Douglas Alan Gillett: [Heath 1945–1953]

We have to report the sad news of the sudden death on Monday of ‘Doug’ Gillett who attended Heath 1945–1953. He died in the Friarage Hospital Northallerton where some years ago he had surgery for stomach cancer from which he made a strong recovery.

He also attended Trinity Junior School and such was his interest in history and world events that he took a keen interest in the progress of the 8th Army and the retreat of Field Marshal Rommel across North Africa and could draw detailed maps of the campaign.

That interest continued at Heath and St Bede’s College, Durham where he qualified as a teacher of history. Whilst at Heath he was a fearsome rugby player at Junior and First XV levels and that interest continued into his adult life when he dedicated three decades to the Under 20s Yorkshire County rugby teams.

Many young men will have known Doug as the most enthusiastic of men in the cause of Yorkshire Rugby and he kept tabs on any young players in the county who displayed talent and that knowledge extended to Heath RUFC.

He settled in Bedale and taught there for many years but kept in touch with his contemporaries at Heath and ‘dropped in’ from time to time and was not shy to share his strong views on politics, education and the world.

He remained a bachelor and is survived by his sister Shirley to whom we send our sincere condolences.

He will be sadly missed by those who knew him. There is only one ‘Doug’ Gillett.

R Smith