The Top Ten Notable Reigatians
This is a list of the top ten notable people who have studied at Reigate Grammar School. It is by no means exhaustive; corrections and suggestions for further additions are welcome!
David Walliams OBE
Actor, writer, comedian, talent-show judge, author, presenter and BAFTA winner for comedy series Little Britain. Walliams is also a writer of children’s books. To date he has sold more than 12.5 million copies and his books have been translated into 46 languages. He has been described as “the fastest growing children’s author in the UK.”
David revisited the school in 2005 with his co-star Matt Lucas to talk to the pupils about his work in comedy and again in 2012 for ‘an evening with David Walliams’. Attended RGS 1981-1989.
Vice Admiral Sir Geoffrey Dalton KCB
Joined the Royal Navy in 1949. Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic 1984-87, Secretary General of MENCAP 1987-90 and President of the Royal British Legion from 1993 to 1997, more recently, President of the D-Day and Normandy Fellowship. Vice Chairman of Governors of Queen Mary College, London from 1995-2002. Honorary Colonel 71st (Yeomanry) Signal Regiment from 1998-2001. Attended RGS 1943-1948.
Bill Frindall MBE (1939-2009)
Dubbed ‘The Bearded Wonder’ by the late Brian Johnston, Bill Frindall was the BBC’s scorer and statistician from 1966 and was the longest-serving member of BBC Radio’s Test Match Special commentary team. He scored the first of his 246 home matches on 2 June 1966 when England played West Indies at Old Trafford. He did not miss a single Test in England thereafter. In all, he covered 377 Tests the last of which was on England’s tour of India in 2008. He became a full-time freelance cricket statistician in 1966 after serving in the RAF.
Bill devised his own linear scoring system and edited and compiled many cricketing publications. As a right-handed medium fast bowler and mid-order batsman, he played cricket for Banstead and represented the MCC, Hampshire 2nd XI, the Cricket Society and The Lord’s Taverners. He was President of the BBC Cricket Club from 1998. He was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Technology for his contribution to the field of statistics by Staffordshire University in 1998. Appointed MBE in the 2004 Queen’s Birthday Honours and Patron of the German Cricket Board in 2005. Attended RGS 1950–1957.
Keir Starmer MP, KCB QC
Keir Starmer KCB QC is a barrister, Labour MP for Holborn and St Pancras and Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. Previously he was the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
He was knighted by the Queen in the 2014 New Year’s Honours List. Regarded as a progressive barrister he was named Human Rights Lawyer of the Year 2000 and ‘QC of the Year’ in 2007. Appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 2002 and was joint head of his chambers, Doughty Street Chambers. He was sworn of the Privy Council on 19 July 2017. He studied Law at the University of Leeds and graduated with a first class Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree in 1985. He then undertook postgraduate studies at St Edmund Hall, Oxford and graduated from the University of Oxford with a Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) degree in 1986. Attended RGS 1974-1981.
Surgeon Captain Sarah Stapley
Consultant Orthopedic and Trauma Surgeon, Sarah has been part of the Royal Navy since 1987. She has been deployed with the Defence Medical Services to Iraq and Afghanistan on six occasions, in 2011 as Deployed Medical Director with responsibility for clinical leadership and management of the UK Hospital at Camp Bastion. She was awarded the Order of St John for services to the Defence Medical Services and the Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service. In the civilian world, she has been awarded an American, British and Canadian Travelling Fellowship by the British Orthopeadic Association.
In 2011, Sarah was awarded the Women of the Year award as part of a team of six British women recognised for supporting the medical treatment of injured military personnel from point of wounding to rehabilitation.
Sarah became involved with the training of surgeons as Programme Director of Core Surgery and went on to become a Military Surgery and Trauma Senior Lecturer in Extermity, supporting military and civilian trainees in obtaining Higher Degrees. Attended RGS 1982-1984.
The Lord Sterling of Plaistow GCVO, CBE
Executive chairman of the P&O Steam Navigation Company 1983-2005 and now Life President of P&O Princess Cruises. Joint Founder and current Chairman of Motability. Chairman of the National Maritime Museum. Chairman of the Governors of The Royal Ballet School 1983-1999. Chairman of the Young Vic Company 1975-1983. President of the General Council of British Shipping 1990-1991. President of the European Community Shipowners’ Associations 1992-1994. Knighted in 1985 for public services and services to industry. Created a life peer in December 1990. Awarded Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) in 2002. He holds an honorary commission of Vice Admiral in the Royal Naval Reserve. Attended RGS 1945-1949.
Sir Peter Gershon CBE FREng
Chiefly known for conducting the Gershon Review in 2004/2005 which recommended savings across the UK’s public services and for being an adviser to the Conservative Party during the run up to the 2010 General Election. He was awarded the CBE in 2000 for services to industry and Knighted in 2004 for his work on public procurement.
Peter graduated in Mathematics at Cambridge University in 1969. Was a board member of GEC plc in 1994 until the sale of its defence business in 1999 to BAE SYSTEMS. Peter was also Chairman of Tate & Lyle PLC from 2009 – 2017. He was appointed as an external member of the UK Government’s Efficiency Board 2010 – 2015. Peter became Chairman of National Grid Plc in 2012, Chairman of the UK Aircraft Carrier and Dreadnought Submarine Alliances and a board member of The Sutton Trust. Attended RGS 1958-1965.
John Westbrook (1922-1989)
John Westbrook worked mainly in theatre and in radio but also made film and television appearances. His most famous role was as Christopher Gough in Roger Corman’s The Tomb of Ligeia. He was noted for his deep, mellifluous voice. He recorded radio plays and audio books, performed in a great many Shakespeare plays, and was involved with many works with a religious theme.
Norman Cook, also known by his stage name Fatboy Slim, is a British DJ, musician, and record producer. Cook first rose to fame in the 1980s as the bassist of the indie rock band The Housemartins who scored a UK number one single with their capella cover of Isley-Jasper-Isley’s Caravan of Love. After the band split, Cook formed Beats International whose début album spawned their signature hit, Dub Be Good to Me which was another UK number one as well as going on to become the seventh best-selling single of 1990 in the UK. Attended RGS 1974-1979.