Anthony John Bernard Crowe

Obituary by Stuart Walmsley

Tony Crowe was born in 1935 at Hampstead, London. During World War II, he was evacuated to Blackpool where he attended Saint Joseph’s College. I knew him well at school, where he was an outstanding pupil. He had a quirky charm and was very much an individual. He went on to read English at Saint Catherine’s College Cambridge, followed by a postgraduate year at Homerton College.

After taking his degree, he moved to London to teach at Tulse Hill, one of the first comprehensive schools. He was an imaginative, inspiring teacher encouraging his pupils to produce poetry and prose of a remarkable standard. My wife and I met him quite often at this time – he welcomed us to his flat with music by Monteverdi and roasting meat in the oven. On one occasion there was a loud bang and a dishevelled Tony appeared with his beard and eyebrows singed.

In 1960, he was appointed English master at John Ruskin Grammar School and in 1963 he returned to Cambridge to take up a lectureship at Homerton College where he stayed until his retirement. Here he inspired trainee teachers, passing on his own enthusiasm. He was particularly interested in film as a medium in teaching, made his own films and encouraged his students to follow suit.

With his wife Judith he adopted two children and led a busy family and social life establishing long standing friendships with students from Europe who stayed in their home.

He had been unwell for some time but was able to remain at home where he died peacefully on November 1st 2009. He leaves his wife, two children and five grandchildren.

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