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Province 13 Remembers

Frank Layland

1926 - 2012

John Hagger writes:

Frank Layland died on 4th November 2012. He was a member of Exeter Circle for 22 years and prior to that a member of Streetly Circle, also for more than 20 years. He was essentially a quiet person who made a huge contribution, by his service through the Church, Catenians, Samaritans, St Vincent de Paul Society, and Local Authority social service.

Frank was born in Worcester in 1926; he left school at the age of 15 to take an apprenticeship with ICI which later became IMI. He retired as sales manager at metal broker Charles Harbridge. This employment was interrupted in 1944 when he was recruited into the Royal Engineers serving his time towards the end of the war, in Perth, Scotland.

In retirement he and his wife Ursula moved to Sidmouth and it was there that he joined Exeter Circle.

Frank and Ursula had met when they both worked for ICI and they married in 1949 at the church of Christ the King, Kingstanding, Birmingham and moved to Streetly. There was no Catholic church locally, and Mass was said in a room provided by the local pub. They set about the task of raising enough money to provide a deposit to obtain a mortgage and build a church. By various conventional and unconventional ways, enough was raised to build the church of St Anne's, Streetly, two years later.

Whilst living in Streetly, Frank joined the St Vincent de Paul Society and as such was a regular visitor to the Cheshire Homes in nearby Sutton Coldfield. At this time, apart from joining the Catenians, he also managed to find time to qualify as a Samaritan, thus helping many people over several years and in this way influencing his grandson, later to qualify and serve as a Samaritan. For his services to the Church in Streetly, Frank was awarded the Bene Merenti medal. When they moved to Sidmouth following his retirement Frank was soon involved with the PPC. He was Treasurer, Vice Chairman then Chairman and until very recently a member of the parish Finance Committee.

He was the mini-bus driver on several parish outings, and was a driver for the local authority volunteer bus service. He still found time to visit people in local residential homes.

His great loves were open air activities, playing rugby as a young man, following many sports, particularly cricket. However, being a man of Worcester, he was hard to keep away from a canal. Watching the countryside slide by was his favourite pastime.

First of all though, he was a family man, being supportive of his children in the pursuance of their various careers, and he was proud of his extensive family. He and Ursula were married for 63 years. They had four children John, Christopher, Paul and Anne. He is succeeded by Ursula, their four children, 11 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

He is greatly missed by his family, his friends and by those he served, many of whom did not even know his name.

May he rest in peace.

Anthony Patrick Deeming (Tony)

1936 - 2013

The Brothers and wives of Exeter Circle were saddened to hear that Tony had died early in January 2013 after a year long struggle with cancer at the age of 76 years. Keith Bearne writes:  Tony has been an inspiration to everyone, always welcoming and upbeat despite his illness, helped by his wife Sandra and his strong Catholic faith. Fortunately Tony had enjoyed 22 years of retirement with the last nine years in Devon, which he particularly loved. During that time he made a great number of friends, not just in the Catenian Association but also the British Legion, the Gardening Club, the Heritage Society and his Walking Groups. He also left behind many friends made in his home city, Sheffield where he had spent most of his life. So it was no surprise that the Church of St Anthony, Ottery St Mary was packed, many were there to pay their respects to someone who had gone out of his way to make you feel welcome with his customary handshake. His daughter Kay read the Eulogy in which she revealed that Tony had chosen the readings and the hymns for his Requiem Mass and had also helped her by writing a short obituary.

Tony was born in Sheffield in 1936, the only child of Ethel and Cyril Deeming. When he was only eight years old his Father died; gassed at the Somme. His Mother then sent him to the Sisters of Mercy Convent School and with his usual sense of humour he wrote “failed my 11 plus, (not an academic).”  His Mother then decided that he needed a male education and in 1948 Tony was sent to Barlborough College in Derbyshire where the Jesuits made the boy into a man. They instilled the following phrase “Death is certain, only time and place is uncertain.”

Having left school at the age of 16 years his Mother said he wasn’t to sit about and so she arranged an interview with a Mr Henry Dixon who manufactured confectionery. Tony obtained a job on the shop floor making Dixons’ Rock. He then started a management training scheme for Bournville Chocolate at this time but this was interrupted by Military Service. He was billeted to Blenheim Barracks at Aldershot where he became  a Test Driver of vehicles.

