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News > Deaths & Obituaries > Roy Avery (OE 1936 - 1943), author of 'While we have time'

Roy Avery (OE 1936 - 1943), author of 'While we have time'

You are warmly welcomed to leave a message below, share your memories and celebrate the life of Roy Avery who we sadly lost in January 2023.
Roy Avery
Roy Avery

Born in 1925, Roy went to Dr Bell’s Primary school in Fishponds.  In 1936 he gained a place at Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital where he was a day pupil. He became Captain of School in 1943 and then went on to Oxford University to read History. 

He became a History teacher at Bristol Grammar School in the 1950s. Roy taught David Perkins and John Evans at BGS, and Roy later became Godfather to one of John and Vyvyan’s children.  

 In 1959 Roy moved to Haberdasher’s Aske’s school near London and became Headmaster at Harrow County Boys school in 1965. In 1975 Roy returned to BGS as Headmaster: a position he held until retirement in 1986. 

In retirement, he was commissioned to write a History of QEH and that was published in 1990 when QEH celebrated their 400th anniversary. 

Roy was a delightful man: gentle, kind and a real gentleman in every sense. 

The QEH motto “Dum tempus habemus operemer bonum”: “While we have time let us do good” seems entirely appropriate as Roy somehow always found time to help others in so many ways. 

When Roy left QEH in 1943 he received his Leaver’s Bible with “The Charge” as a unique QEH insert. 

“I charge you never to forget the great benefits that you have received in this place, and in time to come according to your means, to do all that you can to enable others to enjoy the same advantage: and remember that you carry with you, wherever you go, the good name of Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital. 

May God Almighty bless you in your ways and keep in you the knowledge of his love now and forever. 

Roy Avery lived up to the challenge presented by “The Charge” and we can be proud that he was one of our boys. 

Richard Gliddon, QEH Head, 1985 – 2000 

 

Roy was captain of our school in 1943-44 and I believe he was a good sportsman as well as an outstanding scholar. He went on to Magdalen College, Oxford and emerged with his Honours degree, starting a teaching career at BGS where he spent the first 9 years. He then taught for 6 years as senior history master at Haberdasher Askes school, Elstree. Appointed Headmaster at Harrow County school, he was in charge from 1965-75 before achieving the BGS Headship and completing his career in style from 1976-85. However, he continued to do some teaching after retirement, at Bristol Cathedral School and Redmaids. 

Somewhere along the line, he became the author of several books, one of which was ‘The Sky’s the Limit’, a biography of Bristol businessman and philanthropist John James. And of course, he wrote ‘While We Have Time’, the history of QEH 1590-1990. He would have consulted Richard Gliddon and others for his research and update of the history previously written by classics master F.W.E. Bowen, known lovingly as ‘Sid.’ 

Roy became a Bristol ‘legend’, highly regarded for his energy, hard work and modesty, underpinned by his open and always engaging personality. At 97, he probably outlived all his comrades who entered QEH in the mid-1930s. He was a perfect example of ‘doing good’ while he had time. Thankfully he was granted a lot of time and used it remarkably well. 

Roger Gould, OE, 1952-59. 

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