We all owe him a debt of great respect and gratitude.”

Mr Enright reported on significant developments during the year, including “the exciting news that we have secured £2.2m of government funding…for our new Music School”.

To prepare the site, the Mayes Building was demolished during the summer. This facility was named in honour of Harry ‘Curly’ Mayes who “spent a full 60 years (from 1902 to 1962) as butler, porter, steward and then caretaker”.

Alluding both to Mr Harris and to Mr Mayes, the Headmaster said: “The present fortunes of the School have been built upon the foundations of the great service given by so many.”

Mr Enright gave a warm, if piquant, welcome to the many ten-year leavers at table, pointing out that Assistant Head David Ryan had described this particular group “as his most challenging in all his years in the Sixth Form”!

“I’m not, though, surprised to see a good turnout, as they have actually proved to be one of the more actively engaged alumni cohorts and are doing lots of good work in support of the School,” he added.

“They were, and remain (on this evening’s evidence), a very sociable and enthusiastic group and it is always a great pleasure to have them here at School events.”

He reported on the start of a project to digitise QE’s archives, beginning with photographs.

And, he said, with the School’s 450th anniversary in 2023 approaching, his predecessor as Headmaster, Dr John Marincowitz (1999–2011), was well on the way to completing his book on the School’s history.

“Recording and giving access to the School’s history is important so that the contributions of people such as Eamonn and Curly Mayes are remembered and so that generations of Elizabethans to come are able to learn about their place in the long and fascinating narrative.”

Mr Enright concluded his speech with a report on QE Connect, the School’s recently launched online community for alumni, which has gained more than 450 members in the space of just a few weeks.

“Whilst we want to help OEs connect to the past, we also have QE Connect to help enable connections in the present and the future,” he said.


The School Prayer

O Lord God, the Maker and Builder of every house not made with hands, we give thee thanks for this School in which we have our share.

Give thy blessing, we beseech thee, to all this our body, to the Head Master, to the members of the staff, to the boys, and to those who minister our needs.

Inspire us, O Lord, so to do our work today that, even as we are being helped by the remembrance of the loyal lives of those who came before us, so our faithfulness in thy service may aid those who shall take our places.

Remember, O Lord, for good, all who have gone forth from this School, to labour elsewhere in thy kingdom.

Grant that both they, and we, may fulfil thy purpose for us in this life, and finally may attain thine everlasting kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Helping the world’s largest online-only grocer sell to other supermarkets

Ramesh Paripooranananthan’s rather dramatic career change following his solo trip to the Indian sub-continent is, he says, proof of the importance of networking widely and staying flexible in your attitudes.

A Chartered Architect who studied Architecture at Nottingham University and then worked in the discipline for more than a decade, he now has a senior role in engineering for Ocado, the grocery company.

“Not many people know this, but Ocado have been investing heavily in automation technology and engineering for years and are in a position now where they are selling this as a service to international grocery companies,” said Ramesh, who uses the surname Pari professionally.

“I am working as a lead designer within the Ocado Engineering department to deliver new sites across the world for these partners.”

He explained how the opportunity came about: “I went to a technology-in-construction event and met someone who works for Ocado and they invited me to meet the Head of Engineering at Ocado. Several meetings later they offered me a role and I was making a fundamental change to my career at a time I wasn’t actually looking for it!

“This whole period really shows the value in making contacts and meeting people outside of your usual circles.”

Ramesh (OE 1997–2004), who was in Underne House at QE and studied at Central St Martins before moving on to Nottingham, plans to keep his Chartered Architect status active for now – “who knows what the future holds! “ – but he says that “having the opportunity to define a way of working in a brand new team felt too good an opportunity to miss!”

He is also featuring in a recruitment video for his new employer this autumn – “quite a privilege for me considering I have been at the company for less than a year”. The resulting film will be posted online, including on LinkedIn.

“Outside of my career, before I took this job I had embarked on a solo travelling trip through northern India and Nepal. This had always been a dream of mine, to have such a trip where I could travel in a very simple way – a small bag and my camera. It had been something I put off for a long time as seven years of architectural education took priority, followed by the necessity to earn as soon as I had graduated.

