Early Years in Catford

Richard was born in Catford, south-east London, on 20 October 1925. A robust baby, he weighed in at over 10 pounds. His birth was not without its challenges, leading to a dramatic change in his mother’s appearance – her hair reportedly turned white. Growing up, Richard often felt like he had four parents instead of two, given the significant age gap between him and his two sisters, who were 11 and 12 years older.

The War Years

As a teenager during World War 2, Richard’s adventurous spirit led him to apply for the role of a rear gunner in Bomber Command. His occupation at the time, however, was considered essential to the war effort, exempting him from military service. He eventually joined the Army, serving with the Royal Engineers in occupied Magdeberg, later part of East Germany.

Post-War Life and Career

After returning to civilian life, Richard met Betty Lake in 1948 and they married in early 1952, around the time they were expecting their first child, Nigel. Professionally, Richard found his place at Powers-Sammers in Whyteleaf. He witnessed and contributed to significant changes in the industry when Powers-Samas merged with the British Tabulating Machine Company to form International Computers and Tabulators (ICT) in 1959.

Personal Life and Changes

The same year he experienced a pivotal change in his personal life as well; he and Betty separated and later divorced. He married Olive Ramage, with whom he moved to East Grinstead after gaining custody of their three children. In 1964, Richard ventured into a new career as the landlord of The Oak Inn at Ardingly. However, his stint as a full-time landlord was brief, and he soon joined Edwards High Vacuum in Crawley while Olive ran the pub.

Later Years

The subsequent years saw several relocations for Richard and his family: from Bexhill-on-sea to Frome, then Warminster, and eventually to Javea, Spain upon his retirement in 1985. However, he later returned to the UK, settling in Little Common, Bexhill-on-sea.

Estrangement and Personality

In the 1990s, Richard became estranged from his five children. This estrangement was largely attributed to his personality traits, which bordered on narcissistic. Richard’s life was marked by grandiose fantasies, a lack of empathy, feelings of entitlement, and a deep need for admiration.

Passing and Reflections

Richard passed away from a brain tumour in June 2002, in Hastings. Few of his children attended the funeral.