We are saddened to hear that David Russell, former Chairman of Governors, passed away on 19 July following a prolonged period of illness.

David was highly respected as a leading lawyer and senior partner at Blake Morgan (then Blake Lapthorn).  He joined the Governing Body of Portsmouth Grammar School in 1979, serving as Chairman of Finance and General Purposes from 1984 and, from 1988 until 1993, as Chairman of Governors. 

David worked closely with then Headmaster, Tony Evans, together forming a significant partnership in the stewardship and development of the school.  During this time PGS became fully co-educational, establishing a strong family ethos where girls and boys could be educated together as well as continuing to raise academic standards.  Poignantly, this autumn marks the 25th anniversary since girls first joined Year 7.

It was also an important period of development for sport and the performing arts at PGS.  As well as the new sports hall, the school built a new theatre which was  named after David Russell and is affectionately now known as the ‘DRT’.  The theatre remained named in David’s honour when it was redesigned following a further phase of refurbishment in 2004. A portrait of David, specially commissioned by the governors, depicts David as a shrewd and insightful figure, someone who was intensely proud of the school but who also governed with great warmth.

We remember him similarly and extend our deepest sympathies to his family with whom the school continues to enjoy a close relationship.

A memorial service will be held at Portsmouth Cathedral on Monday 8 August at 2pm, followed by a reception in the dining hall at The Portsmouth Grammar School.

David Russell (right) playing chess with the then Headmaster, Tony Evans, at the opening of the David Russell Theatre in 1991