“This trip was very cathartic and I appreciated it much more being at a time where I needed respite from the hustle and bustle of working life.”

Ramesh recently moved to Stanmore, closer to his parents: “I definitely enjoy spotting the QE blazer at the bus stop on my drive to work!

Whys guy: how QE Art teacher Mr Buckeridge changed Jay Shetty’s life

Old Elizabethan and global internet celebrity Jay Shetty continues to make headlines as he pursues his quest to ‘make wisdom go viral’ – and one of his recent podcast shows he has not forgotten his QE roots.

Through his bi-weekly motivational podcast, On Purpose, which was ranked number 1 in the CNET media website’s recent list of the ten best health & fitness podcasts, Jay (OE 1999–2006) dispenses serious advice from doctors, successful business people and other guests.

Issued every Monday and Friday, the podcast is so popular that it has also become a magnet for celebrities, too: recent scoops included an interview last month with Khloé Kardashian in which she discussed her relationship with her ex-partner and father of her baby, Tristan Thompson.

Closer to home, Jay this month re-tweeted a recent episode in which he paid warm tribute to his QE Art teacher, Stephen Buckeridge, during an interview with American gym and fitness entrepreneur, Payal Kadakia.

In the course of a discussion about mentors, Jay said this about Mr Buckeridge, who is now QE’s Head of Art: “This man changed my life. First of all, I was a rebel at school. I was the worst kid from 11-18 – not grades-wise, in terms of just being a rebel, trouble-maker…I was suspended three times, asked to leave.

“Mr Buckeridge was one teacher who always stood by me, never judged me. The most important lesson he gave me was every time we did any art – whether it was collage, whether it was graphic, whether it was charcoal, fine art – whatever it was, no matter how good it looked, his question was always ‘Why did you do that?… Why did you put that colour next to that colour? Why did you put that brush stroke versus this one?’ He would always ask me ‘why, why, why, why, why?’

“…It took me years to recognise that he had coached me in always looking at the meaning and the ‘why’ – without me even knowing.”

On leaving QE, Jay went on to Cass Business School in London, from which he graduated with a first-class degree in Management Science. Then, however, his life took an unusual turn: he spent three years as a monk in India in the Hindu Vedic tradition, which accounts for his later sobriquet of the ‘urban monk’.

His career began to take off when he was spotted by Arianna Huffington and brought to New York, where he rapidly gained a following for his daily show, HuffPost Live #FollowTheReader.

Jay featured in the influential Forbes European 30 Under 30 in 2017 and his social media channels attract huge followings: some of his videos have now had over 1 billion views.

Helicopter hero: Old Elizabethan’s medal-winning bravery in the Troubles revealed

The family of Old Elizabethan helicopter pilot Roger Southgate have unearthed details of a heroic flight in hazardous conditions to rescue a comrade during some of the darkest days of Northern Ireland’s Troubles.

Major Roger Lee Southgate (OE 1958–1963), who died suddenly in April 2016 aged 70, served for 49 years as a soldier and then as a retired officer, spending most of that time in the Army Air Corps (AAC). He won his Air Force Medal (AFM) for an operation in 1974 and is believed to have been the first-ever AAC recipient of the award.

He was, his youngest son, Philip, says “a very humble, selfless and secretive person. He was well known, highly loved and also highly respected.”

Since his father passed away, Philip, who attended Bishop Wordsworth Grammar School in Salisbury, has been compiling his life history, including details of the episode in February 1974 that won him the medal.

Although the award was twice mentioned afterwards in the London Gazette – the British Government’s official journal of record – no details were given, and the family knew little about it until the day of his funeral. But, says Philip: “We managed to get his citation released from Whitehall, which it is very rare to obtain.”

The citation makes clear the extent of Roger’s heroism.

At 6pm on 27th February 1974, a request came into Roger’s unit for helicopter illumination of an area of the Sperrin Mountains near Londonderry, where two powerful command-detonated landmines had exploded on a country road, destroying two Land Rovers and injuring ten soldiers, one very seriously. This casualty was pinned beneath a Land Rover in a deep crater and was being fired on by the enemy in hiding. Darkness was falling, there was no moon, and the weather forecast was for haze and fog.

