Memorial service planned for popular Bradford Grammar School teacher
CHARLES Courtenay Lloyd was one of the last surviving veterans of World War II. He was a Royal Navy officer, an intelligence expert, who captured Nazi war criminals, and a phenomenal linguist, who taught Russian to British spies during the Cold War.
And for hundreds of students at Bradford Grammar School, where he taught modern languages for 20 years, he was an inspirational teacher, remembered fondly by his ‘old boys’.
Mr Lloyd died last November, aged 102, at his home in Madrid. Next month he will be honored at a memorial service at Bradford Cathedral, attended by his family who travel from Spain. It was Mr Lloyd’s wish to be buried alongside his wife, Elena, at Charlestown Cemetery in Baildon; his remains are being brought back to England, his country of birth, and the burial will take place on Thursday 5 May. “Now that the Covid restrictions have been lifted, we can fulfill his wishes and bring him home,” his daughter said. , Masha.
The following day, the memorial service will be held at Bradford Cathedral. Attendees will include representatives and alumni of Bradford Grammar School. The family would like to invite the general public, especially veterans, to the service.
Three generations of Mr Lloyd’s family will be at the memorial service – his daughter Masha, husband Eladio Freijo and granddaughters Suzy Freijo Lloyd and Olivia Freijo Lloyd and six-month-old great-granddaughter Juliet.
They will be joined by a small circle of friends, Bradford Grammar School headmaster Simon Hinchcliffe. Acting Dean, Reverend Canon Paul Maybury, will lead the service, and Courtenay Lloyd’s granddaughters will sing, her daughter will read a homily and BGS alumni will pay their respects.
The Acting Dean’s Assistant at the memorial service will be one of Mr Lloyd’s alumni, the Reverend. Canon Barrie Scott.
Said Masha: ‘We are to fill the cathedral on May 6 as a tribute to one of the last of his generation who has done so much for Bradford and his country.’
Although CC Lloyd was not born in Yorkshire, it was there that he spent the longest period of his life – 40 years. He was senior language teacher at Bradford Grammar School from 1964 until 1983, when he retired. After the death of his wife and their son George, Mr Lloyd went to live with Masha and her family in Madrid in 2005. “He was a great lover of Yorkshire and never happier than when he was walking on Ilkley Moor” , explains Masha. “He was a T&A subscriber for 40 years. He was an exceptional man who did so much for the students of Bradford.
“His love of the county began when his family moved to North Yorkshire when he was a boy in the 1920s. His father, the Rev. Canon John Collins Lloyd was the Vicar of Sledmere, a village he remembered with great fondness.
Courtenay Lloyd is remembered as an inspirational teacher who had a lasting influence on many students.
Former Head Boy John Asquith, now a renowned musician, singer and bandleader, will honor him during the service. He remembers: “He introduced me to linguistics, he gave me basics in Polish, Bulgarian, Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish” (none of these languages was on the program) and introduced me to Russian music, which led to a lifelong musical career. ”
Alumnus Roger Mosey, former BBC news officer and now master of Lloyd’s former college Selwyn Cambridge, said: ‘Courtenay’s life has been so spectacularly well lived and he has brought so much learning and wisdom to so many.”
Former pupil, Simon Hewitt, now a Russian art critic, said: “He was a linguistic and pedagogical genius, but modest and humorous.”
Mr. Lloyd was fluent in German, Russian, French, Norwegian and Spanish and spoke some Icelandic, Finnish, Dutch, Swedish and Danish.
Asked about his life, when he turned 100, he said, “I had a pretty nice one.” Born in Tamworth, Staffordshire, his studies in modern languages at Cambridge were interrupted by the war and in 1940 he enlisted in the navy.
Lt Courtenay Lloyd served on HMS Wells and HMS Mansfield on loan to the Norwegian Navy in Exile. As the British liaison officer on board, he transmitted messages and instructions from the British Admiralty to the Norwegian Navy and vice versa, encoding and decoding. He learned Norwegian on board. For his role in the liberation of Norway, he was awarded King Haakon VII’s Medal of Freedom.
In Oslo he worked for the British Admiralty as Chief Disarmament Officer, helping to oversee the surrender of German forces.
From 1946 to 1948 he was an intelligence officer in Germany, involved in dismantling the Nazi regime and capturing war criminals.
In 1948 he returned to Cambridge, graduated in German and Scandinavian and later did an MA in Modern Languages. He became a Russian teacher at the Joint Services School of Languages, a major Cold War initiative. Around 5,000 national servicemen attended the courses, known as the KGB’s “spy school”, to learn Russian for British intelligence operations. It was while teaching these classes that he met Princess Elena Von Lieven, a penniless Russian princess whose family fled the Russian Revolution. They married in 1953. Elena also worked for the Allied Control Commission after the war, for the French section in Austria. She participated in the repatriation of dispersed people and helped Russian soldiers escape from Stalin’s Soviet Union.
* Charles Courtenay Lloyd’s memorial service takes place at Bradford Cathedral on Friday May 6 at 10am.