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Obituary: David Hart – 'inspirational' former magistrate and head teacher of Lyndhurst Junior School

David Hart
David Hart

A FORMER magistrate and head teacher of Lyndhurst Junior School has died at the age of 90.

David Hart had moved to the New Forest after meeting wife Phyl, who was born in the district. He became a teacher at the school in 1965 and went on to become head – a post he held until his retirement in 1996.

Born in Eltham, north London, he undertook his training at Westminster Methodist College London and Reading University.

For many years David was also a dedicated member and treasurer of the Hampshire branch of the British Association for Early Childhood Education, mentoring many teachers and head teachers during his time with the organisation.

David was also an active member of the Hampshire branch of the National Association of Head Teachers, serving as treasurer and eventually being made an honorary life member for his services to early years education.

Always a man to keep busy, he was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1971, serving at Lymington court and later at Totton until 1999.

He also became a Methodist lay preacher inspired by his grandfather who had been a missionary in India.

He was an active member of New Milton Liberal Democrats and served on New Milton Town Council after moving from Pennington to Barton in 1972 with Phyl and their two sons, Adam and Graeme.

When he was not busy teaching or working for the many organisations he was a member of, David loved to indulge his passion for art. He would display it on the garden fence of the family home to raise funds for the charity Médecins Sans Frontières.

He also helped collect money for other good causes, such as the New Forest Mummers, a traditional group performing short, ancient plays in pubs around the area.

David also played hockey for Esso Fawley, New Milton, and Bournemouth teams. After qualifying as an umpire, he posted match reports to the A&T and was appointed honorary president of the New Forest Hockey Club in recognition of his dedication to the sport.

After retiring David also took up golf and at one time became press officer for Walhampton Golf Club. He was also a member of New Forest Golf Club for 15 years, and his funeral service was conducted by one of his friends from the club.

An enthusiastic traveller, David enjoyed holidays with Phyl all around the globe. The couple celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary shortly before David died in January.

He was described by his family as someone who “lived his life for others, rarely, if ever, seeking praise for himself. His greatest pleasure came from seeing those around him enjoying life”.

They said he was a “devoted husband, father and granddaddy to five grandsons. A truly caring, much loved and inspirational man who touched many lives and will be sorely missed”.

David spent his last few weeks at Oakhaven Hospice to which donations in his memory can be made by visiting www.justgiving.com/david-henry-hart

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