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News > In Memoriam > RIP Chris Tyrone Patterson

RIP Chris Tyrone Patterson

Remembering Chris Tyrone Patterson (Class of 1972)

In June we shared the sad news of the death of OP Chris Tyrone Patterson (Class of 1972) on Sunday 20 February after a valiant battle against prostate cancer. Chris's funeral service and cremation took place in Leamington in March.

His brother Paul wrote: Chris was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, the eldest of five children to Robert 'Pat' Patterson, an army officer, and Kaye (née Devlin), a housewife. He and I started together at Princethorpe as full-time boarders in 1968 when Father JK Fleming was the headmaster. Chris would laughingly recall Fr Fleming's proud boast that he knew each and every school boy’s Christian names – except he always got ours mixed-up.

Having passed his 'A' levels Chris left Princethorpe to train as a Quantity Surveyor. Once qualified he put his career on hold and headed to Perth, Australia where he tried his hand as a modern-day gold prospector in Kalgoorlie, a rugged outback town.

After a year or two Chris returned overland to England. The nomadic life clearly suited him as he got a job as a guide with Sundowners Adventure Travel, an Australian tour company. With them Chris took coachloads of passengers across Europe to Asia, repeatedly crisscrossing the highways of Scandinavia, Russia, the Middle East and North Africa, Nepal and India.

His story telling was legendary. From fending-off gun wielding Pathans in the Khyber Pass to hurtling through the streets of Tel Aviv with one of his passengers suffering from acute dysentery to get urgent medical help – Chris took it all in his stride.

Along the way he became proficient in a number of languages, used-up a large amount of passports – and met his wife, Jude, a fellow traveller backpacking her way from Australia. They bought a cottage in Stratford upon Avon which, over the years, they made into a delightful home.
He returned to surveying, primarily in Saudi Arabia, where he worked on vast new-builds. His last was the Red Sea Project. He was proud to have been the first on site, arranging and supervising the infrastructure from the bare sand. Always affable Chris was relied on to appease the local Bedouin who didn't take kindly to what they perceived as their ancestral lands being usurped. Thanks to his skilful diplomacy – and a deal that entailed building them a decent water well – armed conflict was avoided.

In his leisure time Chris expanded his encyclopaedic knowledge of rock music, of which he was an aficionado. And researching into our father's war record from when he was a Pathfinder with the SOE in India and Burma. Both hobbies which he was looking forward to developing in his retirement.

An excerpt from Chris' sister, Clare's eulogy: Thank you, Chris, for the immeasurable impact you had on us throughout our lives; for sharing the most wonderful growing up years, brimming full of happy memories and such laughter. You are my treasured eldest brother and we are always connected, no matter where we are. Now our love travels with you. Rest your body, rest your mind, rest your heart, rest every ounce of your being. Your shadow will never ever fade. With a broken-open heart. Your ever-loving sister Clare.

We send our deepest condolences to Chris' family and friends and are happy to pass any messages back to the family.

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