Francis Collisson

26th October 2004

I first met Francis in 1972 in a minibus as we travelled to the Kodak Sports Club. Although we both worked at the Kodak company, we were in different departments. We got chatting and I immediately found him to be a courteous and caring person who was very interested in how I was playing chess. At the time he was a far superior player and helped me a lot at the local chess club; and he would always give me a lift home afterwards. It was then that I realised his great sense of loyalty.

Sadly the club broke up after two years, and we did not meet again until 1990 at the local blind club by which time Francis’ sight was failing. He was a prime mover in the club, so helpful and encouraging to others. He would make the tea (of varying quality) and always showed that degree of consideration for others that we in the B.C.A. later got to know.

Later we joined the Chesham Bowls Club, where again Francis soon got on with everybody. He was soon on the club committee, became team captain and chairman of the club. He took the team to many tournaments which were held over a wide area of East Anglia and the south. He would always insist that at the end of a tournament all the members of the club should remain behind to witness the prize giving. He would not leave until the ceremony and the speeches were over.

Francis had served in the Royal Marines during the war, and in each succeeding year he would regularly attend a cenotaph for the Armistice Day ceremony wherever he happened to be, to remember absent friends and to reminisce with old colleagues. Here again his great sense of loyalty revealed itself, and some of this has rubbed off onto me.

By this time we had joined the B.C.A.. I always recall our trip to Dublin in 2000. Mick Murphy had to go into hospital, and it was Francis who visited him to give support and companionship. Such was his caring nature.

Francis was a good conversationalist, having a ready sense of humour and a fund of jokes. While he was concerned about matters in life he was not a worrier. Many people in the B.C.A. would look forward to having a good chat with him, for he just knew how to put you at ease. The B.C.A. has indeed lost a great character who will be remembered and sadly missed.

Richard Harrington
February 2005












B.C.A. 2002