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Roger Beament

Feb 2013: We are sad to report the recent death of Roger Beament, former Master-in-Charge of Fives at Highgate and later Secretary of the Eton Fives Association. A Memorial Service will be held in St.Albans Cathedral on Monday 25th February 2013 at 3pm. 

Gordon Stringer and Dale Vargas write:

Roger Beament will be remembered as an outstanding Eton fives coach, being master in charge at Highgate from 1959 to 1975, when the school pair won the School Championships ten times. He ranked with two others, Geoffrey Bolt at Aldenham and Tom Manning at City of London, who, like himself, claimed to be ordinary players, but who had the ability to develop talent and enthusiasm to its fullest extent.

Roger was educated at Lancing and University College, Oxford where he read history. After Lancing, he spent two years of national service in the Royal Engineers; he claimed to have spent most of his time working out how to build and blow up bridges in Germany.

After coming down from Oxford in 1958, Roger joined the staff at Highgate, where he taught history and politics. Young schoolmasters were expected to be all-rounders in those days and Roger was an outstanding example. He was active in the Combined Cadet Force, the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, and above all in running and coaching the school’s very successful fives teams. A former pupil described his classroom teaching as “always stimulating and he had a great sense of humour which was most endearing”. He later became Head of the history department and from 1962-75 he was a House Master.

In 1975, Roger became Deputy Head at Woodhouse Sixth Form College, Finchley, where he also taught history, introduced A level law and subsequently became Vice-Principal. At this time, too, he moved to St Albans where he met and in 1977 married Anne, happily taking on three step-children. It was a great joy to them both when their own daughter, Emily, was born in 1978. Roger retired in 1995. Retirement allowed Roger to immerse himself in his myriad of interests: the cultural life of St Albans, especially the abbey music, art, opera, hill walking, researching family records and especially, with Anne, world travel. From 1996-98 Roger was Honorary Secretary to the EFA, but even when he handed over, he maintained his interest in the game and spent many hours on considerable research for the archives.

Following a chest infection, Roger was diagnosed with leukaemia and died in hospital on 1 February 2013, aged 78. Our thoughts and sympathy go his wife, Anne and the whole family.