“He was always known as Richard, his mother rounding on me once many years ago when I called him ‘Dick’ saying, “I named him RICHARD”. My earliest recollection of Richard would be my first full day at Stowe, when a number of us had been gathered in a classroom and roll call was called. Various 13-year-old slightly terrified boys answered their names until the Master at the front called out “Kaiser” and a confident voice somewhere behind and to my left replied “It’s Kayser, Sir”; brave I thought.
I saw him around Stowe from time to time but our next real meeting happened at Woolwich Polytechnic when history repeated itself. Again, all us freshers were gathered in the big hall for a welcome talk and there just in front was a tall, slightly stooping figure, which could only have been Richard. I leant forward and tapped him on his shoulder, he jumped and I said, ”I know you, you are Kayser from Stowe” and that was the start of a long and happy friendship.
After a couple of terms there we both decided we could not stand ‘digs’ and resolved to find a flat to rent. After the first term there we realised we could not afford the princely sum of £32 per month in rent and resolved to get a third flatmate. I often drove Richard to and from his mother’s house at Liss in my elderly car. Going back to the flat late on a Sunday night laden with clean clothes and Mum K‘s jugged hare – ah the luxury life, better than fish fingers or macaroni cheese of other nights.
We both graduated in Civil Engineering from London University and he started work for McAlpines. Later he joined a specialist firm of concrete repair specialists in Lancashire and moved his family and mother up there. After a few years he branched out starting his own firm – Ram Services, generally doing specialist concrete repair work including for the big water companies. This was very much his “baby” and he worked long and hard at this for many years before finally selling the company within the last couple of years and retiring.
His wife died some time ago and his elder daughter Nicola also died in 2020, which was a huge blow to him. He is survived by his remaining daughter Samantha. I shall miss him a great deal, he is truly one of the nicest people I have met in this life. I don‘t recall any malice in him, generous always and caring but with strong will nevertheless. The world without Richard‘s booming laugh will be a sadder place.
Extract from Eulogy from Philip Martino (Chatham 63)