Long-serving Gresham’s head dies at 98

Pupils and staff at Gresham’s School, rugby players and many others in Holt and further afield are mourning the passing of Logie Bruce-Lockhart, who has died at the age of 98.

LBL, as he was known, was headmaster of the school from 1955 to 1982. He died peacefully in hospital on September 7 after a short illness.

Current head Douglas Robb said: “It was my great pleasure to be welcomed by LBL to Gresham’s six years ago. Logie came to lunch at the aptly named Lockhart House just before my first term started and entertained everyone with great stories and good humour.

“I became the recipient of a large number of immaculate letters in tiny handwriting which seemed to have better insight into what was happening at school than I could gain from visiting the classrooms and houses! The warmth with which he held the school was obvious and I feel lucky to have met him.”

Mr Bruce-Lockhart, who had been a Scottish international rugby player, was the school’s longest serving headmaster of the modern era and really made his mark, with a real passion for young people.

Logie Bruce-Lockhart has died at the age of 98. Photo: Gresham’s School.

Brought up in a teaching family, he served with the Household Cavalry and was one of the first British soldiers to enter the Belsen concentration camp. Forthright, strong-willed, yet always kind and good-humoured, he was known for trusting and supporting his staff and pupils, often championing the individual and the unorthodox.

Mr Robb said he was a “soldier, sportsman, botanist, musician, linguist, author, but more than anything a schoolmaster, family man and friend”.

He loved the countryside, and enjoyed fishing, bird-watching and fungi-hunting.

He also loved classical music and watercolour painting and was probably best known outside the school as a raconteur.

Logie Bruce-Lockhart was well-known for his humour throughout his life. Photo: Gresham’s School.

His considerable sporting prowess won him five rugby caps for Scotland and he was the founding president of Holt Rugby Club, in 1961.

Current president Paul Williams said: “As headmaster of Gresham’s School, Logie enthusiastically supported the inauguration of our club in 1961, remaining steadfastly interested throughout the following 59 years. His smiling features, friendly advice, expert rugby knowledge and profoundly wise counsel were always a huge tonic for all at our club.

“Holt RFC has been immensely privileged to have had such a wonderful worldly character as our first president and long-term vice-president. He will be sorely missed.”

There will be a private funeral at St. Andrew’s, Holt, followed by interment in the churchyard, which is where Logie’s wife Jo and daughter Kirsty are buried.

Various celebrations of his life will be arranged later.

There will be more about one of Holt’s most popular and influential characters in the next edition of Just Holt.

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