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News > Deaths & Obituaries > LOW, Dominic James

LOW, Dominic James

You are warmly invited to leave a message below, share your memories, and celebrate the life of Dom Low who we sadly lost in 2023.

The following obituary was written by Neil Hudd (WW 89-04)

Dominic Low: 4 October 1975 - 21 April 2023.

1989, Whitworth House Novi Common Room, Day One. An awkward mixed bunch of pre-teen reprobates sporting over-sized jackets, some clutching brand-new briefcases (it was de rigeur back then), sat in near silence. Second years would brazenly poke their heads around the door and snigger at the edgy new batch.

Unbeknownst to us on that day, the different traits and qualities of this group of Novi would ultimately provide the perfect blend during these formative years, to fuse into a permanent brotherhood. It would last far beyond the corridors of school. Rooted in the invincibility and optimism of youth, it is, and has been, a comforting and constant bastion in our ever shifting and sometimes unsettling lives.

However, it has transpired that even this isn’t immune to life’s cruel wrecking ball. This year we lost one of our own, one at the epicentre of this band of brothers-Dominic Low.

Dominic put the ‘dom’ into indomitable, not only when it came to his overall spirit, energy, friendliness, cheerfulness and loyalty, but also his incredible determination and stoicism which never abated in the last couple of gruelling years following the diagnosis of a brain tumour in late 2019.

Those that visited him during his illness were recipients of his constant apologies for not being his usual 100%. His concern was always for other people, he was always asking how people were.

Such was his popularity, that frequenting his local pubs in Plaxtol was akin to being with a local celebrity. Everyone not only seemed to know him but was equally pleased to see him. As one Whitworthian noted ‘he was great company, the sort you wanted to keep and be around’.

School provided the perfect ground to rapidly develop the ability to not only laugh at ourselves, but also a determination to extract fun and joy at any given opportunity, often at each other’s expense. Dominic’s keen sense of humour was invariably present.

Dominic loved to remind us of good times past whether it was his impression of his French teacher and House Tutor ‘Taffy’ Richards, who uttered in his infamous Welsh lilt that ‘two lunches are better than no lunches’ when none of us had remembered to bring his packed lunch for a tutor period, each thinking someone else had; or Mr Austin in our German lessons, knocking the desk and saying ‘Passt Auf!’ (Pay attention). Incidentally it was Austin, in his role of head of the RAF section, who threatened to bust me down from Sergeant to Corporal after a minor infraction on an RAF base. We were all guilty, including Dominic, but it was pinned on me. Dominic gleefully called me Corporal Hudd on the journey back and continued to do so right up until our last telephone call (over 30 years after the incident).

Dominic could also be on the receiving end with good grace. During house lunch, Dominic kindly asked us whether we would like second helpings of Yorkshire puddings. Whilst Dominic piled the eight plus Yorkshire puddings for us on his plate, our Housemaster Mr Duncan enquired whether all the Yorkshire puddings were for him. Dominic explained that they were for his friends. Mr Duncan asked us if this was true. Naturally we denied all knowledge. A horrified Mr Duncan shouted ‘that’s disgusting! It’s just greedy!’ and stormed off, leaving Dominic open jawed with a mountain of Yorkshire puddings (which he still dutifully shared out -that’s the type of guy he was).

Dominic loved motor sports too and could often be seen fawning over house tutor Dr Seldon’s Morgan car, or typically him and a few other lads would use their shared passion with Dr Clugston, also a bit of a petrol head, to side-track him from teaching chemistry.

Whilst we all felt incredibly privileged to receive an education at Tonbridge, most of us agreed that the best thing that came out of it was our friendships. It was also something Dominic prized highly. In one of his last WhatsApp messages he wrote ‘great to see some of you briefly and makes me so proud to call you guys my friends’.

After Tonbridge, Dominic studied French at the University of East Anglia where he met his wife-to-be Jo. They moved back to Sevenoaks and ended up in Dunks Green and had two children, Megan, now 15, and Oliver 13, who will be attending Tonbridge.

Dominic became a ship broker-following in the footsteps of his father Brian. He started off at the shipping firm Gearbulk and finally moved to Clarksons where he became a highly respected broker and director, often travelling to the likes of Geneva, Copenhagen, Singapore, to name but a few. He also did a stint living in Australia. He was so highly regarded within the company that on his passing the flags of Clarksons’ offices all around the world were lowered to half-mast.

Some of the phrases contained in our messages to describe Dominic were the likes of ‘funny, humble, fantastic friend, generous, legend, life and soul of the party, kind, wonderful company, one of the good guys, eternally vibrant, enthusiastic, a great example to us all, loving family man, someone who cared deeply about family friendship and others, a life well lived, incredible human being’. Plus talk of ‘the positive contribution he made to our lives and so many others’.

It's hard to do justice to the huge warm character of Dominic in a few hundred words, there’s so much I haven’t even mentioned; stories from the golf range and tennis court, his Duchenne Dash cycle ride from London to Paris for charity, him being there for me in difficult times, acts of kindness that meant the world, him being best man to so many of us – let alone a great husband, a top father, a son to be so proud of, and an amazing brother.

When we lost Dominic, we lost part of ourselves that day. But here’s the thing, his enduring friendship, that started at Tonbridge, and the rich history that we have all shared together with Dominic will always be ingrained on our lives. Certainly, when it comes to his school friends Dominic would have rubbed off and influenced each of them, and he will always be part of us for the rest of our days.

I for one, and I think I speak for all his friends from School, feel extremely lucky, privileged and fortunate to have had him as a friend for the majority of our lives. When it comes to people, he was the best in class and he will be missed terribly.

Our thoughts are with his parents Brian and Jackie, sister Tasha, his wife Jo and his children Megan and Oliver. We hope Oliver is lucky enough to form the high calibre form of friendship that we were blessed to have in Dominic when he starts Tonbridge.

(WW 89-94)


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