BWISC Bulletin September 1985
The sudden and unexpected death of Michael Sheppard at his home on 24th July, 1985 will come as a great shock to many of the Study Circle's members who knew him very well indeed as the Hon. Editor of the Bulletin until only a few months ago.
Mike, who was trained as an engineer, joined the Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers in the 1939-45 War and served in 1940-42 in North Africa where he was captured at Tobruk and became a prisoner of war in Italy. However, he escaped from the Italians but through bad luck was recaptured by the Germans before being able to reach Allied lines and sent to Poland where at one time he was in a prisoner of war camp near to the notorious Auschwitz concentration camp.
From 1952 until his retirement last year Mike was employed by the firm of Louis Newmark where for a number of years he was concerned with flightpath control systems and microprocessor based systems providing auto-pilot and flight detector information for helicopters. Some years before he retired he had the responsibility of training apprentices to work on a new computer control precision machine.
Mike also had a number of outside interests. He was a very keen model railway enthusiast, a great rambler and walker and he was particularly fond of gardening. There was, of course also his intense interest in philately over many years during which he formed a fine collection of the postal history and stamps of Barbados which was sold in auction in 1984. As far as the Study Circle was concerned Mike gave a very great deal of time in furthering its causes.
He first became Hon. Editor of the Bulletin with the production of the June 1973 Bulletin and continued for twelve years retiring after editing the March 1985 issue. During this period the high standard of the Bulletin was consistently maintained which without doubt contributed to the steady rise in the Study Circle's membership. In addition he was part of a very successful team with Simon Goldblatt in running the auctions of the Study Circle from their inception and he expressed a wish to continue doing this after ceasing to be Hon. Editor. The members showed Michael their appreciation of his services by making him an Hon. Life Member and a member of the Committee at the last Annual General Meeting and he chose in due course an executive briefcase as a gift from the Study Circle.
Mike retired from work in August-1984 and looked forward to a happy and long retirement during which he had planned to do many things which he had not previously had time for: Very sadly this was not to be. We in the Study Circle will miss him, his friendliness and good nature which enabled him to get to know personally so many of our members.
Mike leaves his widow Peggy, his son Christopher, his daughter Jill and four grandchildren to whom we extend our deepest sympathy in their great and tragic loss.