Girls Blazer Badge Boys Blazer Badge

Mini Biographies of OLs

Send your mini-biog to Webmaster!

Members who are willing to share with other OLs how they've spent their time since leaving school are invited to condense their life story to less than 200 words with up to four close-up photos for inclusion on this page. Maurice Hobden has provided an example below. If you have had a quite remarkable life that would be worthy of a more substantial autobiography please email your webmaster to discuss the possibilities. We are all curious about our friends' lives and travels and here is your chance to put your life story on the record. Don't be shy! Give us the highlights of your life after leaving school.

Regretfully, direct uploading to this page by members is a bit too difficult to arrange but if you email the text and pictures to Webmaster we should be able to present a reasonable finished result.

Fred Cosstick 1930-37

A Foundation Scholar of the School

Fred Fred's Biography of Duke Federico

Fred Costick was educated at Lewes County Grammar School and King Alfred's College, Winchester. After seven years' war service as a Gunner and Staff Officer he was at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, reading history and playing rugby.

After seven years' international business experience, in the Red Sea, East Africa, New York and Montreal, he taught modern languages at King's College School, Wimbledon. On retirement he became an English examiner in the Preparation des Grandes Ecoles at the Lycée Janson de Sailly, Paris, and spent eleven years living in France before finally retiring to Eastbourne where he wrote his biography of Federico da Montefeltro.

Biography of Federico da Montefeltro (1422-1482)

"The Honourable Mercenary"

Duke Federico and the Palace of Urbino

Federico was born illegitimately in Gubbio in June 1422 and was immediately claimed by Count Guidantonio da Montefeltro as his son and heir, his wife being childless. Eventually he succeeded Guidantonio as Lord of Urbino and became the most famous condottiere of his age. In 1474 he was created Duke and Gonfaloniere by the Pope, awarded the Ermine by the King of Naples and made a Knight of the Garter by Edward IV of England. After a turbulent and eventful life he died in 1482 in Ferrara while commanding the Italian League against Venice and the Pope. This is the story of his life -- the first to appear in print for 150 years.

Peter Fellows 50-56

When reading our website I re-discovered that not only was I once form captain, but also won a class prize, which is still on my bookshelf. I did not excel at any sport except perhaps Cross Country where I never came lower than 5th for Lewes House. Deciding against further education, I made a career in the retail trade, missing National Service by just eleven days because of my birthdate!

1955 In 1995 I retired at 55 years as sales and personnel manager of Gamleys Toy Company. Patricia and I have been married for 39 years, having three children including one Tibetan, who we adopted when he was 16. We have 4 grandchildren and these days live in Seaford.

1951 I have a private pilots licence and together with five others, built a full size open cockpit biplane which I fly. My interest in aviation extends to conducting tours around Shoreham Airport and writing a book about the Tidemills, the Newhaven WW1 Seaplane Base. I would be pleased to hear from any of you who remember me at school.

Maurice Hobden 44-51

Maurice Hobden

I CAME to LCGSB from a village school during the war. Living in a remote hamlet far from Lewes, after-school activities were rare for me. My main interest then was short-wave amateur radio. I took School Cert a year early and scraped into the Sixth form a few days after my 16th birthday. I enjoyed my time in the Science Sixth and did well, though I had to abandon my amateur radio interests because of the amount of A level work required. But with some help and encouragement from NRB, Mr Hoggins and "Killer" Jones (who gave me personal coaching to get through the Latin O level exam) I won a place at Keble College, Oxford.

After two years National Service as an RAF radar technician, I went up to Oxford obtained a double First in Physics and stayed on for a D.Phil. in low temperature physics. Forsaking Academia, my whole career was spent in the scientific civil service working on various topics including laser systems, optics, crystallography, computers, missile guidance, digital image processing and transmission systems.

My wife Rosemary and I, we met at Oxford, have five children and twelve grand-children. Now retired and living in the south-west midlands, I work on various computer projects, including the Old Lewesians website, gardening, walking and entertaining grandchildren - a full time job! Although I passed the Radio Amateurs examination (at 35!) I never did master morse code and never became a licensed radio amateur much as I would have liked to.

Click on my photo above to see my progress through life!

Graeme Talboys 67-69

Graeme as student I joined LCGSB in 1967 leaving Priory School in 1972 and completed my teacher training in Birmingham in 1975. Thereafter, I taught Drama, English and Humanities in schools in Shropshire, Lancashire, and Sussex. Following a bout of ill-health I returned to work as a teacher within museums. After a number of years doing this and working my way up to head an award winning department, ill-health struck again.

Graeme today Largely housebound these days, I was saved from spending my time staring at a wall by writing. I had already been working on a text book on museum education when I had to retire. This and a second work on museum education have gone to several editions. I've had a number of other non-fiction works published, along with several novels.

I now live in Scotland with my wife and a part-time cat (and 5 million Scots).

Clive Phillips 1961-68

Clive Phillips as pupil

F rom Buxted Primary, the "Uckfield Flyer" brought me to LCGS. Rather ebullient, I stood in a wastebin for a lesson (Mr Gem) and also endured the cane (Mr Fanner).

Stays in Blois and a term in Bavaria made languages really come alive. I never looked back, winning a place at Oriel College, Oxford to read Modern Languages, including a year's teaching in Perpignan.

Clive in Berlin
In 1973 I entered the Ministry of Defence in Whitehall. First posting was Berlin as translator/interpreter in the Allied Staff with US/UK/French military - a touchstone of the Cold War.

