Tribute: Michael Tompsett

  |  Published: Jun 1st 2016

Michael Tompsett was born in the London suburb of Newington Green on 5 June 1932. This meant he was one of millions of evacuees during World War 2, three times in fact. He then went on to National Service, with an Army Commission, serving mostly in Germany. He married Monica in 1959 and they moved to Wendover in 1960. Michael was orphaned shortly afterwards when only in his 30s and this devastated him but he took care to be in close contact with his extended family including an influential farming uncle in Amersham and families living in North Wales. This was where he developed his great affinity with farm animals and dogs.

Daughters Nicola and Polly were born into a family where both parents were a strong influence. High standards were followed in professional and private life. They both saw their father as “a knight . . . in the stories of old” the hymn of Wendover CofE Middle School when they attended in the 1970s which was therefore a natural choice at Michael’s funeral. Words that sprang to mind for them were gallant, brave and noble.As a boy Michael had enrolled into the Scout movement and was always loyal to friends made at that time. Michael was thrilled to take his whole family on scouting trips to Sinai and Mexico with these friends. They continued to holiday together even when frailty started to set in.
Michael shared the commute to London with Ian McCraw, a Wendover Scout Leader. He could never persuade Michael to become involved with this local group. Bob Lewis was another commuter who became part of a friendship of half century. 

Scouting must have influenced this very private man to always support his community. The English gentleman in him allowed this to be done discretely. Organisations which benefitted included Wendover Memorial Hall and Choral Society; Wendover Tennis and Squash Club; Wendover Middle School PTA; Guides and Brownies; Young Wives; NADFAS; Hartwell RDA; Wendover Deanery. His accountancy training was very useful to many local businesses, shops and individuals, not all known to the family. The books were always immaculately done. He also audited meticulously. He knew that every penny counts at work and at home.

When his daughters married he bonded with his sons-in-law in his own quiet way. He was thrilled when his grandchildren arrived - Abigail, Cador, Hafina, Lili, Lloerhian, Serreni. As one grandchild said - His outward appearance was really scary until you go for a walk and he pulled out a bag of doughnuts and said “Don’t tell Mummy”. He was never happier than when walking with his dog: Coombe Hill, Wellwick Farm, Boddington Hill - sliced Mars bars at the ready. He really enjoyed the company of his young grandchildren including being a willing chauffeur. 

Michael was diagnosed with Parkinsons 5 years ago and passed away on 15 February 2016. Donations, if desired, to Care International UK, Médecins Sans Frontières, Parkinsons UK or Abbeyfield Care Homes. 

Michael at his wedding to Monica, 1959
Michael at his wedding to Monica, 1959
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