David Bows died on 10th July 2008 at his home in Herefordshire following a brave struggle against cancer.
In his academic record he had few peers. He passed the scholarship to King Edward’s from Handsworth Primary School in 1953, one of the first from that school to do so. He gained an open exhibition in Classics to Brasenose College Oxford in 1959. He read law at Brasenose where he was awarded the Winter Williams law prize for 1963 and obtained a first class degree in jurisprudence.
He became a well respected figure in City legal circles. He joined the City firm of Clifford Turner soon after qualifying as a solicitor and remained with the firm for the whole of his legal career. The firm subsequently merged to form Clifford Chance, one of the world’s leading law firms. He was head of commercial property for a number of years and instrumental in much of the legal work behind the Canary Wharf development. The tributes he received upon his death from former colleagues were an eloquent indication of the regard in which he was held.
But David was not simply an excellent lawyer. As befits a good Yorkshireman, he was a fine sportsman. An opening bat who could turn his mind to medium pace bowling, he was a regular for the school first eleven and continued playing at college and afterwards for local sides. At football he was an uncompromising full back for the school first eleven and went on to play for Oxford University Centaurs in the annual match against Cambridge University in 1963. He continued to play both cricket and football for a number of years during his working life in London.
After his retirement he thought he might be able to enjoy more time watching his lifelong football love, Sheffield Wednesday. He bought a season ticket one year, but the single game he managed to see in that season was probably one of the most expensive ever. The reason he was too busy to visit Hillsborough was another major love of his, wildlife and the countryside.
After he retired from full time work, he and his wife Christina bought a house in south Devon along with a 30 acre wood. The wood had been interplanted with conifers and coppicing had been abandoned. So they set about restoring it to its original state. There was never an idle moment. As a result of their hard labour the native trees flourished and more wildlife started to return. He was clearly happier in the wood than at Hillsborough or indeed his legal office. He became Chairman of the East Devon Wildlife Trust and even found time to run for election as a District Councillor.
Circumstances changed and he moved on to Herefordshire where he bought and looked after 60 acres of traditionally farmed hay meadows and hedgerows (along with chickens, an orchard, two dogs and an impressive vegetable patch!). He became an expert in hay meadow management and its varied flora and fauna, giving talks to the local wildlife trust.
It was here that latterly the cancer began to take its toll but David never lost his cheerfulness, his love of wildlife and his determination to live life to the full. The well-rounded man that the Old Edwardian aspires to be.
He leaves his former wife Christina, his second wife Hazel and his two sons Stephen, in Australia, and William, in Yorkshire.