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News > Alumni News > Casket buried in College Chapel

Casket buried in College Chapel

Following November's release of the Howard's House history, Lerpoolian Ian Lightbody, sent in two photographs of the College Chapel which relate to the burial of Canon Howard's ashes there in 1961.

27 Nov 2020
Alumni News
RWH Casket in College Chapel
RWH Casket in College Chapel

Ian also provided some fascinating memories of Canon Bob Howard, which are reproduced below:-

'The Howard piece brought back a few memories as I'd met him a couple of times at School House in my early days as a boarder from 1955. Howard stayed at School House (more recently known as Godwyn House)  on the odd occasion he had a meeting of some sort in Liverpool. He'd take evening prayers sometimes alongside our housemaster, Alan Hodgkinson, and then would tour the dorms for a chat once we were in bed. In my first year he asked my name and which were my main subjects. The following year, on a similar visit, he came across me again and said "You're Lightbody, I remember, Physics and Chemistry". He had a memorable, quick, clipped way of speaking.

His wife, Nora, was a delightful person, too. Apparently, when the wife of the then porter, Bill Murray, gave birth to their youngest children, Nora would stay at their house, sleeping on a mattress on the living room floor, and looking after Mrs M and the new baby (there were twelve children altogether). They lived in a tiny terrace house in a side street off Lark Lane. Howard had taken on Murray as gardener and handy man in the early1930s. It was said that Murray had been Lawrence of Arabia's batman - at least that was what we School House guys had been told. In reality, Murray had been in the navy and, with a few other men had rowed Lawrence ashore for the conference at Akaba (as it was spelt), so at least he had had contact with Lawrence.Murray worked at the College for 35 years and retired when he was 80.

Howard's ashes are in a casket under a floor slate in the chapel by the altar. There had been a small, private family service during an afternoon in the Lent term of 1961 and afterwards, as chapel wardens, Nigel McCulloch (later to become Bishop of Manchester) and I replaced the slate, ready for it to be grouted back in the following morning. Howard apparently chose the floor in the choir/altar areas to be slate and the altar curtain to be dark blue as he was fond of the mountain scenery in North Wales around Snowdon. '


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