Roger and I formed a firm friendship in our first term in Cobham. We were close throughout our lives and never lost touch. He had an almost filial relationship with my parents and came to know my younger brother David well: he was like another member of our family.
Roger was not particularly happy at Stowe, despite making many friends. He found schoolwork difficult at a time when dyslexia and other learning difficulties were not recognised. He did excel at rugby and won his 1st XV colours a year ahead of his contemporaries.
After National Service, Roger started life as a working farmer. He was then able to buy a small dairy farm in his native Dorset. He built the business up and over the years made a success of it. He married happily and his wife shared Roger’s great passion: hunting to hounds with the Blackmore Vale and North Dorset. He was a fearless horseman and it was said that if the hunt encountered a particularly formidable hedge the rest would wait until Roger had been over or through it before the field followed.
He was perhaps happiest in the northwest of Scotland, which he had known from his teenage years and where he could enjoy fishing and stalking.
I saw him frequently; and four of us who had shared a study tried to meet up somewhere once a year.
Roger had several tragedies in his life. His first fiancée was killed in a car accident in which he suffered from a badly smashed hip, which gave him trouble all his life. Years later, after he was married, his and Jo’s daughter died from a brain tumour aged ten. Fortunately, his son and grandsons gave them both much pleasure.
Roger’s health was not good in recent years, but he always remained cheerful and determined. He had a big personality and his laugh would echo round a room. As a mutual friend wrote “I wish they made more of ‘em like him”.