Graeme as student
Back in Whitehall: WMD-related export controls, developing a frigate with France and Italy and leading a team delivering and outsourcing translation/interpreting.

Played rugby for 27 years, including German clubs.

Clive in Berlin

Since early retirement I run a freelance translation business and do voluntary work. Married with two adult stepchildren and a teen daughter.

Mark Perry Nash 66-68

Mark Perry Nash

Mark was only at Lewes Grammar for two years in the '60's, having spent most of his childhood before and after that in Chicago. After leaving school he worked for some years with Hilton Hotels, and returned to England in 1989. Mark's educational background and first loves were always history and drama, and for the last 18 years he has been working for himself as a historian , writer and occasional speaker. Would love to hear from any other Old Lewesians who may remember him.

John Church Dec'd 1942-48ish

His passions were cricket, cars and ponies in that order. Other interests in his old age were golf and horse racing.

He was born in Hampshire when his father and grandfather were millers at Ovington Mill on the River Itchen, near Winchester. An absolutely beautiful place if you ever venture there off the beaten track.

He came to Isfield in 1937 when his father bought the mill and they lived as a family, with my mother, in the house where I now live. It still says Church on the front of the mill. After being offered a trial at Sussex C.C.C. he was given an ultimatum; become a cricketer or work in the family business. Working provided funds for his cars, starting with a frog-eyed Sprite and progressing through a Saab 96, Opel Kadett, Other Saabs, Porsche 924 Turbo and 944 and others I can't remember. I can still see his smiling face boasting that he had just 'done the ton' down The Broyle in the Sprite. That had meaning in 1960. He entered the RAC Rally several times as a privateer, with success. Later, he became one of the top breeders of Shetland Ponies in the country.

After a pleasant retirement in West Sussex, he fell upon hard times and poor health, finally succumbing after his sad final years.

Michael Williams

John Iles 1946-2019 (LCGS 1957-64)

From Oxford Mail 27th June 2019

OBITUARY: John Iles of St Hugh's College at Oxford University
By James Roberts


Picture courtesy of Susan Iles

A STALWART of Oxford University's St Hugh's College has died, aged 72.

John Iles played an active role in college life for well over three decades, endearing himself to students and tutors alike with his eclectic mix of interests, from wine to gardening.

The academic moved to Oxford aged 18 in 1965 and never left, living in the north of the city with his wife and children for many years.

John Iles was born on December 22, 1946, in London. His dad, Percival, was a printer and his mum, Ivy, a seamstress. An only child, John lived in the capital until he was five, before the family moved to East Sussex, where he spent the rest of his childhood.

In 1965, he was awarded a scholarship to Merton College to read zoology and three years later achieved a first, before he went on to become a senior scholar. During his time as an undergraduate, Dr Iles met Susan White, a zoology and medicine student in the year below at St Hugh's College. They married in St John's Chapel in 1971 and lived in St Giles' House, then called the Judge's Lodgings. The pair completed Doctor of Philosophy degrees in 1972 and 1973, before moving to New Marston. They enjoyed a happy life there, sharing an allotment that Dr Iles, a passionate gardener, tended to with great care.

The late 1970s and early 1980s was a significant time for Dr Iles, with his first son, Nicholas, born in 1978. One year later, he was appointed Mary Snow fellow and tutor in zoology, and a university lecturer at St Hugh's College, while in 1980 the family moved to north Oxford. Before starting at St Hugh's, the academic had held a junior research fellowship at St John's and then Corpus Christi.

Dr Iles's second and third children, Matthew and Sophia, were born in 1984 and 1986 respectively. Dr Iles served in a range of roles at St Hugh's, including vice-principal for development, senior tutor, acting senior bursar and president of the senior common room. He also spent a term as acting principal.

His academic work centred on neuroscience, with a particular interest in how the brain controls movement. Starting with cockroaches, Dr Iles studied bigger and bigger beasts until his final research project on a human subject. During his time at the college, his more unusual posts included custos hortulorum - head gardener - and wine fellow, when he helped run the college wine cellar. This indulged two of Dr Iles's great interests, while he was also a skilled woodworker, building several musical instruments. He often invited new students to dinner at the family home to help them settle at university.

In 1992, Dr Iles was elected senior proctor (a university appointment) and became an emeritus fellow upon his retirement in 2014. He was diagnosed with dementia as soon as he retired, which prevented him from further indulging his love of travelling.

Dr Iles died on June 8th 2019 and is survived by his wife and children. His funeral was at St Hugh's on Sunday, starting with a woodland burial, before a ceremony of remembrance and a celebration of his life for close family and friends. A tree will be planted at St Hugh's in his memory, with the college orchard set to be dedicated to Dr Iles to pay tribute.

Terry Coleman's notice of 18/10/2019 in Forums/In Memoriam:

John lived in Uckfield when he was at LCGS (school years 1957-64). A wonderful, somewhat quiet, person. I travelled with him to and from school by train. I never kept in touch with him but he was often in my thoughts.

For some reason last night, I was thinking of him. I did a search to find out he passed away only a few months ago. I share this St Hugh’s College tribute for your information and interest :-

Clive Phillips:

Like Terry, I travelled to school with John on the ‘Uckfield Flyer’. Overview of John's area of interest and papers in the Oxford University Animal Behaviour Research Group:

Perhaps classmates would like to see your career featured here ?