The following year he met Sandra at Ossies Church Hall Dance, Norton, Sheffield.  Tony wrote - “Sandra’s father told her not to bring home a red head or a Catholic Boy, I fell into the latter group.” The same year Tony started work at Stanley Tools in Sheffield and met his good Catenian friend Michael Tasker. During his courtship, Sandra’s father, Mr Beaumont set up a new business and suggested that Tony might like to join him, which he did.

1960 saw Tony married to Sandra and four years later Kay was born. The following year he joined the Catenian Association at the Hallamshire Circle (218) in Sheffield. Ten years later Tony became Vice President and also became General Manager of Descaling Contractors. The following year (1976-77) he became President of Hallamshire Circle.

Some years later there was a business takeover by Initial Services and Tony stayed on as a Director until 1990 when he retired.

Several years later he took voluntary work for the Padley Housing Association - an organisation set up by the Catenians in 1960 for help to house the poor and destitute. Eventually Tony became Chairman of the Association.

Between 1999 and 2001 two grandchildren were born, Alex and Sophie gave Tony and Sandra great joy.

Then in 2004 they both moved to Devon and Tony joined the Exeter Circle the same year. He eventually became President in 2007 for a second time. This is when the author got to know Tony. We were both parishioners at the same church and when I joined the Catenian Association it was Tony who took me under his wing and we became firm friends. Although his requiem mass was a celebration of his life he will nonetheless be greatly missed.

May he rest in peace.

John Cody

The Brothers of Exeter Circle were greatly saddened to learn of the death of Bro, John Cody. John had been housebound for several years and subsequently became bed-ridden. He bore his burden with great courage and humour and was always pleased to receive visits from Brothers and their wives. He greatly enjoyed their company and conversation especially when enlivened by a glass or two of white wine - Chablis for preference.

John was born in Pontypridd, South Wales on the 28th October 1925. Times were hard but John was a bright lad who studied hard and did well at school. He also acquired a lasting interest in rugby and in the fortunes of the Welsh Rugby Team. Unfortunately his studies were interrupted by World War 2 and John found himself conscripted into The Royal Air Force and subsequently dispatched to Bombay where he remained until the end of the war.

On his return home he resumed his studies to become a District Auditor. In this he was very successful and having passed his final exams he spent the next few years successfully finalising accounts. During this time he met and married Pam and they moved to Devon and settled down in Exeter where they brought up their son and two daughters.

In July 1978 John joined the Catenian Association. He enjoyed Circle Visiting and the company of like minded men and Exeter Circle gained a loyal and popular Brother and for many years a super-efficient Treasurer. Circle accounts were kept meticulously, always ready on time and finely calculated to produce a modest profit most years. And if Circle numbers diminished John was happy to waylay ‘suitable’ gentlemen after Sunday Mass to ask them whether they had ever considered joining the Catenian Association. Many confessed that they knew nothing of it and this gave john his chance. His efforts were not without success.

Some 10 years ago his health deteriorated and he became unable to attend Circle Meetings but with the help of Brothers and wives he insisted on attending Sunday Mass for as long as he was able.

Sadly Pam’s health worsened and John, in spite of his increasing lack of mobility, cared for her devotedly until her death.

John died on the 11th February 2014 and his Requiem Mass at the Sacred Heart Church Exeter was attended by his family, Brothers of Province 13 and Exeter Circle and many friends and Parishioners.

John was a highly valued and respected member of Exeter Circle and he will be greatly missed.

May he rest in peace.

Paul de Lusignan

John Hagger writes;

Paul had been at our regular meeting only a month before we received the sad news that he had died on 14th July 2014. He had been receiving kidney dialysis treatment for several years, indeed he and his wife Jo were the only husband & wife attending the Exeter Hospital unit simultaneously. Sadly Jo predeceased him.

To say that he had been a good servant to our Association is a massive understatement. He joined the Catenians on 13th Sept 1960 and served an  almost equal number of years first in the Oxford Circle and then at Exeter. During these years he held the following positions.

Provincial President, first for one year; and then again for a total six years, Provincial Councillor  (whilst in Exeter circle), Circle President for three years, Secretary for six years,  Membership Officer for three years.

