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News > Announcements > Obituaries > In Memoriam: Richard Bower (51 - 55)

In Memoriam: Richard Bower (51 - 55)

You are warmly welcomed to leave a message below, share your memories and celebrate the life of Richard Bower (51 - 55) who we sadly lost in 2023.
29 Mar 2023
Written by Sue Carpenter
Obituaries
Remembering Richard Bower
Remembering Richard Bower

Richard Bower (51-55) died on 26th January 2023 aged 85. He left a wife Carole, a son
Alexander who attended the College from 1975-80, two daughters Nicolette and Louise, and
six grandchildren. His long-time friend Michael Skinner gave the Eulogy at his funeral on
17th February 2023 at St. Mary’s church, Winterborne Zelston, Dorset on which this obituary
is based.


At the Nautical College, which he joined in September 1951 from Hordle House prep school,
Milford-on-Sea, Richard had a fine sporting record, playing in the tennis team for four years
(captaining it in 1955; later he was to reach the semi-finals at Junior Wimbledon), the squash
team, and the 1st X1 hockey team in 1955. The Log for Lent term 1955 described Richard as
“the most improved (hockey) player in the College. He has acquired considerable skill with
his stick (at full back), hits the ball very cleanly and has played some very good games.”


Academia was not, by his own account, Richard’s strong suit at school although he had a gift
for languages and spoke, read and wrote French fluently. On leaving the NCP he did his
National Service in the Army, subsequently deciding to join full-time and attending RMA
Sandhurst. He was then commissioned into an armoured regiment, the 3rd Carabiniers (Prince
of Wales’s Dragoon Guards). Whilst in this regiment he played hockey for the Army, became
a polo player of some repute and coached fencing.


Postings over the next 15 years took him to many places abroad but, in particular, to the
Middle East – firstly Libya, Kuwait and then the U.A.E. where he was based for five years.
Throughout he was much helped by his colloquial Arabic and natural communication skills.
However, in his mid-30s, by then a Major and 2nd in Command of the Armoured Brigade Abu
Dhabi Defence Force, he decided to leave the Army in 1972 and concentrate on his passion
for woodlands.


Setting up home in Dorset, he founded Winterborne Zelston Fencing, a company specialising
in the manufacture of cleft fencing – a fence made by splitting a log radially. Over the next 50
years, he became a leading power for the good in this sector, holding a Royal Warrant of
Appointment to the then Prince of Wales and becoming President of the Highgrove
Association in 2014. During his year in office, he organised two Woodland Conferences at
Highgrove. In 2021 an article about him in the Woodland Heritage magazine attributed his
success to “ethos, education and ethics,” arguing that these were the key attributes to
Richard’s timber supply chain.


Following his death, Richard’s passionate advocacy for the causes he believed in – and above
all the conservation and management of English woodlands in order to achieve a sustainable
future – was acclaimed by many. Louse called him “the kindest, most generous man I have
known; nothing was too much trouble for him. If he could see a need – and it was within his
ability to do something about it – he just did it.” Michael Skinner described him as “a
wonderful and loyal friend in the truest Pangbourne tradition.” He added: “The world could
do with more people like Richard. How we will miss him!”

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