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News > Remembering OV > J R C Young

J R C Young

Anecdotes from a First Former in the 50's
Oxford University PGD Robbins (Captain) J R C Young (seated right) both Old Veseyans
Oxford University PGD Robbins (Captain) J R C Young (seated right) both Old Veseyans


Music, OVA, Rugby

J R C Young 1937-2020

Many Alumni will have seen the obituary to John Young in The Times on Wednesday 25th March 2020.

In paying tribute to this controversial Old Veseyan, I thought it would be appropriate to relate a few simple anecdotes from the early 1950’s. Even then there were rumours of an active social life outside school hours.

My early life at BVGS (1954 onwards) coincided with John Young’s two final years at school before he went up to Oxford University. John’s younger brother, Nigel, known in school as “Bud” was also a student at BVGS at the same time.

My earliest memories are of John and Mickey Bolland as a formidable centre pairing in the 1st XV. If my memory serves me correctly Richard (Dickie) Thomas was at full back at a similar time. We have seen Richard at recent Shaggy Dogs Tea parties.

I recall JRC playing Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night, or was it Sir Toby Belch, in the annual Christmas Shakespeare play ( I forget) produced so ably by Les Chatwin – English master at the time.

I remember the News of the World reporting John Young’s triumph at the AAA athletic championships – not a newspaper of choice but one that was devoured by all in the boarding house on that particular following Sunday.

Who can ever forget the coaches lined up in Boswell Road one December ready to transport a major element of the school to Twickenham for the Varsity match in which JRC Young and PGD Robbins were both to play. I think there were six coach loads of us.

For all the career and sporting successes, one cannot but feel sympathy for a larger than life character who lost his wife prematurely and outlived his two sons.

We must remember John’s daughter and our fellow Shaggy Dog, Peter Yates, at this time.

Nick Hammond


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