John Adrian Millbourn (Staff 1974-1993)

13 June 1933 - 10 June 2021

John, who died earlier this year at the age of 87, was master in charge of rowing and a geography teacher at City of London School from 1974-1993.

Before becoming a teacher in the late 1960s, John worked for an engineering business in the UK and South Africa but was always most interested in rowing. A one-year teaching attachment to Monkton Combe School gave him a keenness for School life.

In 1969 John returned to Trinity College, Oxford where he had gained an undergraduate degree, to get his Dip. Ed. and, more importantly, to coach the college’s first eight. Thereafter he moved to London, and after a brief stint at St Paul's School, he moved to Emanuel School, where he would spend the next five years, teaching geography and coaching rowing, including one eight which included a set of triplets!

When John came to City of London School from Emanuel School in 1974, it was as an experienced teacher and hardened oarsman - though he claimed that his mere eleven stone as an Oxford undergraduate disqualified him from the university blue boat.

CLS Boat Club, under his tutelage, entered a halcyon period, in which the highlight was trouncing the Eton eight at Henley. School rowers were led by John to Holland, France and Israel, and he himself was a competitor in the Venetian voga longa, a sculling race around the lagoon. Few of our staff are as well-travelled. Geography, in which, though weaker souls groaned under JAM's punishing homework loads, they acknowledged the eventual good results.

John took two sabbaticals whilst at CLS. The first of these involved racing Gipsy Moth V to Australia and Hong Kong (where he taught Gurkhas English) and the second overland to the East where four months in India compensated for missing the Whitbread Round The World race  John retired from CLS in 1993.

Post-retirement, John lived on a farm in Ashmore on the Wiltshire/Dorset border, where he would involve himself in the local community and take a very real interest in farming and country life. Shortly before he died, John moved to Henley, to be closer to family and the epicentre of rowing.

John is survived by his sister Suzi in South Africa, his three children Anna, David and Katie, six grandchildren Alice, Louis, Yasmin, Luca, Oliver and Edward, and by his niece and nephews in South Africa, Nicola, Duncan and Mark.

With thanks to John’s son, David, for his involvement in this obituary and Jonathan Keates (former staff) for the original valete for John, produced in 1993 which forms some of the obituary.