A KEY figure at a private school near Odiham has died at the age of 98.

Sir Humphrey Prideaux was President of the Lord Wandsworth Foundation, which supports children who have lost one or both parents through death or separation to attend the boarding school in Long Sutton.

Sir Humphrey died peacefully at his home, in Odiham, on Wednesday, May 7.

Born in 1915, Sir Humphrey was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Oxford, where he read history.

He joined the 3 rd Caribiniers (Prince of Wales Dragoon Guards) in 1936, and rose to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel by the time he left in 1953.

His subsequent career in business was also successful, and he held senior positions in tea company Brooke Bond, retailer W H Smith and Morlands Brewery, based in Abingdon, Oxfordshire.

Sir Humphrey was also a Deputy Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire and was awarded a knighthood in the 1971 New Year’s Honours list.

His life at the college started in November 1963, when he was elected a trustee. He succeeded Sir William Gavin as chairman of the trustees in 1966 – a position he held for 26 years until 1992, when he became president of the Lord Wandsworth Foundation.

He also held the position of president of the Sternians’ Association, the college’s group for former pupils.

Flags at the school were lowered to mark Sir Humphrey’s death.

Gill Kelly, alumni officer of the Sternians’ Association, said: “Sir Humphrey had an extraordinary, long and productive period of involvement in all the affairs of Lord Wandsworth College, be it the foundation, farm or college, and we have been very lucky to have had such an interested and informed chairman and president for so long.

“His wisdom, humanity and strength of purpose have infused all aspects of LWC’s development.”

A private service will take place at Basingstoke Crematorium next Tuesday. A memorial service will also take place at All Saints’ Church, in The Bury, Odiham, followed by a service at the school, in July.