Roger served Wennington School and the Wennington Association nobly and wisely as teacher and friend for well over thirty years. After a time at Oxford, which alas! he did not greatly enjoy, he spent part of his military service in India, where he broadened and deepened his appreciation of political realities. He succeeded George Aspden as French Master at Wennington and made his department a model of progressive and enlightened language teaching, investing in and using, at his own expense, audio equipment of the highest standard in which he became a skilled expert. Language was for him a part of life and he recreated civilisations by its use and interpretation. His command of European literature was also impressive. He also launched into Russian, in which he became, though he did not boast of it, an efficient teacher and interpreter. This praise may exaggerate the solemnity of his activities; but he had a great sense of humour and playfulness, which diversified all that he did, and many will remember the French cafes on Parents' Day and how his very presence could be interesting and entertaining.
He was a person of immense human sympathy and understanding, a characteristic that enabled him to be at home in the ethos of forgiveness and tolerance of the Wennnington to which he came, though he was a man of precise principle and no lax disciplinarian. This comprehending outlook also enabled him, after Wennington had closed to serve effectively and co-operatively in an institution for maladjusted boys in Castleford.
In retirement in Leeds, and later in a delightful book-lined cottage on the outskirts of Huddersfield, he continued to be a person of great independence of mind and generosity of outlook, a quiet force for human rights and just thinking, though never aggressively propagandist: his knowledge of the excellent subversive series of Leeds postcards was, however, considerable and he remonstrated with shops selling South African products during the period of apartheid. His knowledge of France and his French relatives assisted a full life, which was made more varied by cycling trips to the Netherlands and especially by visits to Portugal, where he again showed linguistic proficiency.
His knowledge of music was remarkable: he was an authority of jazz and one of the most appreciative followers of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. He had a wide and deep understanding of modern developments in music.
He remained in contact with very many old scholars, who came to regard him as a friend, and was a fountain of knowledge and memory of things Wenningtonian. He was a welcoming and hospitable man: visitors could be certain of excellent companionship and a well cooked four-course meal.
The Association has lost one of its most valuable and effective members and many of us lament the disappearance of a valued and trusted friend.