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NEWS > In Memoriam > Mr Edward Furber, former Head of Classics PGSG

Mr Edward Furber, former Head of Classics PGSG

Written by his daughter Jane, for inclusion in the 2018 edition of the Patesian, this is a lovely tribute remembering the life of her father who passed away in April 2018.

Mr Furber was born in Bristol in 1923 and attended the Bluecoat School, where he gained an enthusiasm for swimming, for Gilbert and Sullivan, and for the ancient world of Greece and Rome. He was 16 when the war began and he knew he would soon be conscripted into the RAF. So in 1941 he took a temporary job in the local Tax Office. There he met his future wife, Barbara, who had also just left school. In 1943 the RAF claimed him and he spent three years in Karachi preparing Spitfires and Hurricanes for use in the war in Burma.

In 1947 life began anew; released from the RAF, within a few days Barbara and he were married. In the RAF Mr Furber had discovered that he could teach, and he applied to University College London to gain a degree and qualification to teach Classics. Four years later, now with two daughters, he and Barbara moved to Launceston, Cornwall, where Mr Furber took up his first teaching post at Launceston College.

A third daughter was born during their time in Launceston, and the family subsequently moved to Swindon and then Cheltenham in 1965 , where Mr Furber became Head of Classics at Pate’s Grammar School for Girls. Apart from teaching Latin, Greek and Ancient World (and a short spell teaching lower school Physics!), he became an honorary member of the PE department and taught Life-Saving after school in the newly acquired open-air pool. He remained at Pate’s until his retirement in 1984.

As for singing and Gilbert and Sullivan, on arrival in Cheltenham Mr Furber joined the newly-formed Cotswolds Savoyards and took to the stage in all the Savoy operas. He subsequently joined the Rondo Singers and continued performing in concerts well into his 90s. Other interests included gardening, coin collecting and researching his family tree. In 2017 he and Barbara celebrated their platinum wedding anniversary.

Mr Furber died from pneumonia on 4 April 2018. Requiescat in pace.

10th April 1923 – 4th April 2018


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