Richard Anthony Joseph Whiteley
20th Aug 1945 – 23rd May 2022
Everyone in Richard’s years at Bancroft’s (1956-1963) knew him as ‘Tank’, probably because of his performance on the rugby pitch!
Born in Woodford, the youngest of 4 children, his father (a Grammar School Headmaster with high academic aspirations for his youngest son) sent him to Bancroft’s in the footsteps of his two much older brothers.
Richard’s early life was beset with challenges and tragedies. As well as the divorce from his first wife Angela – the mother of his sons, Rupert and Robin – he suffered the loss of his two brothers in separate fatal accidents and the premature death of his sister, due to illness.
It was due to his position with Barclays Bank that Richard moved up North alone. Barclays had set up a new computer division there and he was instrumental in the creation of a pioneering automated mailing unit in that department.
Eventually, once the system was running successfully, Richard had the unenviable task of having to make the staff in his unit redundant before Barclays moved the computer operation to Gloucester. Fortunately, Richard was able to renegotiate his employment contract which led to him being able to take early retirement!
On his retirement he decided to explore the world with his second wife Caroline and they eventually bought a house in Massachusetts, travelling to and from Suffolk. They enjoyed a wide variety of holidays and activities on their many travels, including skiing, scuba diving, trekking (even up to Everest Base Camp!), horse riding, golf and cycling and they ended up becoming involved with the local rowing club, where they threw themselves into coaching. Richard had never been so fit as during his retirement years!
Throughout his retirement, Richard continued to pursue his hobby of photography which possibly inspired his son, Rupert, to take it up as a career in the USA.
Forever the gentleman, Richard decided to sell up and return to Suffolk once his health started to deteriorate and he opted to go into a Care Home, later on, when his Parkinson’s needed a lot of physical care.
Richard will be fondly remembered by his fellow ‘56ers at Bancroft’s.
Our condolences go to his wife, Caroline, sons Rupert and Robin and his four grandchildren, Lydia, Beatrice, Harriet and Henry.
Robert (Bob) Bewick