Reynolds, Richard W
Richard died in September 2006.
He was the younger brother of David A Reynolds (Star 1954). After leaving Hurst Richard qualified as a solicitor and later became Chairman and Managing Director of Jameel Organistaion Ltd.
Several of Richard’s friends from his days at Hurst have contacted the Editor to say how sad they have been to hear of his death last September. Although over the years inevitably Richard lost touch with many of them, it is very warming to learn that he is remembered with considerable affection. I have been asked if it is possible to know something more of his life than the necessarily rather brief notice which has appeared in the journal so far. I am delighted to try to enlarge a little.
Through our father, who was himself ‘something in the City’, Richard always had an interest in the City of London and its traditions. When he left Hurst he went straight there. He studied law as an articled clerk with the distinguished firm of Linklaters and Paines, and in 1961 qualified as a fully-fledged solicitor, with an interest particularly in commercial law. Typical of Richard, he did not discover until very many years later that in his qualification he had achieved some of the highest marks ever recorded by a candidate from his parent firm. This qualification, however, he regarded only as a first step into entering commerce itself as a career.
Richard’s commercial ambitions then took him through a sequence of appointments with a variety of very well-known companies headquartered in the City. For a spell, to his delight, he even found himself based in Sydney, Australia, a city and country for which he never subsequently lost his enthusiasm. Back at home, he enjoyed considerable regard as one of the rising stars of the City, at one point being the subject of a full-length profile in the business section of The Times. Later he joined a large firm of importers based in the Middle East, his particular task being to develop the company’s real estate holdings worldwide. In those years, negotiation of the purchase of a few skyscrapers in New York was for him a matter of mere daily routine! However, as time went on Richard decided he would rather work for himself than for others. He went into property development in his own interest, concentrating on projects in and around London.
It had always been Richard’s intention to retire as early as possible and in his mid-fifties this is what he achieved. By then he knew exactly what in life gave him particular enjoyment and he determined to enjoy his days to the full. In his working years his interest in property had showed itself in a succession of elegant homes, all in Knightsbridge. When he retired the homes were created instead in places as far afield as Cornwall (the family has strong Cornish origins), West Palm Beach in Florida and eventually in his real spiritual home, near St Tropez in the south of France. He had just completed building a home there when sadly his life ended.
Other passions were for highly-sophisticated wheels (one never knew just what would arrive on the drive next), and glamorous sea and river motor-boats, of which he owned a succession. The love of water (except in his J & B Rare, always to hand) he had acquired as a student when he had joined the RNVR at its headquarters HMS President, moored immovably on the Embankment in Westminster. In his time in the Reserve, he rose through the ranks from basic Able-Seaman to full commission as Lieutenant, a substantial achievement.
From his travels Richard had of course created a very wide circle of friends, and he supported also a very strong attachment to the various branches of his own family. He never married. Routine and rigid ties were not his thing. They just did not fit his idea of life lived to the full. For some reason he always had said that he did not expect to make ‘old bones’, and sadly this prediction came true. While in America he developed heart problems, from which he never fully recovered, despite surgery there. After his move to France later, it is believed it was a complication of his medication which precipitated his final illness, a rare but lethal form of aggressive anaemia. He was treated with magnificent skill by the staff of a specialist hospital in Marseille, but the problem was too much for them all. After a nine-month battle, on 1st September last year, Richard finally succumbed, at the too young age of 67. He was cremated in France, and the ashes will return to Cornwall.
Shortly after his death, his family and friends held a memorial service for him at St Mary’s Bourne Street near his beloved Sloane Square. The service and hymns were selected deliberately to recall the occasions he enjoyed so much during his days at Hurst. He remembered his old school always with great affection, believing that it was there that he acquired the very high standards and principles which had stood him in such good stead throughout his colourful life. Richard was a man very much loved and respected by not just his family, but by all who knew him. He will be much missed.