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A F P Newns (Peter)

West, 1958-62

It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of A F P Newns (Peter) on 27 September 2023 in Cambridge.

During his time at The Leys, Peter rowed in the first ever 1st VIII, worked on the theatre lighting, and was actively involved in the school printing press and had regaled his family with the tale of nearly setting it ablaze by tossing paper into a bin containing paraffin and leaving it unattended.

He continued his education at the Polytechnic in Cambridge and worked as an apprentice at Pye, while maintaining his passion for rowing where he crewed for the City of Cambridge 1st VIII. At the age of 20, he discovered gliding, a hobby that led him to meet the love of his life, Val. They transitioned to sailing as they started a family, as gliding and children didn’t quite mix.

Peter left Pye to join the RAF, where he was stationed in Germany, Cyprus, and the UK. Sailing remained a constant throughout his life, and when he retired, he and Val embarked on a round-the-world sailing journey in their 36-foot Halberg-Rassy, Valhalla.

Their return brought them to Cornwall, where they continued to sail, as well as cultivating an allotment, and supporting Parkinson’s UK.

They moved back to Cambridge in 2018 when Peter was diagnosed with cancer. He underwent open-heart surgery in 2022, the year after he lost his wife, Val. Despite his ailments, he remained active up to his final weeks, baking, driving his beloved Tesla, and participating in the local Repair Cafes around Cambridge.

Peter leaves behind his loving children, David and Katie, and three grandchildren.

He was an intelligent, kind, and gentle man who will be deeply missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him.

Words by David Newns, North B 1987-92 and Katie Newns, Dale 1992-94