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Obituary - Robert Green 1935-2012

It was his childhood obsession with rocks, stones and landscapes that eventually led Robert Green to a long and successful teaching career.

After a period of national service in the Army that included a posting to Libya, the young Mr Green attended Goldsmiths, University of London, where he studied geology and geography and trained to be a teacher.

According to his wife, Anthea, teaching was not his primary ambition, but like many bright working-class boys at the time he was encouraged to take it up because it was seen as a secure profession. And he soon grew into it once he entered the classroom.

Mr Green spent the majority of his career teaching geography at Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. He joined in 1961, when it was known as Aylesbury Technical College, and left only when he retired 35 years later.

Former pupils remember Mr Green as a "great teacher" who was easy to talk to, but strict if they had done wrong. Although principally a geography teacher, he was creative and artistic, so was sometimes called on to cover art lessons, which he enjoyed.

He was instrumental in developing ICT teaching at Sir Henry Floyd, having jumped at the chance to lead the introduction of computing in the 1980s. "His pupils taught him at the beginning, but he liked to try new things and it soon became a great interest of his; he was always on the computer," Mrs Green said.

The couple met in the early 1960s and enjoyed a "whirlwind romance", getting married just four months after being introduced. They had two daughters, Amy and Zoe.

Although Mrs Green was also a teacher - at Bearbrook Combined School, a primary in Aylesbury - and the couple would often travel to work together in the mornings, they rarely talked about teaching outside school.

In 1996, the couple retired and moved to Devon. Mrs Green said her husband wanted a different life and, had they stayed in Aylesbury, he would not have been able to resist returning to help out or to cover lessons at his old school. In Devon he had time for his other passions, which included gardening, cooking, decorating and collecting antiques.

However, they moved to Kent after five years when their daughter Amy became pregnant. Eventually, they had three grandchildren.

Mrs Green said her husband was reliable and versatile, and interested in many things outside education, especially politics and the arts. "He was a typical schoolmaster in that he knew a lot about a lot of things," she said. "He would watch University Challenge and know more than most of the contestants."

Robert Green died on 22 July after battling lung cancer for several months. He was 77.

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