On behalf of us all, a bouquet of spring flowers was sent to Neil’s funeral with the
‘In grateful thanks for many years of service to the 70th'
‘Stand at Ease'
At the service of thanksgiving for Neil’s life, Chris Buss spoke of Neil’s time in the 70th
and his words are included in this edition, along with a recollection of Neil from Martin
Daphne Knights…
Daphne closely supported her husband Peter during some 30 years of service to the
Company and during part of that period she also served as a GLB Lieutenant. She
remained in continuous contact with both the 7th and the 70th communities and was an
'ever present' at any Company gathering. Her bright greeting, loyal friendship and wise
counsel will be greatly missed.
Our thanks to Sheila Davies and Sheila Clark for their tributes to Daphne included in this issue. These tributes
together with some of the many immediate reactions received to the news of Daphne’s passing.
Ron Webb…
Ron Webb joined the Company in 1941 and it was he who persuaded his father William ('Pop') Webb, a local police
officer, to become the acting Captain during a difficult time for the 70th when all Officers were engaged in the war
effort. Ron involved himself with the Boys Brigade wherever his work took him and this was evidenced by the many
hands that went up when the question "how many here today are connected with the Boys Brigade?" was asked at his
thanksgiving service.
Also in this Edition...
Two 'memory joggers' from Pete Ellis, our thanks to him, and feedback on the piece re. 'Walter Pook' that appeared in
the last edition...
2 Chris#
Newsletter of Old Boys & Friends of 70
London BB Company
October 2015
Losses from our Communit
Losses from our CommunitLosses from our Communit
Losses from our Communities
Since March we have sadly lost two long standing pillars of the 70
BB and 7th GLB/GB communities in Neil Pheasant
and Daphne Knights and also Ron Webb, who was a boy in the company during World War II.
Neil Pheasant…
Neil joined the 70th in 1965, was a Lieutenant from 1975-80 and again from 1984-89 and the Company Captain from
1980-84 – nearly 25 years of direct involvement. Although suffering an increasingly debilitating illness in r
ecent years,
Neil kept in touch, always helpful and offering encouragement and he drew strength from being so deeply part of the
and it’s history.
Naming names
Naming namesNaming names
Naming names
In Reflections edition 10, April 2013, there is a
photograph of the 1965 Gym Team. Three faces were
unidentified. The boy in the back row on the left is
Andy Taylor who lived in Poplar Ave, Mitcham. I
thought he had an elder brother in the company, but
cannot find his name in my collection of old
membership cards. The boy on the far right is possibly
Trevor (?) and the one seated on the left again possibly
Lloyd (?). These last two are only my guesses, but
perhaps these names will prompt someone’s memory…
Pete Ellis
The Website…
Thanks to the receipt of further membership cards from Peter Ellis and Hazel Willson – her father Arthur Bowbeer’s
large collection - we can now display scans of card covers, with a few gap years (mainly during the war) from 1936 to
1977 and staff / squad name lists wherever a company handbook was included. There are some striking cover designs
and, for those in the Company during the period, the lists will provide recollections of many long forgotten names and
The Reflections Newsletter...
Regretfully, this will be the last edition of 'Reflections' in its current format... From the beginning Alan set the bar high
for presentation and content and he and the other committee members have sought to maintain this level, but finding
'copy' for recent editions has proved increasingly difficult. We have found that 'voluntary', as opposed to 'pressed',
contributions have dried up and the feeling has grown that we have extracted most everything that you wish to relate...
We will continue to inform of 'Parish Notices', via an email / letter in the form of a ‘mini Reflections’ and the website
will continue as an archive of 70th material.
As those of you who have produced similar newsletters will know, such publications cannot be produced without
considerable skill, thought and effort and our thanks are due to Alan for his leading role in this. Thanks also to the
committee, to the many past contributors and to Chris Buss for his assistance with printing and its associated costs.
Alan has put this in his own words in a 'reflective' piece in this edition...
In closing, please keep Jack Fishpool, Bill Pizey, Bernard Shaw and Gerald (Geb) Rance in your thoughts and prayers
Page 2
eil joined the BB in early 1966, serving as a boy and then an officer
until going into ministerial training in 1988. I will try to avoid what has
been said earlier and some of what I will say is repeating Neil’s own
words written in 2007.
Neil explains how he joined the BB and what happened next…
“It was my Mum’s idea! You just did not say “no” to my Mum. She
invited Curly (Peter Knights, the Captain) round for a cup of tea
as I recall and that was that. I have got to admit I was not keen to
start with but the boys were very friendly. The first night was a
Drill Parade just a week or so before the Annual Display. That fi
night really sticks in my memory. I felt a little bit in awe of the
discipline and the need to clean uniform etc. Rolly Clark inspected
me, calling me “mate” and telling me that
my hair needed a lot of
brush and comb. I got to watch the drill session as Fred Bateman
put them through their paces. Then there was some pretty
spectacular gym practice for the display. Why did I stay? I guess BB
intrigued me. A bit scary, but it demanded something. Besides,
no-one had ever called me “mate” before. You could just sense
the friendliness, even through the strong discipline. I just went
home and asked Mum to buy me a brush and comb.
I was a bit of slow starter when it came to the activity side of
things, but things like First Aid, Communications (Morse code etc),
and Expeditions all held their attractions.
My BIG hate was cross-country running. We HAD to do it at camp. One cross-country run could wipe out a
whole year’s good experiences. I always came back from camp vowing to leave the Company before the new
session started – I never did though.
Reaching the age limit in 1973 Neil undertook basic training - in 1975 becoming a Lieutenant and then Company
Captain in 1980. As has been explained Neil took the drill book on honeymoon with him, becoming the 2nd 70th
captain to do such a thing, also, at the 2008 centenary event, Neil admitted that he chose his wedding day October
- Founders day, so he would never forget his anniversary.
It was in 1982 that I met Neil and we served together for six years until he went to Bible College. During that time
we had a great number of humorous and serious occasions which would take many hours to recount. We also had a
great group of lads who made it a delight to serve even if it did involve most weekends travelling around London
and further afield… I will try and summarise as best I can…
Neil as captain and as an officer had what can best be described as an interesting sense of humour with his bad
puns and one liners and his descriptive wit - when at one camp, where we were visited by some robust GB officers
who were complaining about a nocturnal visit by some of the boys, he described them as “castors” as they
appeared to have no visible means of perambulation!
A tribute to Neil Pheasant
A tribute to Neil PheasantA tribute to Neil Pheasant
A tribute to Neil Pheasant
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