Claude Francis Lewis
(25.6.1913 - 31.4.2005)
Mr C F Lewis started work at Holloway Comprehensive
School as Deputy
Headmaster to Mr M W Brown. He
became headmaster in 1960 and retired in 1973.
When he was a boy, he had attended Bec School
in Tooting. He excelled there becoming Head Boy, Vice Captain of the Rugby team and was a crack shot gaining the Bell Medal at
the rifle club. He went to London
and obtained an honours degree in French and Latin.
His first post was as assistant master at Mitcham Grammar School.
Staff were needed to take boys camping – at Morgat in
France, and thus he was introduced to the
camping life and bought his first tent.
During the war, he became a P T Instructor in the RAF
at Filey, taught gunnery and was subsequently commissioned and sent out to Penang. In
1948 he married and had two daughters, Clare and Barbara: Barbara is now
Head of Modern Languages at Winchester College.
From Mitcham he moved to Holloway which, at the time,
was one of the first comprehensives in
with approximately 1300 pupils.
With Fred Lindgren, an Old Boy, and his wife, he took his daughters to camps
that were organised for boys who could not afford to go on holiday. They all
went on expeditions with the boys.
HHe became a sailing
enthusiast and many holidays were spent camping and sailing all over
with his daughters. Walking was
another hobby that he pursued – again with his two daughters.
In 1973 he retired and moved to Emsworth at the head of Chichester Harbour where he had a boat.
He became Commodore and later Treasurer of Emsworth Cruising
Association. He taught part
time near Chichester and became a School
Governor in Havant.
When the boat was sold he was accepted as a
member of Chichester Arts Society excelling at not only producing very high
class portraits but also landscapes.
Many of his pictures were sold privately at various exhibitions and
his portraits were often bought by the people who sat for him. He held two
posts of office for the Chichester Arts Society and often kindly helped
other members by taking them to weekly evening demonstrations etc.
He was modest, multitalented, even embarking on
learning to play the classical guitar in his 80’s.
He moved to Cornwall to be near his
eldest daughter, Clare, enjoying visits to local projects like the Eden
Project and the National Marine Aquarium in
Although battling with cancer for the last
13 years, he remained a gregarious man with a strong sense of fun.
With all his talents, energy and warmth, and wide circle of friends,
he touched an enormous number of people.
His influence would always be a good one and far more than most
people would be able to exert.
He kept in touch with his former colleague,
Mr M W Brown (known as Meredith) up until he passed away aged 98.
Mr C F Lewis died in April 2005 having reached the age of 91.
Clare Austin – Daughter