|1 May 2020|
It is with sadness that we bring you the news that Ivan 'Paddy' Hamilton, RW. Lt Cdr Royal Navy, and retired teacher of Ipswich School, died on 28th March 2020, aged 86.
Bob Clayton OI 1975-2017
Ivan ‘Paddy’ Hamilton was a Maths teacher who also taught rugby and was an officer in the Royal Navy section of the School's CCF. I can remember a few details about him. He started his career as a Royal Navy officer and taught at RN Ganges (Shotley), he then taught Maths at Coplestone High School, finally finishing at Ipswich School.
His wife's name was Rosemary and they lived on Henley Road. Two of his children, John (a surgeon) and Angus were educated at Ipswich School. I believe that he also had two daughters, both of which were doctors (one of them was also a world class triathlete!)
Ivan was an amusing character. I knew him through adventure training in the CCF where he organised quite a few adventure training expeditions to such places as Loch Ewe in Scotland and the Italian Alps.
He also introduced sub aqua to the School as an extra-curricular activity. I know Richard Welbourne inherited this from him, that Ivan generally taught snorkelling and Richard started the actual 'Paddy diving award' which enabled you to use proper sub aqua tanks as well. He was also an avid runner who ran around Christchurch Park well into his late 70s. Richard can recall him teaching the meteorology section of the A-level Geography syllabus.
Richard and I recollect he was at the School in the 1980s and believe he left around 1993.
Patrick Ryder OI (1986-1993) writes:
A Maths teacher like no other, no lesson was dull and who could forget the famous sideburn twisting ’wiggy’? Mr Hamilton helped me with my hardest subject and always had a story and a sharp wit. An unforgettable teacher and a hall of famer.
Iain Chesterman OI (1973-1984) writes:
I recall him very well: he made us do loads of exercise and stretching prior to rugby and was the only teacher who did this back in the early 1980s. Well ahead of his time.
Peter Finch OI (1973-1984) writes:
I have great memories of Paddy. A great mentor and a superb, and hugely understated, sportsman. If I could have been half the rugby talent Paddy was, I would have been very happy.
"Form a circle.....one in each corner" was one of his immortal lines!
A sad loss, in many ways.
Bruce Finch OI (1977-1988) writes:
I first remember seeing Ivan Hamilton when I was in the Prep School in the early 1980s marching up Lime Avenue in his Royal Naval uniform to inspect Thursday afternoon CCF in the old Prep playground. I remember it distinctively because he wore a Royal Naval greatcoat, sported a striking white beard (like Sean Connery in the Hunt for Red October), and wore regular RN rank rather than the “wavy navy” of the other CCF officers so I wondered who he was.
A few years later I was in the RN CCF and joined the Royal Navy myself immediately after school and served for 20 years so I knew him a bit as he helped on that journey. He served as an Instructor Officer (leaving the Service as a Lieutenant Commander) sub specialising in Meteorology and was also a Ships Diving Officer. In the 1960s he had served in HMS PROTECTOR the RN patrol ship in the South Atlantic, an experience he vividly brought to life in a general studies period during the Falklands War in 1982. The late John Le Mare got him to give a lecture about the geography of the Falklands and point out those places where the war was being fought using a map which extraordinarily the Geography Department had on a classroom wall.
I remembered that lecture when serving in the Falklands myself in 2006 in HMS LIVERPOOL also as a Lieutenant Commander. He has also served in RNAS Culdrose and the old boys training establishment at HMS GANGES at Shotley gate and one of the physics labs proudly sported a photograph from HMS ARTEMIS a conventional submarine which he had organised a visit to. He taught physics initially and then math’s and was a keen rugby player with a loud “boy” delivered in his distinctive Ulster burr echoing down the rugby pitches on Notcutts during the rugby games he refereed. A passionate advocate of adventurous training which he taught on wet CCF afternoons I remember him and the late Gordon “Noddy” Paton leading the national CCF camp at Gareloch Head in Argyll where he led us over the Hills above Loch Long and Gareloch above the Faslane submarine base. We all had climb through the “Eye of the Cobbler” on a damp August day in 1986. “Boys ye’ll always remember this” he said as I am sure all did! Rest in Peace.