Death of John Dawson

We are sad to report the death of John Dawson on 8 July 2023 a few weeks before his 78th birthday.

He was one of probably quite a large cohort of people who took up croquet after retiring having been an active sportsman in his earlier years.

He joined Chester Croquet Club in 2002, was elected to the committee in 2004 and served as secretary from November 2013 until stepping down due to ill health in 2022.

While secretary of Chester Croquet Club he was elected by the North West Federation as the regional representative on the CA Council in November 2016 becoming Chairman of the Publishing Committee and a member of the Marketing and Tournament Committees in 2017. He became Chairman of the CA Management Committee in 2018 and was appointed Vice-Chairman of the CA Council in May 2019. In these roles he was deeply involved in the CA’s working groups on organisation and governance which resulted in the recent reorganisation and current changes in charitable legal status. He led the CA’s participation in the very successful CountryFile Live events at Blenheim in 2018 and Castle Howard in 2019. More recently during 2020 and 2021 he took a leading role in developing and promulgating the CA’s policies on child safeguarding. After five very busy years, he relinquished his role as NW Federation representative in November 2021.

In between all these activities John took part in many NW Federation league matches and competitions, inter-counties competitions and national tournaments for association croquet and succeeded in reducing his AC handicap to 3.

He also enjoyed international croquet hospitality and played casual games at several Melbourne clubs during his many visits to Australia. In 2020 he enjoyed watching an English croquet team at a tournament at Cairnlea, Victoria.

John was born in Newcastle under Lyme in 1945, attended a local grammar school, graduated in classics at Cambridge and went on to take a post graduate course at Oxford. After graduation he joined ICI and spent the whole of his career in personnel management at Billingham, Severnside, Northern Ireland and in Hong Kong and latterly at Runcorn when he and his family came to live in Chester. Following diagnosis of prostate cancer he took early retirement in 2001 but treatment over 20 years proved remarkably effective before fading over the past eighteen months.

Throughout his retirement he was continually involved in a wide range of activities. He served as a JP for several years and with his wife, Ann, he was a part-time assistant warden at Youth Holiday Association hostels where he enjoyed leading country walks. In addition to croquet, he was a keen bridge player and bird watcher, also a frequent concert and theatre goer, and continued to be a keen follower of cricket which was his earlier sport. He was well travelled, always curious and well informed, and always ready to debate anything with anybody.

His wife, Ann, died in 2012, and they had two daughters, Alice a solicitor in London who is married with two sons, and Clare in Melbourne, Australia, also married with two sons.

Chester Croquet Club is sad to lose such a keen and active member who will be remembered widely for his energy, enthusiasm and good humour. And our sympathies go to all his family and friends.

A short mention of John Dawson’s death appeared in the obituary section of The Times on Saturday, 22 July. The Latin phrase ‘Clarior e tenebris’ – ‘More brightly from out of darkness’ or ‘Brighter from obscurity’ – is the motto of his old school.

Funeral arrangements

10.40 am Friday, 28 July 2023
Blacon Crematorium, Blacon Avenue, Chester CH1 5BB
and afterwards at John Dawson’s house
The Cottage, 2 Westminster Avenue, Chester CH4 8JB

To assist with catering, please notify Robin Tasker by Sunday, 23 July,
if you plan to attend the funeral and the gathering afterwards.