Graham Dugdale[1962-1968]


Born 21 March 1951,died 7 May 2018


Graham died unexpectedly at his home in Chudleigh, Devon aged 67.

I first met Graham through his running interests in Nottingham in the early 1980s. I did not know him at school as he was six years younger than me, but we seem to have followed similar pathways through RGS. We both had a love of running and became captains of the Cross Country Club; we both played cricket for the First X1, and we were both prefects. Although we both enjoyed all sports at RGS, no doubt we both longed for the grass pitches to be out of commission now and again, so “The Run” could be substituted, and it was that introduction to running that inspired many students to take up the sport seriously– Graham and myself included.


Graham was a multi- talented man. He was not only a keen sportsman but was also an academic who went up to Oxford University. He worked mainly for the National Coal Board in London as an Operational Research  Analysist before moving to Ashby de la Zouch and on to Nottingham. While in London he joined Thames Valley Harriers where he made a huge impression. Not only was he an able performer, but he became a well-liked and respected member, who provided leadership and inspiration to other TVH members. He made considerable contributions to the development of the Club from 1974 to 1980. One such initiative was organizing training camps on the dunes of Merthyr Mawr in South Wales. His best personal performance was in the AAA Marathon in 1977 where he finished 3rd in 2hrs 17 minutes 16 seconds. When he left London his loyalty to TVH never diminished, demonstrated by the attendance of several of his TVH colleagues at his funeral in Whitwick, near Leicester. He joined Notts AC in the 1980s, and later Redhill Road Runners . Again, Graham became a highly respected member of both clubs. I remember meeting Graham in the local pub in Arnold, Nottingham on many occasions to discuss running topics, but we would chat about almost everything else in the world as well! Five things struck me about Graham—his power of thought, his caring about other people, his social skills, his determination— but above all, his modesty.


Graham became a keen walker in the early 2000s and in 2002 completed LEJOG [ The Walk from Land’s End to John-O’Groats]. I think he regarded this as one of his greatest achievements. Around 2003 he moved to Chudleigh in Devon where he fell in love with the surrounding countryside. He became a keen hill walker, and eventually joined the Devon Orienteering Club. He went on to become the membership secretary and organizer of several orienteering events. His love of the British countryside may have also been influenced by RGS, because one of his favourite  parts were the Yorkshire Dales. I wonder if the camps at places like Wensleydale [ the location of the First Years’ camp in the 1960s], had a lasting memory. While in Chudleigh, it was no surprise to learn that Graham had been tempted into a role working for the NHS, organizing data files right up to his sudden and untimely death. His death was so unexpected that he was involved in the planning of a major orienteering event later in the year in Devon, and had also planned a walking holiday in Ireland.


Although he continued to live in Devon, Graham used to commute frequently to Whitwick to spend time with his partner, Veronica, who he had met in 2007. We will all miss him.


By Richard Hays Milne



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