Dedicated to the memory of 'The Boss'

The photograph on this page shows Roy with his elder son, Tim - who died on 17th April, 2019.

This site is a tribute to 'The Boss', who was born in Brighton on February 18, 1925. He is much loved and will always be remembered.

The Boss took great comfort from attending St Giles Church, Shermanbury.  The Boss always worried about the future of St Giles, and appreciated the dedication of those who work so hard to maintain this wonderful and historic building.  

As part of the continuing improvements to St Giles any donations will go towards providing a much needed W.C. facility.  The Boss would certainly have approved. This facility will enable the church to hold more events and make it more accessible.  

Roy Cruttenden, ‘The Boss’ was born in Brighton in 1925, and educated at Varndean Grammar School for Boys where he excelled both in sport and academically.  He was the son of Arthur Cyril Cruttenden, Housebuilder, The Boss was a member of a firmly established and well-respected Brighton family who were builders and housing developers with offices and a builders’ yard underneath the railway viaduct in Beaconsfield Road.
 
His sister, Betty, was six years older than The Boss. His mother, Minnie, sadly died he was only two years old.    During the war, Roy served in the Home Guard before being commissioned into the Royal Engineers, 1943 – 1947.  He served in Italy from 1944, and held the rank of Captain when he was demobilised.   Whilst he was a serving officer in 1943 he studied Civil Engineering at Christ’s College, Cambridge.  
 
Roy played cricket for Brighton and Hove Cricket Club (which was founded by his father, Cyril) and enjoyed playing football for the Old Vardeanians and Southwick FC.   
 
He was an international athlete, competing in Long Jump from 1950 – 1958 when his clubs were firstly, Brighton and Hove Athletics Club, and then the Polytechnic Harriers.     He represented England, Great Britain, the British Empire and Commonwealth, and captained the English Athletics Team in 1957.  He represented Great Britain in the Melbourne Olympics 1956 where he was placed 7th, and the Commonwealth Games in Cardiff 1958 – which was his final appearance.
 
The Boss was a record holder for both England and Great Britain in Long Jump. His personal best jump was an incredible 24ft 10¾ inches, which was broken by Lynn Davies.  

Here is a link to Pathe News, Britain v Czechoslovakia 1955.

The Boss's long-jump - starts at 3 mins 57 seconds. The Boss is wearing No 4.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmDq3g_zxlI 
 
It was Roy who broke Harold Abrahams’ English Long Jump record at his home stadium at Withdean in Brighton, where as a boy Roy had been a ball boy during the Davies Cup tennis tournaments in the mid ‘30s.  
 
Roy’s career began in the Brighton Planning Office, where he completed his Articles in Civil Engineering by studying at night school.   He was appointed a Structural Civil Engineer for the Admiralty in 1950, based in Plymouth. After the war, he had hoped to return to Cambridge to finish his studies but owing to a backlog of applicants he was offered a place only in 1954, which he did not take up.  
 
After attending the Royal Naval College, Greenwich in the mid-50’s, he worked on various NATO projects in Gibraltar, (the King’s Lines fuel depot/extension of runway); Scotland (Glen Douglas NATO Munitions Dumps); Gibraltar again (tunneling; munitions jetty, and responsible for government buildings, the dockyard and harbour).  Between spells of working in London, he was Chief Resident Engineer on the British Government Overseas Aid Programme in Nepal, building the British section of the East/West Highway 1972-74.
 
Prior to retirement in 1985 he served as Regional Director, Public Services Agency – later to become the Department of the Environment in Manchester (responsible for NW England and Northern Ireland – during ‘the Troubles’) and Reading (responsible for South and South West England).
 
In 1950 he married Phyllis Margaret Watkins (dec’d 2002) who was at that time a lecturer in Physical Education in Brighton.   Their two sons, Timothy (a Solicitor Advocate) and Richard (a Chartered Shipbroker) were born in 1955 and 1957 respectively.  
 
He moved from Withdean in Brighton in 2014 to live with his younger son Richard and daughter-in-law, Sally, at Paynesfield, near Henfield.     The Boss was well liked and respected by his neighbours and the friends he made locally.    He was a member of the congregation at St Giles, Shermanbury; and enjoyed the traditional worship and the warm welcome he found there.    He was a member of Henfield Probus and the Henfield History Group both of which he also thoroughly enjoyed.   
 
The Boss was generous in the hospitality he offered, especially to his close family and friends.   He enjoyed nothing more than taking lunch and dinner with his visitors in local restaurants and pubs.   Each year he hosted Rick’s birthday event at The India Club, The Strand, London.   
 
Timothy sadly pre-deceased The Boss on April 17ththis year, in a swimming accident off Gibraltar.
 
The Boss was a fantastic father to Timothy and Richard, and a loving and proud grandfather to Oliver, Jack, Venetia and Imogen.  
 
In recent years he was an undemanding companion whilst living with Richard and Sally - always very grateful for the care they offered.  
 
The family is thankful that he remained active and very healthy up to his final few days, when a short illness took him from them.  He retained his dignity to the last. 
 
His family would also like to thank all the members of the NHS with whom Roy came into contact, especially those at Henfield Medical Centre and particularly the doctors, nurses and support staff at the Royal Sussex County Hospital on the Solomon and Donald Hall wards, who, without exception, could not have been more caring. 
 
The Boss was a ‘Sussex Man’ through and through; dutiful, dignified and accomplished. 

 

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