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News > OP updates > John Warwick Mills RIP

John Warwick Mills RIP

17 May 2022
OP updates
John in the Junior Colts, 1949-50
John in the Junior Colts, 1949-50

John Warwick Mills (OP 1947-53)
12 October 1935 - 18 February 2021

John was born on the 12th October 1935 in Australia. A year older than me. No two brothers could ever have been as close as he and I – bonded. In the Hilsea mud, he as a fly half in the 1st XV, I as a scrum half; John’s deceptive swerve a thing of beauty, which left marauding wing forwards clawing at nothingness, as John’s cleverness created the gaps through which he thrust. It was no surprise when John was selected as Fly Half for Hampshire Schoolboys.

John wanted to be a vet but soon changed his mind when, on work experience, he was asked to hold a Bull while the Vet lanced a huge carbuncle on its muzzle. He became a doctor instead. He trained at the Middlesex Hospital in London and, when qualified, completed 3 years as Captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps for his deferred National Service. He finally emerged just as the sophisticated Siemens scanners were arriving from Germany, furnishing the diagnostic departments of English hospitals. John immersed himself in the new technology, transforming himself from a jobbing physician to a consultant radiologist. With this diagnostic know-how he helped save many lives in the cancer wards of East Anglia.

As soon as the NHS felt they no longer needed John’s skills, he retired and went back to school. A visitor to John’s imposing manor home in Wherstead could not fail to notice the sheet music of ‘Duke’ Ellington’s “Lil Darling”, - John pictured himself in pure “Walter Mitty” style accompanying the great ‘Duke’ in Ronnie Scott’s. He was paying for a course in jazz-piano as he was also paying, up to his dying day, for a course in French. John loved the French – their lifestyle, their chic. He was determined to speak French like a Frenchman and had signed on for another course. He also never lost interest in the armed forces and raised useful donations for army charities such as SSAFA.

John once owned a Morgan sportscar and nothing pleased him more than a dash through the lanes and B roads of sleepy Suffolk. My lasting memory of John will be the roar of an exhaust as my brother accelerated away. “Un Homme Formidable” as they might put it in his favourite language.

He is survived by his wife Jennifer, his four children and eight grandchildren. 

Roger Mills (OP 1947-53)

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