The citation explained that the Sioux helicopter Roger was flying had only limited night-flying capability, lacking full instrumentation and navigational aids. “Furthermore,” the report stated “it is easy to become disorientated at night in the Sioux, a condition where the pilot experiences an almost overpowering sensation that his aircraft is diving, spiralling or in other unusual attitudes. Because of this hazard, orders do not allow the Sioux to be flown at night unless the horizon is clearly visible.”

Roger knew of this, and knew, too, that it had been the cause of fatal accidents in the past. “Yet despite the lack of a visible horizon, coupled with a bad weather forecast, Southgate, knowing that a soldier’s life was at stake, agreed to fly the sortie and was accordingly authorised to do so,” the citation stated.

He flew straight to the site – the surrounding mountains, which he could not see, meant he could not circle the area in relative safety first – to find that the soldier had been freed from under the vehicle.

Roger now asked to be released, as the weather was deteriorating, but was asked to remain while the rest of the patrol were safely removed from the area. “This was because snipers were known to be in the area, and any localised light would draw fire. Knowing that his continued presence could prevent further casualties, Southgate decided to stay to see this operation through,” the citation continued.

This meant, as Philip points out, that he had to hover for over two hours, giving air support to the soldiers below whilst being continuously shot at by IRA snipers.

He was forced by the conditions to descend to just 150ft to provide illumination instead of the usual 1,000ft, which made the dazzling Nitesun beam reflect back into the helicopter’s bubble cab, adding to the difficulties imposed by the weight of the armour, of the Nitesun itself and of other fittings.

Eventually, with the patrol evacuated from the area, Roger was able to return to base safely, where he had to face the reaction of his superiors. “He was nearly court-martialled for this act of bravery, as he disobeyed orders from his commanding officer to return to base due to horrific weather conditions, being assisted by his navigator, who was only two weeks qualified. The commanding officer said it would either be a court martial or he would be awarded a medal!”

The citation concludes: “It is difficult to describe to those who do not fly helicopters the dangers inherent in this sortie and the degree of competence and courage which were necessary to make it a success. Sgt Southgate is an experienced Sioux pilot, and was prepared to experiment. The fact that he arrived at his destination and remained, despite appalling weather, to successfully complete an operation in conditions of considerable danger, which required the highest degree of skill, concentration and nerve, is to his great credit.”

Some months later, the AFM medal was duly bestowed on Roger by the Queen at Buckingham Palace, where he was accompanied by his father, Leslie, and wife, Norma.

As a boy, Roger lived with his father and mother (Joyce) and sister (Brenda) in a ground-floor council flat at the bottom of Cat Hill, East Barnet. Philip, who spent much of his childhood in Germany, where his father was stationed, remembers holidays spent with his grandparents at this flat, which still stands.

His School report card from QE indicates that he was an accomplished sportsman – “useful [at] rugger & cricket”. He was “not at all a bad boy in character. Quite co-operative and willing…[with] a solid, straightforward manner”. Philip visited the School himself this summer, eager to see where his father had been educated.

One of the report’s final entries reveals that he had applied to join the Metropolitan Police but had been rejected because he was ¾ inch (1.9cm) too short.

Instead, he joined the Royal Military Police at the age of 16. He started flying training in 1968 and flew in the early years for Strategic Command in England, Denmark and Germany.

“By 20, he was one of the youngest pilots in the British army, by 25 he was in the first helicopter display team,” says Philip. He won his AFM at the age of 37.

Roger, later promoted to Major, was in charge of 7 Flight AAC in Berlin in the 1970s and of 654 Squadron in Detmold, in northern Germany, in the following decade, with most of the final years of his career spent at Middle Wallop, the Hampshire home of the AAC.

“He served a total of 39 years as a soldier and continued for another ten as a retired officer, based at the AAC headquarters in charge of pilot selection. Most of the modern-day pilots went through his courses, including HRH Prince Harry, and he was known by many more.”

Roger died from a sudden heart attack at the family home in Porton, Wiltshire. In addition to Philip, Roger is survived by Norma, his wife of 47 years, older son Richard, and grandsons Rohahn, aged three, and Lincoln, aged one.

