TDA Panel Members give their own time on a quarterly basis to attend meetings in London to guide the development of TDA and discuss future events, fundraising, reunions, networking opportunities and careers support. The Panel is made up of a good mix of male and female Dukies from different generations and with different strengths to offer, with management and administration services supplied by the School.
Meet the current Panel:
Alex Foreman - Principal
Principal at The Duke of York's Royal Military School and immensely proud to be leading this prestigious school with its unique mix of military and education. I fell into teaching in 1999, after studying philosophy at university: I took up a teaching position at an independent public school in Rutland whilst I completed my PGCE. I then moved on to something at the opposite end of the spectrum; an inner-city, 1200 strong, all boys comprehensive in Leicester. I wanted to challenge myself, but that's where I really learnt to teach and find ways to reach and inspire young people.
I've moved from leading an MoD school in British Forces Germany and am very familiar with the values and ethos our armed forces can instil; it was an honour and privilege to work alongside and support the military families there.
As well as education, I have a huge passion for sport and an indestructible attachment to Leicester Tigers Rugby Club. I have represented the county at Rugby, Cricket and Hockey. I still coach all three sports whenever possible; my son and daughter now carry on where I left off and find myself itching to get on the field whenever I watch them.
I'm looking forward to contributing to the TDA in order to develop wider opportunities that support past, present and future Dukies.
Simon Daglish – Chairman
1979 – 1984 (Wolfe)
Chris Crowcroft (Vice Chairman)
1963 - 1970 (Haig & Clive)
I became a Dukie half way through my school career, joining Wolfe House in my fourth form. Having been splendidly unremarkable at school apart from a dramatic clash with hydrogen peroxide and a creative hair stylist, it wasn't until my sixth form that I became noticed and, despite my challenged status in the world of academia, managed to mature into an ok cricketer, medium pace swing and leader. I became CSP in my final year.
After a short period in the Army, the leadership skills I learnt at school have helped me become Commercial Director of the largest radio company in the UK and more recently deputy MD at ITV, where I have led the commercial revitalisation of the TV group.
In my own time I have also raised over £5 million for Walking with the Wounded, a charity I co-founded. I’ve also walked unsupported to the North and South Pole, ridden a bike through the Australian interior and rowed unsupported across the Irish Sea.
I am the Chairman of two charities as well as Chair of TDA.
1957 – 1962 (Clive)
Returning into the DOYRMS orbit in 2011 by attending the 'Then and Now' exhibition, my time 1963-70 (Haig & Clive) saw the last of the Nye reforms and many more of us going onto university. A law degree at St. Catherine's College Oxford was sanified on the sportsfield and onstage. Teaching English and playing rugby in Italy preceded a career fundraising for education and heritage causes, via Liberal Party HQ, into business sponsorship of the arts with my own agency. Voluntary commitments have included alumni relations for St Catz; chair, Centre for Young Musicians & trustee, Friends of Shakespeare's Church.
1959-1967 (Haig and Clive)
I started at the school in 1957 in Clive House and left after “O” Levels in 1962, having decided on a career at sea in the Merchant Navy. I joined Shell Tankers as a Deck Apprentice and was sent to Plymouth for my early training, accompanied by two other Dukies! I qualified as a Deck Officer in 1967 and following further periods of study, qualified as a Master Mariner in 1972. As part of my Shell development, I spent some time working in the head office at Shell Centre, but returned to Fleet service in 1983 and was promoted to Captain in 1986. My Shell career lasted 45 years. Since retirement in 2007 I have been involved with the Shell Fleet Association; the Society of London Ragamuffins (helping disadvantaged young people in London) and as a Governor at a local primary school. I was invited to join the TDA panel as a member of the OBA Central Committee (past Chairman 2010). I am married and live in Tunbridge Wells and have 2 children and 3 grandchildren. My main aim as a TDA member is to see it merged with the OBA for the benefit of the school and future pupils.
1986 – 1993 (Haig and Wolfe)
Until December 2013 I was a Whitehall policy wonk, having spent over 40 years in the Department for Business mainly in competition policy, industrial/ technology policy and most recently developing government policy on “smart cities”; in the 1990s I had a six year spell in the Cabinet Office co-ordinating UK policy in relation to European R&D programmes. Since then I have been working with RB Greenwich, as a consultant, developing their smart Borough policy.
My main leisure pursuit was hockey and I won a couple of England Indoor caps and managed the England Indoor U21 team in the late 1980s, winning a Silver medal at the European Cup in Orense. I have recently been conned by former team mates to pick up the stick again in the Super Vets league.
My core interest in the TDA is helping young Dukies to see the rich variety of opportunities that is open to them in the world of work, the skills and attributes necessary, and to fulfil their potential in whatever domain they choose – and, if a Dukie were to play for England at hockey, no-one would be more delighted than me.
Abigail Cyd Trench
Head Girl –1997 – 2004 (Alanbrooke, Marlborough and Clive)
I left DOYRMS in the summer of 1993 to head to the Lycee Militaire in Aix as the first gap year student. I then spent a couple of years in Oxford studying and being a choral scholar before starting my career.
I initially worked in insurance for Lloyd’s of London before spending a year in officer training at Sandhurst where injury cut my Military career short. I returned to the city of London working for a Stockbroker before deciding to change direction. I have now been involved in software licensing for 12 years which included stints with a software vendor working all round the world including the Americas and Australia and recently at Deloitte.
