John Basil Edward Hamilton Ashwin

John Basil Edward Hamilton Ashwin

01.09.1937 - 22.04.2023

John, from Chichester, passed away on Saturday 22nd April 2023 aged 85 years.

Helen, Jason & Lysander Gane


Such a lovely man, sadly missed, we hope you take comfort in him being at peace and out of pain xxx

Anna Avery


In loving memory of a dear friend.

Sarah Ashwin


Since I said 'these photos' in my previous post, I thought I would show the beginning of the sequence. Dad in action 'doing a funny voice'. He was such delightful, sparkling company. I'll miss him so much!

Sarah Ashwin


My sister Maggie has eloquently expressed many of the wonderful things about Dad. He was an excellent headteacher, with an absolute commitment to the schools he worked in and to the children they taught. He was a dedicated Christian and member of church throughout his life, engaged in multiple ways from serving on General Synod to directing a beautiful Christmas pageant, first at St Gabriel’s Aldersbrook and then at St Paul’s Chichester. He was a loving husband, who absolutely respected and relied on Mum.

But what I’ll miss most about Dad is his beautiful mind – his deep knowledge of English literature, and the classics – and his humour. These photos sum it up for me. As I said in my eulogy: “Dad had an infectious sense of fun, excelling at wry asides and comic improvisation. ‘Doing funny voices’ as we used to call it as children was one of his specialities. In our childhood, a tattered brown oven glove became ‘Grumpus,’ a ferocious malcontent, while years later a toy elephant became ‘Marcus,’ an incorrigibly naughty fellow, with whom Dad would remonstrate in vain, to the delight of his grandchildren. Bedtime stories were enriched by the voices Dad created for characters, dinner times by his amused accounts of social situations.” In this photos he was giving me a belly laugh by doing an impersonation (I forget of whom). I’ll miss that love and laughter more than I can say.

Christine, Mike & Mary


Thank you for being such a lovely neighbour John xxx

Marlene and Colin Bocking


With fond memories

Georgios Manolis


May you Rest In Peace Mr Ashwin. You were a wonderful Headmaster and a positive influence on many young people's lives, including mine, thank you.

Mary and Robert Tailby


I will miss you, Uncle John. With love, Mary xxx

Huw Thomas


John, my kind of man. Enthusiastic, supportive and a font of knowledge. Always there to help and always there to imagine different possibilities and outcomes. I will always remember his humour and smile and a shared passion for music and the arts. Rest in peace and thank you for your contribution as an educator, a colleague and as a friend. “Sing a new song unto the Lord.”

Bosham Bridge Group


Bosham Bridge Group has many happy memories of playing bridge with John and of his wonderful company. From all his friends at Bosham Bridge Group

Kirstin Satherley


Mr Ashwin was an amazing head master - he knew every kids name in the school within weeks of term starting, including all the new year 7 kids. I was also lucky enough to have been taught Shakespeare by him when I signed up to the literacy club in the library after school - he was so enthusiastic and passionate about teaching.
His pride in the Bishop Luffa was plain to see and instilled in us students the same kind of pride and respect for our school.

A. Student


RIP Mr Ashwin. Some of the happiest days were at Luffa. You ran a great ship there!

Diamond Ashiagbor


I want to send all my love to John Ashwin's family at this time.

I moved to Chichester in January 1980, in the same year as John and his family, and quickly became very good friends with his middle child Maggie - we were in the same year and class at Chichester High School for Girls. Through my close friendship with Maggie, I got to know John and Mary over many decades, and so greatly appreciated their kindness and generosity of welcome. They are a close family, but also willing to share that warmth and sense of fun. I have very fond memories of the sense of community John and Mary created in Wellington Road.

The phrase role model can be overused, but John showed us, in such an understated way, how to be a grown up. He was an educator and headteacher by profession, but perhaps equally importantly, modelled for his children's friends how to grow up to be a 'proper person'.

Maggie Mumford


The last day I spent with my dad at home summed up everything that was lovely about him. Two memories in particular stand out.

First there was the fun of watching the 'Colin Firth' adaptation of Pride & Prejudice. We shared a love of Jane Austen, & had both studied English Literature at university, before going on to teach English in state schools. I always felt so blessed to have that intellectual bond with Dad, who re-read all of Jane Austen's novels in the last months of his life. We also shared a love of Dickens, & David Copperfield was the last novel Dad read. Furthermore, when studying & teaching Shakespeare, Dad would often amaze me with the depth of his knowledge about Shakespeare's plays. He had an amazing mind.

The second memory of our last day together also captures a key part of Dad's personality. We were watching Pride & Prejudice on a commercial channel with an irritating number of ad' breaks, & often I would do a quick chore during them. At one such moment, Dad grabbed my hand as I was passing, & told me I was a kind girl, &, when I protested, he said he saw me & all I did. As a full time mum, I often felt inadequate, but Dad always appreciated the challenges I faced & helped me with his kind encouragement. I am going to miss our phone calls & easy intimacy more than words can say. His passing leaves a huge hole in our family.

Dad loved people & community, as shown by his loyal devotion to St Paul's & 'Luffa'- his beloved Bishop Luffa, where he served as head. In fact it was 'Luffa' that bought us to 'Chi', as we kids called it. In his retirement, he served on General Synod, as a governor of Chichester University, & he was still churchwarden of St Paul's when he died. So Dad wasn't a Cambridge graduate living in an ivory tower; he took an active part in church & Chichester life, & the numerous cards of condolences we have received are testament to the many lives Dad touched. Always modest, Dad would be very moved by this outpouring of love from former colleagues, parishioners, family & friends.

Dad was delighted when my youngest child, Charlie, took Classics A Level, & would frequently share his passion & knowledge with Charlie on the phone. All three of my kids adored 'Grandpa', because he was fun & gentle, & was never grumpy or critical. All three of them took English Literature A Level, & I am sure Dad's genes & fun readings of childhood classics played a part in that. Similarly, Dad had a lovely bond with my husband, Stephen, who is a philosopher, & would read his books, & take an interest in Stephen's work in a typically clever but modest way.

As shown in the condolences cards we have received, Dad had the ability to touch lives with his loving care, his humour, & his intellect. He loved & was loved.

This funeral was arranged by Reynolds

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