Rupert Stephens died on Friday 18th October in Kingston Hospital. He was 85.
Educated at Marlborough and St John’s College, Oxford, he came to Hurst in September 1949 at the same time as Bill Alban and Dick Heald teaching in the Junior House until he moved on to Kingston Grammar School in 1956 from where he retired.
Rupert was a great sportsman playing hockey into his seventies and squash into his eighties. Graham Croll had many battles with him on the squash court and finally won a match against him only after he had passed his retirement age! Rupert’s lasting legacy will be setting up of a squash section at Kingston Grammar. He was in the early days hampered by the lack of facilities and the fact that the first call for the best games players was hockey. (Kingston Grammar is one of the leading hockey schools). However, his perseverance saw the building of squash courts and one of his early prodigies, Tom Hendry, went on to get a Blue and then play for England.
Rupert was very active outside the school, being a committee member of both the Lansdowne and RAC clubs, a magistrate, and a staunch Conservative member. He was elected to the Kingston Council; unfortunately, it was discovered that as he was a teacher at Kingston Grammar, which was funded by Kingston Council, he was indirectly an employee of the council and therefore ineligible for office. This must be one of the shortest terms of office for any councilor.
The funeral took place on 14 November 2002 at Ruyton XI Towns, Shropshire.