9th January 1922 to 30th March 2022
There are several senior members of the Wags who remember Bill. He was past Captain in 1995, the Honours Boards record his name in at least 5 places. Bill was old school, a gentleman through and through, a scholar, a wit, a tease, a figure whose presence struck fear, I am sure, into his students as a head-master and whose word was listened to when an opinion was required. He was a devotee and staunch supporter of both the Wags and the Dawn Patrol.
He with Mike Davies, another Wag, were lovers of Chaucer. Bill and Mike wrote wonderful poems, in Chaucer’s style, about their fellow-golfers which were read out at Dawn Patrol lunches, it being an honour to have one written about oneself.
“When blackest night doth yield to rosy dawn
And rouse from blissful sleep to greet the morn
Our loyal band of lusty pilgrims all,
Then forth they speed with clubs and eke ball,
Each one his long and lonely way to wend,
Yea silkerly from every parish end
Unto the ancient shrine at North-the-Wood
The fairest course in all the neighbourhood,
Clept Sandy Lodge; it is the very best,
I trowe for “in arena virtus” est.
A scholar, elegant and wel yset
There was, of erudition great and yet
Of all his lore, it was the Englysche tong
That pleased him most, sith that he were yong
He had pursued the byways of the words,
The Subjunctive, the Ablative, the Verbs,
Both tense and mood and with the nouns also
He was acquaint. In speech he was ful slow
And pertinent: When he spake men would nod
For he spake sense. He was a clever sod!
Bill was a local lad. He served in the RAF during WW2, and was in North Queensland, Australia in 1945 awaiting the plan to retake Singapore when the A bomb was used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. His war was over and on return to civilian life he became a teacher and was Head Master for many years at Pinner Wood Primary School. He knew every student by name and their parents. Many passed through the school and he remains in their memory. He was a natural sportsman having done PE as a trainee teacher and progressing to a leadership role, he had a presence.
His repartee was endless; as we strolled down the 4th fairway at Stoke Park Golf Club, Bill remarked about its closeness to the local church of “Grays Elegy” fame, which led to a recital of the whole poem word perfect and finished on the 5th green. Those of us who knew him and still know him, have been frustrated these past 2 years by being unable to visit him in his Retirement accommodation where he is being well cared for. He carries with him an air of authority still, he refers to me as “lad” which is great for ones ego!
At the Wags Annual Ladies Luncheon, Bill was always in great demand to entertain any lady guests without a partner. He was able to put people at ease immediately, and was a charming and attentive host.
He had two loving daughters, three grandsons (one of whom works and plays at Shaughnessy championship course in Vancouver, Canada) and, currently, three great grandchildren – in Colorado & Vancouver. “He was my hero” says Garry, and so say all of us.
Bill’s headmasterly mien in the clubhouse, on the course or relaxing at the halfway house ensured we all paid attention (sir!). As you can see, Adrian our treasurer was given a lesson or two by the Head over a sandwich and coffee!
But of course, Bill was no stuffed shirt. He was always at his best when the opportunity for fun arose. One such occasion was at the Wags Dinner in 2011 when he and Garry performed a duet, singing a version of “Anything you can do, I can do better, I can do anything better than you” having plagiarised it from “Annie get your gun”. “any ball you can hit, I can hit further, I can hit any ball further than you” etc. Bill had a mask of Paul, and Garry played himself, also with a mask of himself.
The song was a dialogue between Garry and Paul (our then President) in dispute over who could hit the ball further.
[For the record it was a “no contest”. Garry could never out-drive Paul, the editor of this article, showing the modesty for which he is renowned!]
The Wags is indebted to our dear friend Bill Broadhurst who has enriched our lives over many years and certainly contibuted to the gentle banter which has been a feature of the Wags for over 50 years. Thank you Bill!
.Thanks also go to Garry Glover without whose help we could not have put this article together, and who could frequently be seen in deep conversation with his “old mate” Bill.
Bill died peacefully on 30 March 2022, while one of his daughters was with him, to the sound of Amazing Grace on CD.
The Wags Tribute to Bill Broadhurst – click here