More than 700 people attended his funeral, and those inside the church – and indeed spilling out of the rear doors – ranged from civilians to generals. The family received messages of condolence from all over the world, including one from Conservative peer Lord Glenarthur who knew and flew with Roger.

Major Roger Southgate AFM now rests in the military cemetery in Tidworth garrison in Wiltshire.

Spice of life: Electrum combines career investigating financial fraud with Latin dance and teaching the Bible

Eleven years after he left the School, Electrum Anpitan’s life is as varied as it is full.

Electrum (OE 2001–2008) manages to fit in his demanding role as a Forensic Analyst for KPMG with extensive work in the local community and with running a dance business that has led to collaborations with some of the most famous Latin dancers in the world.

His community work includes promoting increased knowledge and understanding of the Bible; as he has done for many years, Electrum continues to give regular public discourses to large audiences, as well as teaching on a one-to-one basis.

Working, by his own estimation, 15-20 hours a day “pretty much every day of the week, all year round”, Electrum has no regrets about following the advice of his Headmaster, Dr John Marincowitz, to “get stuck in”.

While at QE, he was variously First Form Captain, Games Captain, Colt Lieutenant and Senior Lieutenant. He was involved in chess, debating and peer mentoring, and gained several commendations and bursary awards, including the John Owen Prize for House Service.

Involved in several sports teams, he counts among his proudest memories “scoring the winning try against Haberdashers’ whilst playing for the First XV”, which he had joined in Year 11.

On leaving QE, Electrum went to King’s College London to read Physics.

In the intervening years, he has:

  • Returned to the School in 2010 as Guest of Honour at Junior Awards while still an undergraduate;
  • Become a qualified party wall surveyor – “I have extensive experience in this industry due to some business connections that were successfully explored,” he explains. He joined the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists, before eventually leaving to focus on his work in financial services and the Arts;
  • Undertaken work experience for the government of Ghana, working on its Land Administration Project – liaising with several UN dignitaries. “[This came about] because of a business connection made whilst I was still at QE, actually. Hopefully this will encourage the current boys to keep their eyes, ears and minds open for any suitable opportunities that may present themselves, and to realise they are never too young to demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit!”

KPMG Forensic focuses on helping clients reduce reputation risk and commercial loss. His career in its London offices involves international work in areas such as: fraud risk management, anti-bribery and corruption, anti-money laundering, investigations & compliance, forensic technology, contract governance and intellectual property.

It is, he says, “an extremely rewarding and challenging field of work which makes a tangible difference to real-life situations in the business world and in people’s lives. There exists an excellent business network, and the work itself provides exciting opportunities to participate in newsworthy, high-profile cases.

“Working for a Big Four firm, I encounter QE alumni every month. It’s empowering to exchange success stories and have a ready-made network to give you an advantage over your competition,” he says.

His aims for the future include qualifying as an Accredited Counter Fraud Specialist and securing “a secondment in a financial services/law firm to broaden my practical experience”.

Alongside that demanding career, Electrum relishes the challenge of running his dance business, which offers its services to corporate, commercial and domestic clients. There have been performances in front of hundreds, he says, including celebrities and other notable figures, such as Sir David Attenborough, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, TV presenter Kate Humble and singer-songwriter Sofia Karlberg.

“Though physically very demanding, this area of my activities is particularly enjoyable not only for the pleasure and exhilaration that I derive from it, but also because I am able to tutor and assist others (from a wide range of backgrounds) who aspire to improve their dancing skills, to express themselves and connect with others in life-changing ways that they never thought possible. My approach to dance is that it is more than mere movement or rhythm – it is a medium inviting one to strive for consummate artistry and expressive beauty.”

In addition to the time he spends teaching the Bible, his community work takes in mentoring young people in challenging circumstances and helping with construction projects that benefit the community.

Reflecting on what he has learned over the past decade, Electrum has two further pieces of advice for current pupils at the School: “Never be intimidated by senior staff in the workplace. If they are worth their salt, they will value your insights!” and “Your career starts the moment you join QE, so plan ahead – secure some work placements during your GCSEs, A-levels and degree courses.”