HE was a respected former headteacher, army veteran and a thoroughly nice guy.

Richard Carter, the former headmaster at The Emmbrook School in Wokingham for almost two decades, has died in his 90s.

He was described as a special person and a distinguished man in tributes from former pupils and will be missed by many around Wokingham, where he was a well-known figure.

Mr Carter was Emmbrook Schools longest serving headteacher having been appointed prior to the opening of the school to students in May 1965.

He remained headmaster there until 1983 and nearly 40 years on from his retirement, he remained engaged with former colleagues and students and continued to read the schools newspaper.

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Current headteacher Nick McSweeney addressed parents and members of the community in a letter.

He said: "Mr Carter was in his 90s and died peacefully supported by his family. Our thoughts are with his wife Sheila and his family at this sad time.

"I was lucky to have had the opportunity to talk with Mr Carter on a couple of occasions and I was struck by his deep and genuine interest in, and fondness for, The Emmbrook. Nearly 40 years on from his retirement he remained engaged with former colleagues and students and continued to read our newspaper The Emmbrook Wave. We also exchanged letters and in those he expressed real pride in this community. He was particularly proud of Tirabad, the outdoor education centre in Wales that he helped found with the headmasters of Maiden Erlegh School and Charters School.

"Many Emmbrook alumni have remained in contact with Mr Carter. This has included numerous reunions, the last of which was a visit in 2019. Gary Wells was one of the original 65 students who started on May 5th 1965; he remembers Mr Carter as a thoroughly nice guy who was hugely respected. Prior to teaching, Mr Carter had served in the armed forces, and Gary added that he had the bearing of a military man.

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"Mr Carter remained in contact with each of his successor headmasters and, latterly, headteachers over the years. Earlier today I spoke with Nigel Matthias (Headteacher 2006-2016) who shared fond memories of a man with a strong interest in The Emmbrook, which he saw as a community rather than simply a school. We both agreed that Mr Carter’s principles shaped our own leadership. He held a holistic view of the purpose of education; to develop well-rounded individuals who make a positive contribution to society. I believe this remains at the core of our ethos over 50 years later.

"Mr Carter leaves The Emmbrook community with an enduring legacy and we will find a suitable way to honour his memory. In each of his letters to me he always signed off with the same two words and I will repeat them here as a fitting tribute to him – Floreat Emmbrook."