Tributes paid to grammar school’s ‘oldest boy’

Bill Mead
Bill Mead

Aylesbury Grammar School’s oldest former pupil has died at the age of 98.

Bill Mead, who attended the school during the 1920s, passed away at Stoke Mandeville Hospital on Sunday July 20.

Mr Mead, described as ‘a bastion of AGS’ by outgoing headteacher Stephen Lehec went on to serve as a foundation trustee and governor and later as chairman of governors and chairman of the AGS Foundation.

Mr Lehec said: “I have very fond memories of sitting with Bill in foundation meetings in my early days as head, listening to his descriptions and memories of AGS, and particularly seeing him at nearly every AGS service of lessons and carols which he thoroughly enjoyed.

“He stayed as an adviser until 2010 and he was a great person to have around.

“He knew the way that everything worked and I could ask him anything.”

Mr Lehec added there were plans to remember Mr Mead within the school during the new term.

He said: “We haven’t decided what form any remembrance event will take yet but it is very likely there will be either a special assembly or memorial service in September.”

Mr Mead was also an Emeritus Professor of Geography at UCL and head of the university’s geography department for 16 years.

He wrote a host of publications, mainly academic and often focused on Finland and Scandinavia.

He also wrote a book to mark 400 years of the grammar school ‘History of Aylesbury Grammar School - 1598 - 1998’ and ‘Aylesbury: A Personal Memoir from the 1920s.’

Keith Smith, who was the head at the school from 1967 to 1992 said: “Bill was a very kind and caring person who was a great help to me during my time in charge at AGS.

“I don’t think the school has ever had anyone as helpful as Bill and he always had it’s best interests at heart.

“He was a very private person but a very loyal friend at the same time.

“If he spoke at meetings, everyone would listen.”

Mr Mead, born in Stewkley, lived in Aston Clinton before he took respite care in Chilton Nursing Home near Brill.