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News > Obituaries > Obituary - Oliver Harwood (OI 1975-77)

Obituary - Oliver Harwood (OI 1975-77)

We are sorry to announce the passing of Oliver Harwood who was at Ipswich School from 1975 until 1977 and died recently.
11 Jan 2024

Oliver will be missed by his family and friends.

We are conscious that some people from the time when Oliver was at the School may not be in contact with us and we would ask if you could pass on this information to those that you know.

As is the usual practice, we would like to place an obituary for Oliver in the 2023-24 OI Journal and would be very grateful for any stories or memories you may wish to share which we could put together for the publication. Please address any contributions to me through

Nicholas Allen

OI Chairman


I do remember Oliver on a history trip to the Houses of Parliament in, I think 1976.

After a tour of the Houses of Parliament and a successful theatre trip our teacher, Fred Hill got us to stop at the Embankment toilets,we all surely performed except Oliver who went to a cubicle. We returned to the coach and fell asleep.Going past Colchester Fred noticed an absentee, Oliver!

After a phone call by Fred Hill, it was found Oliver hadn't panicked but had phoned his brother who was living in London at the time and Oliver had walked to his flat.

I think this was an example of his independence and resourceful abilities. It also was a teacher's worst nightmare, I'm glad Fred did not lose his job!

Rest in peace Oliver.

Alan Simmonds (OI 1969-77)


I am sorry to hear of the passing of Oliver Harwood.

Oliver did A Level English, taught by Mr Tucker and Mr Thomas, which I also did, and is how I knew him. We lost touch after School. I don’t feel qualified to give a tribute, which friends and family are, but I would like to write a few thoughts.

When I began A Levels, Ollie was a newcomer in the Sixth Form, and I found him immediately a fascinating characte - modern and, at the same time, a dapper breath-of-fresh-air import from the Jazz Age. He appeared in class one day with a highlight in his floppy hair, something that might be hard to appreciate today but back then was daring, offbeat, a statement I had not seen before. I admired and liked his individuality.

We shared common interests in the arts. F. Scott Fitzgerald was big on the syllabus, and it was great that Ollie had the same passion for the author I had and that we talked about. The romantic themes were influential, considering the male globe that girls from across the park now delightfully encroached into one morning a week.

Ollie was supportive and encouraged my music and performance, as well as an honest critic. I loved the occasions he invited me to his home to rehearse, offer his splendid hospitality, or bomb off with me somewhere in his little sports car. As a boarder not having a particularly agreeable experience, surviving on music and drama, I appreciated the escape, warmth and openness Ollie gave me as if, for a moment, I found myself in a different world with a descendant of Jay Gatsby. 

I’m sorry we never kept up. As often with friendships you wish with hindsight had continued, the reality of burgeoning youth and immortal energy means that lives hop on to a branch and extend into our panorama, forging new leaves. I don’t know anything about Ollie’s career and life. My thoughts are a happy teenage memory of a dashing and charismatic chap. 

I send my condolences and kind thoughts to his family.

Nick Brown (OI 1970-1977)


My brother Chris (OI 1970-77) and I grew up in the same village as Oliver.  Our mothers were both involved in the National Childbirth Trust while pregnant with the three of us, and Oli was born exactly six months between Chris and I. We continued to be friends after Oli moved from Chelmondiston to Tattingstone and then to Bentley, and spent many hours playing together. When I was in the 5th Form the three of us took Oli’s National 12 dinghy to camp out in Walton Backwaters and we set up an old tent which soon collapsed as the wind became a gale. We slopped through the marshes in the dark to a birdwatchers’ hut and spent the rest of a miserable night there. Being alone on an island we tried to sail off the next morning in a Force 9 wind. We went very fast in the wrong direction and soon capsized. We got the boat up and then went very fast in the opposite direction but within a few seconds we capsized again. We were rescued by a fishing boat and taken to safety in damp disgrace. It was a brave attempt, but I never knew Oliver to back away from any challenge.

When Oli started rowing at Cambridge I copied him, as I had moved to London and didn’t fancy the sailing there. We both continued to row and sometimes found ourselves in the same Tideway Head races in recent years. We had just arranged to go to Henley this year (as spectators) when I heard of the loss of my dearest friend.

David Jillings (OI 1969-76).



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