Baldwin, Jonathan B
Jonathan, or Jon as he was generally known, died after a short and sudden illness in August 2005.
Jon was the middle of three Baldwin brothers who were all at Hurst and in Fleur de Lys in the 1960s. After a successful career, he left Hurst for a gap year, unusual in those days, following an inspirational sermon in chapel, to teach with the Bush Brotherhood in Australia.
He returned to read Botany at the University of Southampton where he met Lucy, whom he was later to marry. On graduation, he joined Whitbreads as a brewer and remained with that company for the rest of his career, frequently moving around England to breweries and maltings. He was always happy to share in his typically humorous manner his great knowledge of the brewing process and its end product. Indeed, after Whitbread sold its brewing interests to Interbrew, he continued in a training role and was retained as a consultant after his retirement at the end of 2004.
Jon had a great love of golf. He was a keen member of the OHJ Golfing Society from 1988 and joined when his handicap was 17 which improved over the years to an impressive 8, during which time he won a number of cups. He was a popular member of the Golfing Society, not only for his prowess but also his enthusiasm for the game.
Peter Lee Smith, School friend and fellow biologist, writes: “He was a great all-rounder, a talented and sociable person. We both gained a love of biology from “Jim” Peters and spent hours dissecting dogfish blood vessels, particularly appetising before Friday’s fish lunch! We also enjoyed healthy competition in cross country and athletics under Mr Pinney. Jon was also a talented hockey player and his enthusiasm survived a bad injury from catching a vigorously struck ball full in the mouth; the 1967 edition of The Johnian reads “Baldwin, who showed admirable spirit in recovering so smartly from so nasty an accident in the first match, was the inspiration of the Hurst attack.”
He was always up for a challenge, a run back to School from Ditchling Beacon or Brighton Pier, and not forgetting a tour of the West Country in Martin Sherwin’s pre-war Morris! Jon’s commonsense and his no nonsense qualities earned him a School prefect’s white tie. Jon was a loyal friend to people in all walks of life and we remained comfortably in contact for over 40 years. He had a wicked sense of humour, a great love of life and he shared his knowledge with modest enthusiasm. My abiding memory of Jon will be his face grinning a welcome over a tray of Boddingtons.
Jon had a great affection for Hurst, for the friends he made there and for the good start the School gave to his life. He was devoted to his family; his wife Lucy, and his three children Tom, Holly and Jack, of all of whom he was inordinately proud. He will be greatly missed by his family and his brothers.”
J H Peters writes: “Jon was one of the most reliable and enthusiastic boys ever to enter Fleur de Lys. Although he left the school in 1967, I still remember his cheerful, outgoing personality. Always ready to accept a challenge, he quickly overcame any setbacks. I clearly remember how impressed I was, when, within a few days of experiencing a frightening accident in a school hockey match in which he lost four teeth, he wrote to assure the opponent who had hit the ball into his face, that no blame was to be attached to him. He was a highly respected school prefect and an outstanding hockey player and cross country runner. Biology became his main academic interest and he spent many voluntary hours in my laboratory carrying out practical work. I was delighted when he gained a place at Southampton University, from where he went on to pursue a successful career in brewing. He visited us quite recently, displaying still the same cheerful open personality and clearly still the same person whose first decision on leaving school was to take up a post with the Bush Brothers in Australia, finding there an opportunity to help others. I am very sad that he died so young.”