Attention: You are using an outdated browser, device or you do not have the latest version of JavaScript downloaded and so this website may not work as expected. Please download the latest software or switch device to avoid further issues.

News > Obituary > Obituary – Mervyn Smith

Obituary – Mervyn Smith

The Smith family are sad to announce that Mervyn Smith passed away on the 12th October 2019 aged 87.  
3 Feb 2020
United Kingdom
Mervyn Smith on his wedding day
Mervyn Smith on his wedding day
The Smith family are sad to announce that Mervyn Smith passed away on the 12th October 2019 aged 87.
Having experienced some challenging and traumatic times early on in his childhood, he found solace, safety and security in the Royal Alexandra Orphanage from March 1935 until August 1940.
Being an evacuee and effectively an orphan after his Mum passed away when he was very young, and his Dad was away fighting in the War as a Chief Petty Officer in the Navy convoys around Archangel in the cold arctic waters off Northern Russia. This led him into the safekeeping of The Royal Alexandra and Albert School. 
His early experiences must have had a profound impact on him as, together with my Mother, both very caring, kind and inspiring people, they had three children (myself plus my two elder sisters) and went on to short term foster many disadvantaged children, eventually adopting my three brothers (including Andrew, who was airlifted from Saigon during the Vietnam War) and one sister. They ended up settling in North Lincolnshire in a small village called Winteringham, on the banks of the Humber Estuary. Dad joined the Army after leaving School as a band boy, eventually transferring to The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

In civilian life, Dad eventually joined Rugby Cement in Warwickshire and his career within Rugby Cement took the family northwards to Lincolnshire, where he lived for over 50 years. He spent over 40 years with this company, becoming a senior manager within the Group, but never forgot his roots and carried fantastic values, which he and Mum imbued into all seven children, all of which went on to have their own families spreading out around the world.

My Dad was a very strong, determined, special and kind man, who saw the good in people and always kept helping people in need all through his life, probably never forgetting how The Royal Alexandra helped him in his time of need. I think he wanted to pass on this love in all the human interactions he had going into adulthood. 
One of the things he always used to say to me whenever we talked on the phone, or face to face, was “I believe in you my son and have every faith in you”. It meant a lot at the time, but even more now he has passed on. I know he felt the same way and was extremely proud of all his children, and took great pride in seeing his family grow significantly in size over his lifetime to include, I think, well over 20 grandchildren from his 7 children, not to mention the ever-growing list of great grandchildren. 
He lived one amazing life and stayed pretty active (24 lengths in the swimming baths every other day of the week, no matter whether it was sunshine, rain or snowing!) almost right up until the end of his life. 
His driven, determined spirit and zest for living sustained him until two months short of his 88th birthday. Dad’s funeral, coincidentally, happened to take place on 11th November 2019, Remembrance Day.  This would have meant a lot to him as he loved his time serving in the Army, stationed in Germany clearing up after the Second World War.   

He shared many fond stories with me from his time at the Royal Alexandra and Albert School and a few years ago, I recall taking Dad to visit the grounds of the School and we saw where the Orphanage used to be. He was extremely touched and moved by the experience... and so was I!

On behalf of my late father, I would like to thank the School and the Foundation for supporting him in his time of need all those years ago. I hope his story, like so many unique stories you have I’m sure of all the children who have passed through the school and orphanage over the years, reinforces how valuable the work you do is for children of all backgrounds, and the ripple effect it eventually has in contributing to creating positive future histories in Society.
Written by Richard Smith, Mervyn’s son


Similar stories

Mr Andrews pictured by tree planted in 1954

Delighted to meet Mike Andrews who visited in July. More...


The Gatton Association committee thank you in advance for the support that you have offered the Association in years pas… More...

BBC News Interview with the Headmaster

The Headmaster, Mark Dixon, was interviewed on the 23rd March by the BBC. More...

Gatton By Air

Watch this stunning video of Gatton from the air. More...

Annual Report 2018/2019

The 2018/19 Annual Report gives a flavour of the many things that happened at the Royal Alexandra and Albert School in t… More...

Most read

Annual Report 2019/20

What a year that was! It has been hard not being able to invite you all back to School for events and tours due to this pandemic, so we would like t… More...

Have your say

This website is powered by