Paul's childhood home was in Acton (North-West London) and at the age of 11 he won a place at the prestigious Cardinal Vaughan School, Holland Park. Like so many of his age group, his education was interrupted in 1940 by evacuation out of London, in his case to St John's, Beaumont, outside Windsor. When his father's job took him to Farnborough he moved again to Farnborough Grammar School where he took and passed his School Certificate Exams and then prepared for the  wait before being  called up for War service. During this time he got himself a job with the antiquarian book dealers Quarich, and as a 17 year-old, acquired a understanding and love of books that was to stay with him all his long life.

He joined the Army and was drafted into The Royal Signals, (well it is to do with words) however in a rare moment of army intelligence, he was swiftly transferred into The Army Education Corps. This proved to be a life defining experience as, following this service which eventually involved  teaching war-weary men and women, prior to demobilization, he was offered a chance of a short college course to obtain a civilian teaching qualification. This was a post- war government initiative aimed at replacing the male teachers that had been lost during WW2.  He did his course at St Paul's Cheltenham and his first teaching appointment was at St Polycarp's Catholic School Farnham . Subsequently he became head at St Edmund's Abingdon, and from there was appointed as the founding Headmaster at St Gregory the Great's at Cowley in Oxford. All these schools were Catholic and he maintained a strong faith which he had learned from his parents and also his uncle, after who he was named.

During his life he continued a huge support for Catholic Scouting in Oxford whilst also being a Catenian member for more than 50 years. In addition to all the service listed above, Paul was  Chairman of  our Benevolent Fund and then a Trustee until retiring in 2005.

He also maintained an serving interest in the charitable fellowship of The Knights of St John of Jerusalem.

He had known, Jo who was to become his wife as they had attended the same junior school together, but it was not until visiting his father in hospital that, on his father's insistence he introduced himself to her where she was a theatre sister. They became a couple, married and had three sons.

Both Paul and Jo, loved their children  and their grandchildren. They were supportive of all of them  and were very proud of their many  achievements.

He was a man whose life was defined by his commitment to his faith and also to education, love, public service, fraternity and to his wife and family. He was a Catenian for 54 years, and as a young man had made the Rover Scout promise, which is "Service".  He certainly lived up to that.

May he rest in the peace of The Lord.

The Brothers of Exeter Circle were greatly saddened at the sudden death of our Brother John Hagger on 14th July 2015.

Brother Robert Brandenberg writes:

John was born on the 9th June 1932 in Harrow and started his schooling at St. Anselm’s Catholic Primary School at the age of 7.  However, in October 1939 just after the outbreak of war, John was evacuated to Hove along with his brother Tony to live with their aunt Molly, Uncle Ernest and Cousin Tim.  Whilst he was in Hove, he went to the local convent school but after 12 months his parents thought it would be safer for him to be away from the South Coast and possible invasion by the Germans.  He returned home to Harrow and his old school of St. Anselm’s at Harrow Hill from September 1941 and remained there until the end of his 11th year.

Soon after John had returned home he joined the 17th Harrow Cubs in September 1941.

He played his first game of club cricket in the summer of 1944 as a substitute in his father’s team.

In September 1944 he attended the Salvatorian Grammar School in Harrow Weald where he finished his schooling and obtained the “School Certificate”.  He was a keen sportsman and played everything that was available except hockey, and played in the school cricket 1st Eleven for the final two years.

He started work in the Solicitors Department of the Teachers Provident Society where he remained until being called up for National Service on 23rd October 1950.

John volunteered for aircrew and served as a Sergeant Signaller (Radio, Radar & Sonics) in Coastal Command, Sub-Search and Air-Sea Rescue until he was discharged in October 1952.

He flew Lancasters until they were replaced by Shackletons. He was also recalled as a “Z” Reservist on two occasions. In the following 5 years and because of the Korean War he helped to train navigators, by which time he remarked that his uniform did not look too good.

After finishing his National Service in 1952, John obtained an appointment at the Prudential Assurance Company’s head office, working in the Audit Dept. He remained with the Prudential for 40 years in a wide range of roles finally retiring in 1992.

In October 1952 he joined the Old Salvatorians Hockey Section (never having actually played the game before!) He also recommenced as a Scout Leader of 17th Harrow Cubs.

In 1962 John met Maureen and two years later married in 1964. Together they bought a house in Harrow as they both needed to commute into London.

It was not long before they started their family. Andrew was born in 1965, Simon in 1966 and Sarah in 1970.

John was always very active and served the church of Our Lady and St. Thomas of Canterbury in numerous roles occasionally serving but mostly fund raising. When the children were old enough to allow it, he joined the choir.

