Respected Derby School head had 'a full and colourful life'
A WELL-KNOWN and respected former head teacher of Derby School has died, aged 93.
Norman Elliott has been remembered by his son, Nigel, as having a "full and colourful life" and an "ever-present sense of humour".
He became headmaster of Derby School, then based in St Helen's House, Derby and a grammar school in 1961, where he remained until his retirement in 1979.
By that time, the school had moved to a greenfield site in Moorway Lane, Littleover in 1966 and was a boys' school until 1974, when Derbyshire County Council took it over and it became a co-educational comprehensive.
In his retirement, Mr Elliott was involved in numerous clubs including Derby Bridge Club, of which he became chairman.
He was also a founder member of both Derby Probus Club and Derby South Rotary Club, of which he later became president as well as supporting the Derby Civic Society.
Nigel Elliot said his father was widely respected and loved.
He said: "He will be greatly missed by myself, his daughter, Pamela, and grandchildren Lorna William and Simon.
"The abiding memory is of a man who always found time to try to understand and encourage you."
He said his father's real love was Derbyshire Cricket Club and in the 1990s he travelled extensively to watch the England cricket team play abroad visiting South Africa, Sri Lanka Australia and New Zealand.
Mr Elliott, who was born in Salford, was the youngest of five children.
At 17, he won both a state scholarship and an open scholarship to read maths at St John's College, Oxford, where he gained a first in both moderations and finals.
He enlisted in the Army shortly after Oxford, declining an opportunity to carry out government research on bouncing bombs in Aberdeen.
Later, Mr Elliott was sent to India with the Royal Engineers, a sea voyage not without incident when the ship's propeller broke down amidst U boats off the coast of Africa.
His commanding officer in the Bombay Sappers & Miners was a Sikh VC calledMajor Buggit and Nigel Elliott said his father's humorous tales of cooking and other adventures in the Indian jungle were well known to generations of Derby schoolboys.
He added: "Most of my father's time in India and Burma was spent either building bridges when the Allies were advancing or blowing them up when on the retreat.
"He did, however, develop a life-long love of India and its people and it must have been one of his big regrets never to have revisited the country after 1945."
After returning to England in the winter of 1945 and marrying Madge, who passed away in 1988, Mr Elliott continued in the Army as a captain in a bomb disposal unit on the north west coast.
He joined the Burma Office as a civil servant in London and then went on to become a maths master at Stockport School.
In 1951 he became head of maths at Adams' Grammar School in Newport, ahead of embarking on his teaching career in Derby.
Mr Elliott's funeral will take place at Markeaton Crematorium on Wednesday at noon.