Alan Kittermaster (OK 1967) died May 23, 2022

“At school, Alan was very much his own man, never followed the herd and never lacked moral courage. In the rumbustious environment of King’s in the 1960s, where bullying and physical intimidation were rife, at least in the younger year groups, he had the respect of all because he made it very clear that he would always support the underdog and the put-upon. That he was also an extremely good hockey player and cricketer did him no harm and helped his street cred when dealing with the more brutish members of the year group.

“After A-levels and school, rather like the characters in Anthony Powell’s “Dance to the Music of Time” our paths intertwined from time to time although we never completely lost touch. It was, of course, the happiest of coincidences when Alan’s name appeared on the list of short-listed applicants for the post of Head of Politics at PGS which Paul Knight vacated in 1988, and working with Alan in the Politics department over the next four years was one of the reasons why I shall always regard my time at PGS as amongst the happiest of my career.

“We didn’t see much of each other while I was in Salisbury but typically Wendy and Alan could not have been more welcoming when we were house-hunting on the south coast in 2014-15. We drank copious cups of coffee at their house in between those interminable house viewings. When having moved here in June 2015, we ended up near neighbours it was natural to resume the easy friendship that we’d always had. As Tricia’s health declined and my world contracted to one of a carer, it was Alan who would knock on the front door whenever he was passing just to see how I was and, if I could get someone to sit with Tricia, to invite me out for a drink. It was that same well of kindness that had led him to put a figurative arm around my shoulder when my father died just before we took A levels in 1966 when most of my classmates simply didn’t know what to say or do.

“Judy – ever perceptive – described Alan as a very gentle man, and my goodness he was. He wore his intellectual strength very lightly; he had a quiet but extraordinarily funny wit; and he was at heart very kind, generous and sensitive. I was very proud to have him as my friend.”

Clive Barnett (OK 1967)
Former deputy head to Tony Evans at Portsmouth Grammar School
Head Master of Bishop Wordsworth School 1992-2002