John R Haynes – Staff 1940-44

Wednesday 25 November 2020

Submitted by M Harding

Compiled with help from Juliet Rainey


John died peacefully at his home on 22 October 2020 aged 103.

To date John Haynes is probably the longest lived of all former staff members.  He began his teaching career at Christ’s Hospital in 1940 on a temporary wartime appointment having failed an eye sight test for military service.  He had been well educated at a selective Liverpool High School and at St Peters Oxford where he obtained a degree in Modern Greats.  At Christ’s Hospital he was a Prep School teacher and junior house-master in Py.B.  As a junior wartime staff member he was expected to remain on site for most school holidays together with senior school pupils to work on the school’s farm, grounds or in Shelly Wood.

For most of his career from 1944 he was a house master and Head of History at the Royal Masonic Boys School, Bushy until its closure in 1955.  From 1956 until 1965 he was History Master at Chipstead Valley Coulsdon and Chief Examiner in Civics for the Royal Society of Arts.  In the next classroom the Geography teacher was M. Harding, Py.B/LaB 1843-52; together with other staff they led numerous field trips and visits to countries in W. Europe or within the UK.

In 1965 Croydon Borough Council appointed J. Haynes as Area Principal of the Adult Education Centre at Selsdon before he moved on to serve the Borough of Epsom and Ewell in a similar capacity until his retirement.  For Senior Citizens he set up SALA, organising and leading coach tours to N.T. properties and gardens.  He also served on the Dorking Area N.T. committee for many years being its chairman.

During school holidays and in retirement he travelled to many countries building up a large collection of colour slides.  His wide interests included: local and national government, heritage railways and canals, gardening, zoos and animals.  He owned a large miniature railway set up and regularly attended the local model railway club.  He also attended annual reunions at St Peters, Oxford, and at Masonic Lodge gatherings as well as Old Blue events in S.W. Surrey or at Horsham.  At St Mary the Virgin Ewell he was a regular attender and generous supporter for many years.

Sharing their comfortable Dorking home John and his sister Kathleen, who pre deceased him over ten years ago enjoyed the companionship of a succession of corgis.  On his travels he always tried to include a visit to a zoo and as a consequence built up a large menagerie of different animal soft toys.  In 2018 with this love of animals undiminished he acquired three pet tortoises: Charles, William and Harry, who are now being cared for by the family of Juliet Rainey one of his many cousins.  Twice a year he hosted parties for neighbours, friends and extended family.  He particularly enjoyed these when no longer able to travel as frequently as previously.

Over 60 people queued to wish him well on his 100th birthday including the Mayor of Mole Valley Borough Council.  On 21 June he received his third birthday greetings card from H.M. the Queen.  As he wished, he passed away peacefully in his sleep at home where he was happiest to be.  During the past decade John was well looked after and supported by neighbours, NHS staff, his closest relatives and many carers.  Special thanks must be given to the last professional carer Julianna Woods, who made his last months as joyful as possible during Corona Virus restrictions.