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News > In Memoriam > Dukies say Farewell to Rick Watt

Dukies say Farewell to Rick Watt

Kitchener & Wolseley 1978 - 1984
16 Nov 2022
In Memoriam
Martin & Rick at Army v Navy Twickenham
Martin & Rick at Army v Navy Twickenham

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Heritage

On Friday 11th November, Dukies gathered alongside Rick's family at the Kent and Sussex Crematorium, to bid farewell to their friend Rick Watt. The Principal Alex Foreman along with Assistant Principal and Dukie Jolyon Marsh also attended the ceremony.

The Celebrant read the tributes from Rick's three children, Alec, Drew and Maggie before showing a slide show of photographic memories. Rick's son Drew bravely took to the podium to pay tribute to his dad and Martin Pound (Wolseley 1976 - 1981) read a moving tribute on behalf of Rick's closest friends talking about his many memories of Rick at school:

One of my lasting memories of Rick, who was a couple of years below me, when in his third year moved into the same boarding house as me, and again, unless you have something in common the year groups didn’t mix that much…but we were both smokers, and so we would always meet when nipping out for a quick a puff, in fact Ricks nickname for some time at school was actually “Puffer” because of his smoking habit.

One of our favourite haunts was on the flat roof of our boarding house, where we thought no-one especially our House Master knew that we were up there…many a time you’d look out of a dorm window and see “Puffer” disappearing up the drainpipe onto the flat roof to have a smoke…

The service was extremely moving, fitting that it was held on Remembrance Day,  after all of the research that Rick had carried out on the lost old boys of the World Wars. The service concluded to the music of AC/DC, Thunderstruck.

Rick was a proud 'old boy' who was a familiar face at the Army v Navy Rugby matches, often bringing his family along, OBA lunches as well as the Remembrance Weekend events, including Reunion Dinner which he had been due to attend this year with his partner Roz.

Rick was a regular recent visitor to the school, researching the lost Dukies of WW1, soldiers who lost their lives in the Great War, but who were not memorialised or were not known to have lost their lives. A book was then written by Rick alongside fellow Dukies Andy Benns and Chris Tomlinson, 'Fear God, Honour the King' was about the Old boys of the Royal Hibernian School who fell in the Great War. The second book, which focuses on the Dukies called 'Sons of the Brave' is due to be published very soon, with help from Andy and Chris.

Rick's family asked for donations rather than flowers for the funeral. The two charities which were chosen were the Royal British Legion and the Dukies' Foundation.

I have set up a fund in Rick's memory within the Foundation, the money will be used towards projects relevant to Rick's research of those lost Dukies. If you are interested to find out more please visit the support us page or contact me.

Farewell to an 'old boy' who did not grow old.

'Sons of the Brave'.

Rachel

 

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