Deaths of two celebrated alumni
Two prominent Britons who were educated by the Jesuits have died recently: the actor who provided the voice of Captain Scarlet and the architect responsible for preserving the historic Victorian roof of St Pancras Station in London.
Bernard Kaukas, who died on 2 May 2014, was a pupil at St Ignatius College in Stamford Hill between 1932 and 1938, where he excelled in maths and other academic subjects. When he left school, he became an architectural apprentice and after a distinguished career in the Second World War, he studied to be an architect. Among his most accomplished works is the Church of the Holy Apostles in Pimlico.
In 1959, Bernard became Senior Architect with the British Transport Commission, eventually being appointed Environment Director of British Rail, under its Chairman Sir Peter Parker, in 1977. In this position, he succeeded with allies such as Sir John Betjeman and Sir Simon Jenkins, in saving the 243ft single-span roof of St Pancras Station in central London. Between 1978 and 1980, British Rail spent £5 million preserving the style and architecture of some of its most celebrated listed buildings, including Lime Street Station in Liverpool and Victoria Station in Manchester, as well as Kings’ Cross/St Pancras in London.
Bernard retired in 1982 and was awarded an MBE two years later. He had a wide knowledge of Greek and Roman classical architecture and was an accomplished painter and woodworker. As a member of the Catenian Association since 1966, he attached great importance to his Catholic faith.
Francis Matthews died on 14 June 2014 at the age of 86. A former pupil of St Michael’s College in Leeds, Francis was best known as the voice of Captain Scarlet in the 1960s TV puppet series and as Paul Temple in the BBC TV adaptation of Francis Durbridge’s character.
Francis Matthews was born in 1927 in York, the son of a shop steward at Rowntree’s confectioners. He went to St George’s School in York before attending St Michael’s College in Leeds from 1938. On leaving St Michael’s, he joined the Leeds Repertory Theatre Company, completing his acting apprenticeship after National Service in the Royal Navy. He married actress Angela Brown in 1963.
After several roles in Hammer horror films, Francis had several small film roles, starring with Ava Gardner as well as Eric Morecombe and Ernie Wise, with whom he was later to guest on their Christmas specials. Between 1968 and 1969, he provided the voice for Captain Scarlet in ATV’s cult series Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons. But it was as Paul Temple that he shot to fame, making his TV debut in the role of the suave detective in 1968.
The main photo shows the roof of St Pancras Station in London which Old Ignatian Bernard Kaukas was instrumental in saving.