In 1979 John and Maureen bought a holiday home in Tipton St. John, East Devon with some money that had been left to them

In September 1993 John played his final game of cricket when he opened the batting and scored a career defining 27 runs. The match ended in a draw.

In 1994 John and Maureen moved down to Devon, sold their place in Tipton St. John and bought a house in Newton Poppleford.

Accordingly, John had to resign the position of Assistant Group Scout Leader of 17th Harrow Scout Group. He was awarded the Scout Association Long Service Medal and subsequently “with Bar”.

On arrival in Newton Poppleford he joined the village Gardening Club and made contact with the R.C. Church in Sidmouth. Later he joined the choir.

John then decided to take up golf. He joined the Woodbury Golf Club in 1995 and started to play golf regularly. He had started to learn how to play the game in 1992 when he retired and Maureen had bought him some professional lessons.  Up until 2010 he was still getting round all 18 holes and right up to the last was still playing 9 holes each week.

John was also passionate about music and he and Maureen joined the Sidmouth Choral Society where he was an active member and served on the committee.

On 13th May 1996, he was enrolled into the Exeter Circle of the Catenian Association

At the age of 18, John made what was then called the Rover Scout Promise; this consists of one word “Service”.  Throughout his life he always tried to live up to that promise in all the responsibilities, memberships and undertakings in which he was involved.

He will be sadly missed.                                                May he rest in peace.

John Latimer Hagger


Out of the depths I have cried to Thee, Lord; Lord, hear my voice.
Let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication.
If Thou, O Lord, shalt observe iniquities; Lord, who shall endure it?
For with Thee there is merciful forgiveness:
and by reason of Thy law, I have waited for Thee, Lord.
My soul hath relied on His word; my soul hath hoped in the Lord.
From the morning watch even until night, let Israel hope in the Lord.
Because with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him plentiful redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel from all its iniquities.
Eternal rest give unto them, Lord,
and let perpetual light shine on them.

May they rest in peace.  Amen

Saints of God, come to his aid!
Come to meet him, angels of the Lord!
Receive his soul and present him to God the Most High.

May Christ, Who called you, take you to Himself;
may angels lead you to Abraham's side.
Receive his soul and present him to God the Most High.

Give him eternal rest, O Lord,
and may Your light shine upon him forever.
Receive his soul and present him to God the Most High.

Let us pray:

 We commend our brothers to you, Lord.
Now that they has passed from this life,
may they live on in Your presence.
In Your mercy and love, forgive whatever sins they
may have committed through human weakness.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Peter Brown

The Brothers of Exeter Circle (75) were greatly saddened to learn of the death of Peter Brown on 14th December 2015.

Keith Bearne writes:

Peter was born in 1928 at Retford in Nottinghamshire and was the youngest of 11 children. This was a huge advantage for him as he was able to learn many skills from his older brothers, one being a plumber and another being a carpenter. He also developed a love of music and became a promising boy soprano.

Peter attended Retford Grammar school during the ‘second world war’ and he was there when children from Great Yarmouth Grammar School were evacuated to Retford. On leaving school his first job was with the Air Ministry, working as a draughtsman for three years.

He was then called up for National Service and worked in the Fleet Air Arm section of the Navy. It was here that Peter met Eileen Cussen who was in the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WREN) and they got engaged in 1950. They married two years later in Burton on Trent and from the time they met were with each other for 68 years.

A year later Peter and Eileen moved to Skegness to set up home and Peter got a job at Rank Bush Murphy (manufacturers of radio, television and stereo equipment) as the Chief of Test Engineers.

Two years later they started a family, first with Paul and then, three years later Richard was born.

Peter loved his time in Skegness, in addition to his family his two main loves were music and snooker. He belonged to the Boston Choral Society and also to ‘The Round Table’.

Then in the year 2005, Peter and Eileen made a big decision - to move to Sidmouth for retirement. Their friends were unsure of this big move but time proved this decision to be correct. In Sidmouth Peter and Eileen had everything they loved. They were surrounded by family and quickly found a home in the Catholic Church where Peter played the Organ. He also joined the Sidmouth Choral Society, Probus and of course the Catenian Association. The snooker table was found in the Conservative Club which was quite close to the church. Peter was 87 years old when he died at Sidmouth hospital having battled with cancer for the last 15 years. He died peacefully with the family nearby.

May he rest in peace.