The Association for Latin Teaching

respice prospice

Roger Davies

Further tributes from members of ARLT

I would like to say once again how saddened I was to hear of Roger's passing. For a large part of my career he was a great friend and supporter, not least during difficult times One of his actions as President was to ask me to direct the 1992 Summer School! He was a huge supporter of ARLT; Last Night Entertainments were never the same when Roger was not present. The whole world of Classics has lost a man of enormous charm and great talent. REQUIESCAT IN PACE.


ARLT is not just a professional association, and the summer schools not just in-service training: it is an opportunity for true societas / κοινονια . Roger Davies definitely contributed to this friendly spirit, especially through his part in the entertainments.


This is very sad news.  Roger was such a lovely man; a good friend, a wonderful actor and musical performer, and an inspiring Classicist.

The world is the worse off for his passing.


We are very sorry to hear of Roger's death. He was a fervent Arelas, and a very good friend. He did a lot for the teaching of Latin, and was always so enthusiastic.

John and Lesley

Such sad news. A lovely man.


I remember getting some useful ideas on CLC 2 from an Option Group he did long ago, and The Entertainment is the poorer without him - Aristophanes, G & S ...


Roger was a good man and will be much missed.


Roger was a fantastic person, a man of great talent and a good friend. He is sadly missed.


I am very sorry to hear that news.  He brought so much joy into our lives, to our family as well as ARLT.


Roger is a very sad loss to the Association and to anyone who knew him.



Roger Davies, who died on the 20th of December 2017 at the age of 74, was for many years

one of the ARLT's most colourful, enthusiastic and inspiring members.

   He first attended a summer school in1968 and quickly made his mark, being elected to the committee and taking a leading role in the entertainments, where his great talents as an actor were immediately manifest. Members who attended summer schools in those days will remember many a part he played, and putting on a home made tunic or a chiton seemed second nature to him.

    Nor is this surprising, as he was a born actor. He was born in Anfield Liverpool in 1943 and was a lifelong enthusiast for the Liverpool football team. However, the "camp" side of him appeared early. He knew himself, and fell easily into the role of performer. He attended Alsop High School, Walton, where his histrionic and musical talents developed, and when he left school he had the offer of a place at RADA which was very much in line with his ambitions. Sadly, however, opposition from his father forced him to abandon the offer, to the benefit of the smaller stage of the classroom. He graduated in Classics in Liverpool and after taking a PGCE at Cambridge where he was attached to Fitzwilliam College, in 1967 he was appointed to teach Classics at Lord Wandsworth's School, a boys' boarding school in Hampshire, where he was at his happiest and made many lifelong friends, besides teaching some outstanding people such as Julian Sands, Sir Peter Coulson and the late Mark Whittow. It was here that he met his partner, John O'Gorman. In 1993 he moved to St Swithun's School at Winchester where he stayed until he retired in 2003. Though the school is a prestigious girls' independent school, it turned out to be unfortunate move which he somewhat regretted.

     He had been part owner of a country house at Eymet in the Dordogne area of France where many of his friends enjoyed idyllic summer holidays but he sold his share to buy a house in Winchester. He retired in 2003 after which he travelled a great deal, especially to California, and was in South West France in July 2008 when he suffered a life-threatening stroke from which he was only saved by the excellence of the treatment he received at a hospital in Cahors. Though the prognostic was that he would not walk again, he recovered sufficiently, thanks to enormous determination on his part, to be able to walk with the assistance of a frame, and he taught himself to write with his left hand. He was able to attend summer schools until 2015, after which the venues proved unsuitable for one with his disability. He was much missed.

     He was first elected to the committee in1978, and was reelected in 1984. He directed two summer schools for the ARLT, in 1982 at Canterbury (he was Nero in the entertainment) and in1996 at his former school, Lord Wandsworth's. He was elected president for 1988 to 1991. He was the life and soul of the entertainments at the many summer schools he attended, displaying his theatrical talents and using his knowledge of Aristophanes to great effect.  

      His contribution to the Guildford Branch of the Classical Association was outstanding. He was a founder member in 1975 and in 1985 at the tenth anniversary dinner played the part of Hephaestus in a pantomime. He regularly presented pupils in the reading competitions with much success. He also acted in a presentation of Scenes from Plautus and Terence. He also frequently acted in amateur performances of Gilbert and Sullivan operas playing principal roles.

   He was also a talented gourmet cook and entertained many of his ARLT and other friends to dinner over the years. He was a wine enthusiast and was for many years a member of the Sunday Times Wine Club. He took part in many competitions of all sorts and won many prizes.

     His voice can be heard on tape recordings made for the Cambridge Latin Course. Many members of the teaching profession, especially classicists, are indebted to his work and example. Indeed, in the words of Linda Soames, he will be remembered for 'his wit, warmth, anecdotes, friendship, and always, always, laughter'.

John Hazel