Rodney went to school at the Kite School, where his cousin Duncan North was headmaster. He was there with his younger brother Roger, whom he had to keep an eye upon. He remembers a classroom incident involving a broken gas mantle ! Apart from the usual school sports of Rugby and Cricket, Rodney’s serious sports were Fencing (all three weapons) and Tennis. In his year he got to the ¼ finals in the Public School Foil Championships. He left school in 1948 having tried for St Andrews University and entered the Royal Navy on accelerated call up for national service.
He served in the Navy for about two years for NS and subsequently on the Reserve. First service was in HMS Illustrious as an Aircraft Handler also serving ashore as crash tender crew. On his promotion to Midshipman he was appointed to HMS Ocean as Midshipman and “trooped” to the Far East. Rodney ended his Reserve Service as a Lt. Commander just before the Korean War. Most of his Reserve Service was with Naval Command of Shipping at various locations.
In civilian life he spent two years in articles to a solicitor but did not like it and so took articles in the offices of Chartered Accountants in London. After 10 years in the profession he joined the National Coal Board working in taxation and the Lancashire Coalfields. Then joining the Coal Production Division of the National Coal Board, and working mainly on diversifications (Gas and Oil exploration, joint ventures and so on.) He went on to work on many diversifications with them and ended as Finance Director. His final post up to retirement was as Finance Director with the Wessex Water Authority from 1974-1985.He retired early and it was in 1986 that his wife Joyce died, leaving him with three adult children.
Since retirement Rodney has been busy firstly with a Merchant Bank, then as a Board Member of a District Health Authority and subsequently with numerous charities and other voluntary work. Whenever he can he indulges in his passion for sailing, down the N. American Coast in a 15th Century Caravel replica, down the Bay of Biscay to southern Spain in large yacht and to France etc in his own boat whenever he can.
In talking he spoke with great affection of his aunt Dorothy Eva,
known throughout the family as “Doff” who was the first lady cashier in the Midland Bank , lived in Dolphin Square (London) and was universally loved in the family. In her retirement she spent much time with Ted and Doris North and often travelled abroad with them.