I am very sad to have recently heard the news of the death of Angus Holmes (YG 2008), who died, at the time of writing, 6 years ago, on 16th November 2014.
Angus was two years above me at school and I have a vivid memory of him showing a friend and me how to play a song on the guitar in the Music School: we both thought he was definitively cool, with his long hair and low guitar.
Having spoken with Angus' mother, I can share the following short obituary of his life.
Angus Alexander Holmes, born 30th November 1989, started at Friends' School Saffron Walden aged 13. He had previously attended a Suffolk Middle School. At Friends' Angus was popular with both staff and students. The youngest of four, Angus' brother Edward (Ted, YG 2007) and sister Jennifer (Wren, YG 2004) also attended the school, whilst his eldest brother, Mark, went to Newport Grammar. Angus was a keen musician and, choosing to leave the school after his GCSEs, he went on to 'Access to Music' college in Norwich. He learnt every instrument he could lay his hands on: passed Grade 5 Saxophone, playing up to Grade 8 level and taught himself the piano both by reading and ear.
Angus, ever modest, would say to the family that: "anyone could do it," though, as his mother told me, he must have known they could not. She said he was "too modest to accept he was gifted, though it was obvious to all those around him."
On leaving college Angus went to Northern Ireland, initially to the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise in Enniskillen (CAFRE) where he earned an award and very large silver cup for "Endeavour", of which he was very proud, as he passed the year of academic studies with flying colours, and much hard work. This then allowed him to study and work with a well known Farrier near Ballymena. He was very popular with the local horse owners, and their horses and donkeys too, as he always had a way with animals.
He was about to start his last year at the college when he died suddenly. He is buried in the local village churchyard in Worlingham.