The Association for Latin Teaching

respice prospice

Charles Craddock, one of our vice-presidents, passed away on Sept 11 2006 after a long illness. He loved Latin and was a great admirer and supporter of our society. The family asked that donations at the funeral were made to ARLT.

He was joint author of the Latin Course known as 'Thompson and Craddock' and also edited a school edition of Virgil Aeneid book VIII.

A Memorial Service was held at St. Mary and All Saints Church, Old Beaconsfield on Friday 17th November qnd

John Hazel spoke in appreciation:

Charles Craddock

We are here to celebrate the life of Charles Craddock, man, husband, parent, teacher, scholar, colleague, and friend. It is as a professional man, a teacher and a colleague in teaching, as well as as a friend, that I should like to recall him.

Charles was one of the nicest and most interesting people I have ever known, a true gentleman and yet a man with a wicked sense of humour. He was a greatly loved member of, the Association for Latin Teaching, the ARLT, an association for teachers of Classics. He was twice its president. He was also a great supporter of the Joint Association of Classical Teachers and the London Association of Classics Teachers, where he made an outstanding contribution to our struggles to adopt new methods, especially in evaluating classical literature. With his marvellous resonant voice he was an excellent declaimer and speaker of the Latin language himself, and an inspiring teacher, as was clear to those of us who, though we had not been taught by him at school, sat at his feet when he took classes and reading groups at the ARLT annual summer schools and weekend courses: what is now called In Service Training, though in his presence it seemed to be so much more fun. Charles was for me and many others, the person par excellence who gave our meetings and studies those enjoyable qualities which inspired us and made us feel that what we were doing was valuable and uplifting. In 1965 he directed a summer school at Canterbury. That is where I first met him. He was so kind to me on that occasion: he did not know me at all, but as I arrived, wet behind the ears, not knowing what I had let myself in for by enrolling for this for me untried educational experience, he came up to me as I registered and made me feel welcome like a long lost friend, and spent at least a quarter of an hour telling me about the summer school, about the Association, and in getting to know me. I could not possibly have felt more welcome and at home than he made me then.

Later on, of course, I got to know him better: he was always ready to give the Association the benefit of his wisdom and talents as a speaker and negotiator. When I eventually became president, he was always to be relied on to give sound advice and to help in his diplomatic way with tricky situations when they arose. In his dry and ironic way, he liked to keep us laughing at his often recondite jokes: he had a marvellous talent for quick repartee, and at our end of summer school entertainments when a Latin speech was traditionally made by the director, he was brilliant at interjecting Latin witticisms which brought the house down and kept the director on his toes. He was, however, a modest man, and was never one to push himself forward and would sometimes decry his own very substantial abilities. As I have said, he was a very kind man. When my wife Lesley was a student, freshly arrived in London from Hull to do a Post Graduate Certificate in Education, Charles invited her to Sunday lunch at Jordans and Susanna cooked the best Duck a l’ Orange she has ever tasted.      He was so kind to a girl fresh from the country and without friends in London. At summer schools he loved to invite members to his room to a pre-dinner drink at which the ice was broken and members came to feel they had known each other for years.

We in the ARLT have recently learnt of the death of some of our stalwarts members of the past, and a new generation has now succeeded them. However we should be foolish if we did not remember the high qualities of loyalty, integrity, and learning that those men and women, and Charles in particular, exemplified. In the world of Classics teaching he was a great man, and it was a real privilege to know him and learn so much from him.

I feel I cannot finish this recollection of Charles without saying something in the Latin language he loved and to which he devoted much of his life: so I shall read two verses from a poem by the Roman poet Horace, in which he mourned the death of his friend   Quintilius. First a translation:

“What restraint or limit can there be to our longing for one so dear? Teach us a mournful strain, Melpomene (muse of tragedy), to whom your father granted the flowing sound of the lyre. And so, is Quintilius borne down by everlasting sleep? When will Modesty, and untarnished Loyalty, the sister of Justice, and naked Truth ever find his like?”

Quis desiderio sit pudor aut modus

tam cari capitis? praecipe lugubris

cantus, Melpomene, cui liquidam pater

 vocem cum cithara dedit.

ergo Quintilium perpetuus sopor

urget? cui pudor et Iustitiae soror,

incorrupta Fides, nudaque Veritas

 quando ullum inveniet parem?

John Hazel

Charles Craddock

Charles Craddock is seen here with Belinda Dennis