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Popular headmaster loses cancer battle

PUBLISHED: 16:32 28 January 2009 | UPDATED: 10:24 23 August 2010

MOURNED: John Field

MOURNED: John Field

A FORMER headteacher and school governor has died after a long battle with cancer. John Field, of Fairby Lane, Hartley, lost his battle against pancreatic cancer on January 17 aged 76.

A FORMER headteacher and school governor has died after a long battle with cancer.

John Field, of Fairby Lane, Hartley, lost his battle against pancreatic cancer on January 17 aged 76.

Born in Islington, London, he moved to Hartley in 1969 when he became head of Springhead School in Colyer Road, Northfleet.

Eight years later he was asked to also take on the headship of Wombwell Hall School for Girls in Hall Road, Northfleet, and in 1981, when the two schools merged, he became head of the newly-created Northfleet Grammar School.

His daughter Allison Field, 43, who now lives in Brighton, said: "My father lived his life absolutely to the full and dedicated it to the service of others.

"He worked tirelessly in many circles - especially education, the church and the Scout movement - and was a mainstay of numerous local activities.

"As a result he was respected and loved by very many people, who appreciated his sound advice and cheerful nature.

"He was immensely reliable, methodical and diligent in everything he did. He was also wise, sensitive and kind - a true gentleman."

During the 1980s Mr Field became the founding chairman of the Gravesham Town Twinning Association and developed particularly close links with Neumünster in Germany.

After Northfleet Grammar School closed in 1988, he served for three years as a schools inspector in north west Kent. After retiring he chaired the governors of Dartford Grammar School from 1994 to 1998 and was also a governor of the Kent Music School and chairman of its governors from 1994 to 98.

A memorial service is being planned for Mr Field at Rochester Cathedral, where he was a lay canon.

He is survived by his wife Heather, four children and 11 grandchildren.

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