Book Of Remembrances

John Handcock - Windsor & Eton 41 Club

Windsor & Eton 41 & 61 Clubs are sad to announce the death of one of their most eminent members, John Handcock (the ‘Godfather’ of our Clubs). John was 90 years young when he died from natural causes after a lengthy illness on 11th January leaving behind wife of 64 years Peggy, 4 children and 4 grandchildren.

John was a solicitor at the Windsor firm of Lovegrove and Durant in Park Street, Windsor where he worked for over 50 years, the majority of which as their senior partner.

He was a prominent member of Windsor and Eton Round Table, becoming Chairman in 1965/66. He went on to become Area 25 Chairman and also a RT National Councillor. John was the most active of tablers spearheading many events, such as towing a caravan to Skopje Macedonia in November 1963 with several other RT members in response to an earthquake disaster appeal. As part of his responsibilities when a National councillor he attended a conference in La Baule in France where he met Daniel Duret who became a life-long friend, and, as a result of that casual meeting, Windsor & Eton and Dreux Round Tables twinned in 1975. Later the two 41 Clubs also formally twinned and the annual exchange visits continue to this day. He often said that whilst in Table the twinning gave him the most pleasure. He and Peggy were regular visitors to Dreux.

John was also 41 Club Chairman in 1988/89. and a member of Windsor and Eton Rotary Club becoming their President in 1973/74. He was also instrumental in the formation of the second Rotary club in Windsor: Windsor Saint George.

John, together with The Duke of Edinburgh and Windsor mayor Kit Aston, set up The Prince Phillip Trust in 1976 to raise money for deserving causes in The Royal Borough.

The first such charitable event, a Rolls Royce rally, was staged in May 1977. This event was also very significant for Windsor and Eton Round Table as they would adopt the newly formed trust as their fund-raising partner.

This event was in every way significant and successful; as that month in 1977 witnessed the Queen's Silver Jubilee, Windsor's Septcentennial celebration and the first visit of Dreux table after the twinning, who at the time thought the event was organised specially for their visit further enhancing John’s reputation.

John was very involved with many Windsor organisations, to mention just a few: Windsor and Eton Chamber of Commerce, Windsor Choral Society, Upton House school, Royal Albert Institute, Windsor and Eton Society, Windsor Operatic Society, Windsor Local History group and many more organisations often becoming their Honorary President.

John was also a Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire and was honoured by The Queen with a CVO.

At the Valedictory Dinner of Windsor & Eton Round Table in April 2019 a speech, prepared by John, too ill to attend, was read by Andrew Panter who we also sadly lost in 2020. It was a worthy tribute to the Round Table and a fitting denouement to a life of service.