Born in the Welsh borders on 17 May 1931, David attended Beaudesert Park Prep School near Stroud and from there gained a scholarship to Lancing in 1944. In a recently discovered congratulatory letter to his father from Frank Doherty, the Lancing Head Master, he was said to have topped the list and ‘to have done as well as any boy in the Scholarship Examination for 30 years’. David never mentioned this to his family.
In Gibbs’, he served as House Captain, Prefect and Head of House and played for the Football XI. In 1949 David was awarded an Open Scholarship to University College Oxford, but opted to do his National Service in the Army Education Corps, before going up to read Classics in 1951.
Following graduation with an honours degree in Greats, he joined Burmah Shell and spent three interesting years in Pakistan selling oil. However, he came to the conclusion that this was not the right career for him. Returning to Oxford, he found an administrative job in the University Surveyor’s Department. In 1963 David was encouraged to follow an Oxford colleague, who was appointed the first Surveyor of the new University of Kent at Canterbury. It was two years before the arrival of the first undergraduates and it was here that he met Jane, also one of the first few administrative staff. David worked initially on the exciting development of the new campus before moving to the academic division of the Registry, where he was appointed Academic Secretary and Deputy Registrar. His role expanded as the University grew and he remained there until 1990.
He much enjoyed entertaining Sheppard Frere and his wife, following Frere’s award of an honorary doctorate by the University, in recognition of his work in Canterbury after the bombing of the city.David retained a lifelong interest in the classical world and in the arts in general. During his long retirement he immersed himself in local life, researching the history of his village and parish church, which he served faithfully until his death.David died on 15 September 2016 aged 85 and is survived by Jane, a son Nicholas, a daughter Sarah, and three grandsons.