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News > Announcements > Obituaries > In Memoriam: David Norman Hearson (65-69)

In Memoriam: David Norman Hearson (65-69)

You are warmly welcomed to leave a message below, share your memories, and celebrate the life of David Hearson (65-69), who we sadly lost in 2022.
30 Jan 2022
Obituaries

DAVID NORMAN HEARSON

David Hearson (65-69) died after a fall in Scotland on January 18 th , 2022, aged 70. He left a wife Dawn and two children. His funeral will be held at 1:30 pm on Tuesday 8th February at St. Mary’s Church, Kingsbury Street, Marlborough SN8 1JE.

Paul Hearson (65-70), David’s twin brother, writes: “We arrived at the Nautical College, Pangbourne in September 1965 and, after a term in Port Jackson, joined Illawarra. David embraced everything that Pangbourne had to offer and, in time, became Captain of Rugby, a
member of the 1 st VIII and CCC of Illawarra. In 1972 he joined IBM and began life as a salesman in the Office Products Division. David’s next role took him to IBM’s European HQ in Paris where he promoted the introduction of the personal computer around Europe and eventually became personal assistant to the head of IBM Europe. He lived in a beautiful apartment in the Place de la Republique and travelled extensively – a trait which was to continue throughout his working life.


In 1991 he moved to Saudi Business Machines based in Jeddah. This company was the main agent for the purchase and onward sale of PCs into the Kingdom and the wider Middle East. He married in November 1990, and his two children were born before he left Saudi in 1995 to return to the UK as Chief Executive of Latchways.

At this time Latchways was a small manufacturer of fall arrest systems based in Devizes, Wiltshire, and was mainly owned by a private equity company. Two years after David arrived, Latchways became a public company quoted on the London Stock Exchange, involving a number of large stakeholders. It is a tribute to David that when Latchways was taken over by MSA in November 2015, nearly all of these interests remained as shareholders. In 20 years, David took the company’s turnover from £1.5 million a year to over £42 million a year, with the majority of output going to export.

By the time he started at Latchways, David and his wife Dawn had acquired Granham Farm near Marlborough which had 80 acres of paddocks dedicated to breeding and raisin racehorses for sale or to race. If David took on a project, he immersed himself in it completely and always wanted to be the best. In an industry dominated by some very big players, he more than played his part. Among his breeding successes was Aqlaam which was sold as a yearling to Hamdan Al Maktoum. Aqlaam earned half a million pounds on the racecourse including winning the Jersey stakes at Ascot and the Prix du Moulin at Longchamp and later became a stallion in his own right. Many breeders would wait a lifetime for such a success. David took just four years. He sold the farm a few months ago and had bought a house in the Highlands.

When living in Paris David had begun a lifelong interest in wine. He had a magnificent cellar which, with his usual generosity, he shared with both friends and family. In his younger days he enjoyed sailing and whilst in Saudi Arabia he gained his diving qualifications. He also loved fishing but, above all, he enjoyed the good company and rapport of friends. David enjoyed life immensely and had a wonderful family with which to share it. He was a most generous and kind man who not only gave 100% but rightly expected the same from others. On the whole he got it as well. A full life well lived. He will be missed by many.”

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