I currently work for Ernst & Young as an Assistant Director where I manage the Software Asset Management practice. I combine my commercial career with singing in Rochester Cathedral Choir and taking part in classic car rallying as a navigator and driver. I finally completed my degree in Theology part-time in 2013 after 5 years of work through Canterbury Christchurch University.
I joined the panel to represent the OBA, having been on the working party which created the TDA terms of reference. I see TDA as important to the future of the school as a wider community of people and the panel is crucial in building those relationships
After a gap year post-Dukies, I studied Law & Criminology and Organised Crime. Following university and various internships I did some soul-searching and decided to pursue my creativity. This led me down the sales path into the world of Interior Design, working for a fabric and wallpaper supplier based on the South coast.
After relocating to the North West I then transitioned into the clothing industry and worked for a school uniform supplier, operating out of Manchester. In both roles I travelled and serviced the majority of England and Wales as a Key Account Manager.
1983 - 1989 (Haig and Wolseley)
I am about to move into an International Sales Manager role for a Manchester based company, covering Europe and the Far East. There, I will be consolidating educational supplies from hundreds of suppliers based in the UK and USA, and project managing them into international schools in over one hundred countries.
I live in Warrington, Cheshire with my Dukie partner, Euan Stoddart (Roberts House 1999–2004) and outside of work I enjoy cycling, working on our house, bird watching, art and blogging. In the next five years I hope to start my own business, learn to ski and cycle the Monuments.
I am thrilled to be involved with the TDA. My main interest is in developing the female Dukie membership, creating links between current and past pupils and ensuring there continues to be a strong Ladies community within the school and its alumni.
Haig and Roberts; 2000 – 2007
I left DYRMS IN 1989, although DYRMS has never left me. It shaped me and left me with some of my greatest memories. To steal and amend a phrase from a wonderful film "I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve..." Those friendships continue today, along with many new ones from across the years at DOYRMS.
I wanted to join the panel to give just a little back to a place that has helped shape me into who I am today. These days I enjoy photography and social media, live in London and work across many disciplines including Civil's construction and Rail networks and am enjoying watching my children grow up.
After holding various jobs after leaving Dukies including working for Warwickshire Social Services, I decided to pursue my dream and join the Army.
I joined Sandhurst in 2011 and commissioned in 2012 into the Royal Logistic Corps. I found myself in Afghanistan less than a year later, and saw several Dukies there, showing the strong links between the Armed Forces and Dukies.
Since that, I have visited numerous places with the Army including Germany, Cyprus, Poland, Oman and Nigeria to name but a few. I am currently serving in Aldershot.
As the one thing that binds Dukies together past and present is our inclusion in the wider Armed Forces family; I felt it was essential that a serving member of the Armed Forces be on The Dukies’ Association Panel to maintain those strong links to the Forces, and represent the ‘Military’ in The Duke of York’s Royal Military School.
1979 - 1986 (Haig and Marlborough)
I left the school in 1986 and thanks to an introduction by the then headmaster, Col. Petrie I embarked on a career in insurance. As I remained in Kent, I regularly attended Old Boys events but had seen the numbers dwindle and a chance meeting with some ‘younger old boys’ on a train to Twickenham in 2001 led to the formation of what is now the Memorial XV and an annual fixture at Dover Rugby Club on the Saturday of the Armistice weekend.
I spend most of my spare time training for marathons and ultra-marathons to raise money for Walking with the Wounded, a charity co-founded by Simon Daglish which supports injured service personnel.
In 2015 I completed the Marathon des Sables (250km self-supported race across the Moroccan Sahara) and the Ride of the Lions ‘Waterloo ride’, a 200 mile cycle ride from Brussels to London with the bonus of an overnight stay at the school and breakfast on the high table with some rugby legends.
I was asked to join the TDA in 2015 and was delighted to accept. I am keen to promote a strong alumni association, give something back to the school and help Dukies of any vintage in whatever way I can.
1961 - 1968 (Haig and Clive)
I left DYRMS in summer 1968 and went to Bradford University to study Management Sciences. Post my degree I joined Esso Petroleum in London as a trainee COBOL programmer and have been in IT since.
I am now a serial entrepreneur, having founded, built and sold multiple software companies. I have lived and worked in the UK plus the East and West Coast of the USA. My career has involved writing the software code all the way through to raising millions in venture capital to allow me to grow my companies as fast as possible. In early April 2019 I sold my latest startup called Videalert to the Marston Group.
In the later part of my career I have mentored several young entrepreneurs, giving them advice and helping them with funding. In the same spirit I have joined the TDA panel, to use my experience and skill to help “give back” to the school so that it can develop and enhance the educational offering, preparing the Dukies of today for a vastly different work environment than the one I entered post school.
Kate Avery - Alumni & Development Officer
Kate Avery joined DOYRMS this month as the Alumni and Development Officer. Her role is to organise Alumni events and liaise with TDA and TDF members. Kate replaces Holly Applebee who has been promoted within the marketing team as Deputy Marketing Manager.
She went to Clarendon House Grammar School in her hometown of Ramsgate and then studied Business Management and Accounting at Brunel University, London. Afterwards, Kate secured a Graduate Placement at Cummins Power Generation working within the Sales and Marketing Team.
While visiting a friend who is a teacher at the School, Kate was extremely impressed with the facilities along with the sense of community, and wanted to become a part of this; therefore, when the opportunity arose, she jumped at the chance to join the school.
Kate is very supportive of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and has been involved in various fundraising campaigns over the years, representing the charity at large scale events and implementing a regular supporter system. She hopes that her energy and experience will bring new ideas to fulfil her role at DOYRMS.
In her spare time Kate enjoys snowboarding, travelling and photography.