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Richard Cousins

Richard Cousins had lived in Hyde Heath for the last 18 years. When they first moved in, with two young children, Will and Edward, and his vivacious wife Caroline, they soon joined in to village life and became well known, particularly within the Cricket Club. Richard was a keen batsman and an aggressive fielder but, above all, a fair sportsman who loved cricket both in the playing and the watching. It would be fair to say he was on the down-slope of his cricketing career when he came to Hyde Heath and, with his business travelling, wasn’t an absolute regular, but when he was playing, you knew he was around. He was always really keen to play, loved batting and took great pride in it. He always made runs and never gave his wicket away. His followed this up with always being available to umpire and, indeed, to bowl his version of slow spin and was ever-optimistic of taking the vital wicket! In combination with Caroline, who produced the most mouth-watering teas, Richard was an archetypal village cricketer with no hint that here was one of the top business brains in the country. From this he did manage to play some celebrity cricket and often came up with a tale of bowling Lara or hitting Angus Fraser around but only in a modest and unassuming way that typified his behaviour and character. To say he appeared “ordinary” within the Cricket Club and life in general, is to his enormous credit.

Over the years he played less but was often around and supportive. His sons grew older and Will started to play for the village, being ably supported and coached by Richard. Just over 2 years ago Caroline died after a very short illness, a tragic blow to the family. Caroline had been a teacher at Beaconsfield High School, combining this with supporting Richard in his busy job. They had been University sweethearts and Richard sorely missed her as did we all. They were a wonderful kind and generous partnership and many people sought advice from them both as to how to progress in life, advice thoughtfully and freely given.

After Caroline’s death Richard based himself more in London although kept his home here where the boys, Will and Edward, were more permanent residents. He was a regular visitor as he had many firm friends here, however he found a second love of his life in London, Emma Bowden, and was planning a new life there in Tooting, at the time of his untimely death.

Everyone will have read about Richard the businessman and how successful he had been. Richard, the man, the villager and cricketer, seemed far removed from this persona. Most “Top Bosses” are seen as self-important, arrogant and opinionated, and, although successful in their spheres, not necessarily as successful in their personal lives. Richard was the opposite. He was always interested in people and their views. When chatting he was a listener, seemingly intent on you and your life in a very genuine way. Although he had the ears of Ministers, he valued the views of others and was always good company in the Plough after matches. He was never pompous, nor dictatorial and rarely gave severe opinion or offence. His political views were probably at odds with his FTSE colleagues but rarely obvious except perhaps over Brexit of which he strongly disapproved! He was a good father, a loving husband and good friend to many. He was looking forward to winding down in March with great plans was to where to go and achieve next. As one prominent villager stated, “It’s difficult to believe in God, if he allows a tragedy of this sort to occur”.

Richard, of course, was the best-known to lose their lives in the terrible accident but there were 4 others, 2 of them living or based in Hyde Heath. Edward Cousins had lived in the village most of his life, educated at Berkhamsted School like his brother and then attending St Andrew’s University from which he had just graduated. He planned to follow his uncle in to the Police force and was due in the next week or so to have his final interview. He was a giant of a lad, quietly spoken and modest but not without strong idealistic views. . It is strange, even bizarre, to think this young lad with so much potential is dead along with all his family. Will, his older brother, was probably better known here. He started playing cricket at the age of 16 and played the odd game initially. It would be honest to say he was not the most gifted of sportsmen but was keen and willing to learn. When he started playing cricket he was shy and unsure of himself as many young men are, but he stuck at it and developed. Initially,he struggled to find a career path, and with a few false starts ended up in the Political world. Various tributes from well-known faces seem to confirm that he had settled fully into this world and was making a real success of things. What is fact, is that his cricket became a real joy to him and how well he had started to enjoy the friendship and camaraderie sport can bring. His maiden half-century, at the Bank of England ground, was amazing and enjoyed by the team as much as by him. It will be long remembered and it is appalling that he will not be able to follow this up, a life cut tragically short.

Richard, Will and Edward, alongside Emma and her daughter Heather died in a tragic accident in Australia that shocked the UK, where Hyde Heath lost 3 of it’s best..


John Capper - President HHCC

January 2018


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