Obituary: Michael Rees


Michael Rees
(OC 1957-1964)

Born 9 December 1945, died 14 December 2021

Mick was the first person I met when I turned up at Mottrams as an 11-year-old boarder in September 1957, a little boy lost who had never been away from home before. Mick took care of me and we palled up and remained friends for the whole of our time at Caterham. I was then, and remain, very grateful to him for his kindness and friendship.

As a teenager, Mick found boarding at Caterham restrictive and his inability to keep to what he saw as the irritating rules got him into hot water from time to time. As a result, although undoubtedly of Oxbridge material, he was not able to stay on for the extra term in the Sixth Form to take the entrance exams. Instead, with his great friend David Burden, he went to Bristol University, where he took a First in Maths.

Our paths then diverged for 50 years, until the reunion of 1964 leavers in 2014, with Mick meanwhile making a successful career in IT in the US and living also in Australia, Mexico and France. He married twice and fathered two sons and two daughters and was an attentive grandfather. With Andrew Butler (with whom Mick and I had shared a study in Townsend House as Prefects in the Upper Sixth), and others, we all met at the 2014 reunion. It was a delight to see Mick again as we toured the school campus, identifying familiar spots and delighting in the changes which had taken place over the years.

Mick certainly lived life to the full and, despite one or two misteps along the way, he always retained the mischievous charm and capacity for loyalty that made him such a great friend. With Michael Carter (1957-64), I attended his funeral in Swanage on 10 January, where he was buried beside his father in the town where he had spent his childhood. Many other OCs sent their memories and good wishes to Mick’s family. He was a big character who will be much missed.

Written by his friend Dr John Godfrey DL MA FSA (OC 1957-64)