Michael E Woodford (Class of 1963)

Profile Updated: March 28, 2021
Residing In: Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom
Spouse/Partner: Diane
Children/Family: Son: Guy Baden - Journalist, Editor of two European & International Business Magazines.
Daughter: More…Annabelle Jean - U K Business Executive. Deceased 2006, aged 30.
Occupation(s): UK Police Officer.
Military Service: SA Signal Corps / 1 Signal Squadron - Natal  
Yes! Attending Reunion
Email Address:

mikediwoodford@gmail.com

Education:

Manleigh Kindergarten 1950/51.
McDonald Road (now Glenwood) Infants 1952 to end 1954.
DPHS 1955 to end 1959.
DHS 1960 to end 1963.
"University of Life" thereafter & still learning, with a late foray into the Eastbourne College of Arts & Technology for a City & Guilds Adult & Further Teachers Certificate.

Hobbies/Interests:

Wildlife / Environmental challenges, Matters Motoring, Dogs (Especially Rhodesian Ridgebacks) Economics, Current Affairs, various University of The Third Age Groups, Community Service Volunteering.

School Story:

Arguably a great school and all that, but didn't do it for this particular individual. And others, judging from a number of facinating Discussion Group / Tuck Shop Chats & other reminiscences, so it wasn't just me. Thank goodness! That said, some good memories of some great chums, adventures / pranks shared, system bucked and experiences relished - well mostly! My "Flog Book" record still causes a wince, or two! Certainly no academic and a recalcitrant sportsman, but donned a leopard skin & beat the base drum in the highly successful cadet band of 1962/63.

What else have you been up to since 1964?

Worked for SAR&H for a couple of years after leaving school at end of 1963 (as they made up the 5 bob a day pay during National Service 65/66.)
Left SA for the UK in 1967. Joined London's Metropolitan Police in 1969, serving in the East End and as a detective at Scotland Yard. Transferred to Sussex, serving at Brighton in the CID and later in specialist units, including vice, counter terrorist search and armed response, before "winding down" to Community Policing and Training.
Retired in 2000, returning to SA to live in Pietermaritzburg, indulging in most aspects of SA life that I missed when abroad - especially wildlife and the scenic wonders. Plus some of the local art & culture. Loved it! Returned to the UK in 2012, settling in rural East Midlands, my wife Diane's roots and not too far from son Guy and his family. Enjoying various U3A groups, Community Volunteer commitments and even gym workouts. Yes really! "Vita Magna Est" as Theo's geeky academics with the white bashers used to say! Never quite made it there myself!
Pause for thought events:
Well, with 30 years a UK Police Officer, mostly "on the streets" I was privy to most aspects of human life - from the sublime to ridiculous. But two events, away from the job, really stand out.
A few days spent on the Western Front of the Great War, were poignantly impactful. Especially having the haunting Deville Wood, on the Somme, all to myself for a few hours. Sitting in the shallow depression of a communication trench, in close proximity to the many hundreds of brave South African souls, who fell there in July 1916. Hero's all, may they rest in peace.
The second was in 1992 when, with some Police colleagues & nurses from Eastbourne General Hospital, we ran a little 4 vehicle convoy of medical supplies, clothing, toys & foodstuffs, non-stop right across Europe to Transylvania in Romania, just after the revolution which toppled the C-word dictator. The sight (& smells) of concentration camps of skeletal, caged children, overflowing, crumbling hospitals, with intermittent power & a dearth of equipment, or medicines etc. Rancid beds, with hollow eyed, silent, staring occupants, barely inches apart. And so on . . . . This, on the very doorstep of modern, late 20th Century Europe, made even this old trooper well up.
Indelible events, both!

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Mar 28, 2021 at 11:00 PM
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Feb 23, 2021 at 8:14 AM

Posted on: Feb 22, 2021 at 11:33 AM

Michael E Woodford (Class of 1963) has left an In Memory comment for his Profile.
May
01
May 01, 2020 at 11:33 PM

I remember Pete well. Not as a close mate, but we were at DPHS together, until end 1959 and we were both members of the very successful DHS Cadet Band (I was the base drummer.) He was a lovely bloke, cheerful, friendly and a cracking bugler. I have this abiding memory of the Band gathering at the Misselbrook home, corner Windmill & Essenwood Roads, just before the Durban & District Cadet Band Competitian. We spent all day polishing kit, bulling toe caps so you could see your face in them, blanching webbing, brasso-ing belt buckles with tooth brushes - "mind you don't leave so much as a flake of dried polish on the back" etc. All under the eagle of Mrs. M and big boet Dave, rooking crafty Texan! A jolly day, hard graft, but worth it. We won the class for best turn out, not dropping a point! In fact DHS won the Natal Cadet Band Competition in Maritzburg that year (1962?) with Peter the top bugler, yet again! I left SA for the UK in '67, after National Service and we only met up once again. 2002 it was, at a St Thomas' 4th Durban Boy Scout 50th Anniversary Reunion at (R)DLI HQ after I had retired and returned to my roots, for a few years  Pete was the same warm, engaging character I remembered, with an interesting Life Story to tell. What a pleasure. I'm so glad we had a chance to share a pint  and swap a few yarns. Go well mate and thanks for the memories.

Michael Woodford (Woody) Class of '63.

 

 

 

Feb 22, 2020 at 11:35 AM
Feb 22, 2019 at 11:33 AM
Feb 22, 2018 at 11:33 AM