We have learned that Sir Hugh Beach, the Honorary President of the Charity, passed away on 4 September 2019 after a short period of illness. Sir Hugh is survived by three sons and one daughter. He was 96 years old.

Several VERTIC staff have fond memories of Sir Hugh. Described as “warm-hearted, witty and dedicated” by one member of staff, he would regularly pass on his thanks for updates from VERTIC, and respond to our publications.

Andreas Persbo, VERTIC’s Executive Director, said:

Since we were both military men, although worlds apart in rank, we shared a common understanding. We had both witnessed what comes when the violence of men is unleashed. He had an incredible moral compass, guided by both his faith and his political beliefs. He stayed true to his convictions to the end. Sir Hugh’s last email to me, in response to some internal paperwork, read ‘very impressive, as always.’ Sir Hugh made sure that you felt appreciated. His optimism, charisma, and dedication to our cause will be missed. The world has become an emptier place.

Dr Owen Greene, who has served with Sir Hugh on the VERTIC board for the most part of three decades, said:

Sir Hugh led an extremely full and productive life, and so alongside the sadness at this loss, it is also important to celebrate his life. I worked with Sir Hugh in VERTIC from the very beginning of the charity in the mid-1980s, and it was always a pleasure. In addition to wide governance and advice, he was prepared to rough it and to engage in practical work whenever useful.

A memorial service will be held at St Mary, The Boltons, SW10 9TB, on 29 November 2019 at 3:00 pm.

Friends of Sir Hugh are encouraged to donate, following his family’s wishes, to the College of St Barnabas, where he spent the last year of his life.