Tributes to Chocker Yates
A message from his son Mike Yates:- He would have been 99 years old in May. Alan (Chocker) Yates died on the 25th February 2013 having suffered progressive failing health for several years.
For the last few years he lived at Southwell Court Care home, until January 2011 with Betty (whom he survived by just over two years).
Last Friday, in an extremely weak state, he was transferred to Kingsmill Hospital in Mansfield. By then his condition had past the point at which Care Home personnel could be effective.
Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, Kingsmill staff could not reverse his final decline. All three of his sons, and several of his grandchildren, were able to visit him during his last few days and hours (fortunately including John, his second son, now resident in Australia).
He was the last person alive who taught at SMGS before WWII. (He taught there from 1936 to 1939). Steve Pulford was one of his pupils at that time. He returned to his post at SMGS in 1945, after a service career that he never fully explained his sons (or even, we believe, to his wife). But it was significantly in the Far East. However, we are aware that his language skills (including being able to pass himself off as a native French speaker) were assets of use during his service career. We know that his service was significantly in the "intelligence sphere" and that it did involve some periods "beyond the lines". However, you may wish to reassure anyone who is interested that the school rumour that "he was a spy" is in fact untrue. Of this we are sure (at least we think we are sure). You can read more about his life and time in 'A morning with Alan (Chocker Yates)'.
Memorial/Service of Thanksgiving
The family are grateful to the Minster for allowing us to reserve space on Friday May 31 for a more public "memorial service / thanksgiving of his life" service. May 31 would have been his 99th birthday so the timing is very appropriate.