Teacher and journalist John Wilkins died from a sudden heart attack at his home in Exeter in May 2006. He was aged 60 and unmarried.

His brother Peter writes: “John was at Shebbear from 1956-62 and left to attend Avery Hill College of Education in London where he was successful in obtaining a B.Ed degree.

“He taught in various primary schools in London and Devon before leaving for Queensland, Australia, to take up a teaching post there.

“Through part-time study he took a degree in journalism at the University of Queensland and went on to work for the Publications’ Department of the Queensland Department of Education, a post in which he felt very happy and fulfilled.

“He returned to England in 1986 and worked briefly for Reuters news agency before going on to accept a post as a writer for an Exeter firm producing medical manuals for use in hospitals.

“John remained a committed socialist and Christian to the end of his life and regularly attended St Leonard’s Church in Exeter.

“He was very proud of being an Old Shebbearian and to the end of his life often mused about his old friends and their likely careers. He possessed very fond memories of the school.”