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News > Alumni News > Harrodian pays tribute to two former teachers

Harrodian pays tribute to two former teachers

We are deeply saddened by the news of the passing of two former Harrodian teachers, Joan Speddy on 24 October, and John Lewes on 20 June.

Joan Speddy, a founding member of staff, joined Harrodian in September 1994, a year after the School opened.  An experienced and caring teacher, she taught English, Geography and History. She was well-respected by pupils and appreciated by members of staff - particularly those who were new to the teaching profession - for her support and guidance.  When Mr Hooke joined the staff in 1995, Joan handed over her responsibility for Geography to him, and continued  to teach English and History.  In 2002, she retired and moved to Devon to be with her husband Bob and their two children.  To keep herself occupied, she marked papers for examination boards.  Sadly, Joan passed away last month, aged 89.

An Honorary Member of the Welsh Guards Association and a former RAF Pilot Officer (Volunteer Training Reserve branch), John Lewes joined Harrodian in September 1997, also as a teacher of English and History.  His kindness, warmth and enthusiasm made him popular with colleagues and pupils alike.  Having a diploma in acting from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, he was understandably keen to take part in several School drama productions.  He also participated in many other extra-curricular activities.  While at the School, he wrote his first book, a biography of his uncle, entitled Jock Lewes: Co-founder of the SAS.  Notably, he was the first member of staff to be appointed Head of Seniors.  In 2002, he left Harrodian, in order to teach History at his alma mater, Bedford School. His second book, A Spy After All, was published in 2017.  He died at the age of 61 of cancer.

As well as being inspirational teachers, Joan and John were great fun to be with.  They made a lasting impression on our Harrodian community. Fortunately for us, they came back several times to see us at reunions. They are greatly missed. 

Our Harrodian staff and pupils extend their deepest sympathy to the families of Joan and John.

If you would like to send a letter/email or a note for a book of condolence, please contact Chloe Warren, Marketing & PR/Alumni Relations.


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