Harry Leigh-Dugmore – A Tribute
OV Rugby Team 1936-37 (Harry back row 6th from left bother David 3rd from left
Members may recall a report in the Summer 2016 Edition of the Old Veseyan News of a visit by a group of Shaggy Dogs to see Harry Leigh-Dugmore at his new home in High Wycombe. It was on the occasion Of Harry's 95th Birthday. The visit was made by John Whittaker, Brian Darlaston, Phil Baker, Harry Matthews, Bill Tingle and Nick Hammond. Before he moved south Harry would attend the Shaggy Dogs luncheon group each month in various Sutton hostelries and was always lively and knowledgeable company.
His daughter, Felicity, has prepared and sent us the following obituary:-
Charles Henry ‘Harry’ Leigh-Dugmore
9 April 1920 – 8 March 2020
‘Harry Leigh’ nearly reached 100 and was probably one of the oldest survivors of the WW2 Dunkirk Evacuation about which he wrote in an article for The Old Veseyan Magazine in 2011.
He went to Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School from 1930-37. He took part in several of the School’s Gilbert and Sullivan productions such as playing Katisha in the 1933 production of The Mikado. Harry and his younger brother, David, are both in the Rugby First Team photo for 1936-37 (back row 6th and 3rd from the left respectively).
A problem at home almost resulted in him leaving school early but his headmaster refused to let him leave the sixth form until he had matriculated. That headmaster, ‘Boss Jones’, did even more and lined up an interview for Harry at Dunlop. How many people can say that they never applied for a job in their entire working life!
His career at Dunlop was initially in rubber testing where he met his future wife. After army service he spent many years completing a Mathematics degree via a correspondence course in his spare time. Meanwhile pioneering work investigating rubber was undertaken using electron microscopy. He wrote one of the earliest books on the use of this new research instrument and published numerous papers in scientific journals. Still at Dunlop his employment changed direction when he became the Personnel Manager for the Research Centre.
When retirement arrived, he had more time to spend on his many hobbies which including golf, genealogy, crosswords etc. He also embraced any new IT using an early computer to write the history of Walmley Golf Club and starting using an iPad in his 90s.
Having moved to Sutton Coldfield when 9th months old he lived there until he was 95 apart from his army service during WW2. The School played a continuous part in his life as he gained an Old Veseyan as a son in law, wrote articles for The Old Veseyan Magazine, and attended the Shaggy Dogs Summer Tea Parties etc. He is survived by 2 children, 5 granddaughters, and 7 great grandchildren plus a great niece who is about to marry yet another Old Veseyan!
Harry's funeral will be held at Sutton Crematorium on 1st April. Sadly current circumstances will not allow OVA representation.