Nigel Roberts (W 1964) advisor to countries at war, has been living in the US for over 35 years

OW Nigel Roberts who has worked across the world in international development, shares his vivid memories of school

Nigel in Nepal 2015 Nigel in Nepal 2015
Where do you live?
In The Plains, Virginia, USA.

How long have you lived there?
Four years — but in the USA for 35.

What did you want to be ‘when you grew up’ and what is your current occupation?
I wanted to be a famous writer and an airline pilot! I have done neither — though I did learn to fly, and still plan to write some stunning books... Instead I worked in international development, and still do — living in Thailand, Nepal, Kenya, Palestine and Australia. Some of that was for NGOs, and some for the World Bank. These days I work from the US and advise donors to/governments of countries at war, like Lebanon and Somalia. 

What is your favourite memory from school?
“Favorite” may not capture it, but here are some vivid moments and memories:
  • Being told at a a Scouts meeting one Wednesday evening that we were close to nuclear war, and praying that the world’s leaders would have the wisdom to avoid it (this during the Cuba Missile Crisis).
  • Meeting some real gypsies around the campfire during a caravan trek on one of those fantastic summer mid-term school trips.
  • Racing an alarmingly fast incoming tide at Mont St. Michel, during another.
  • Fishing for carp in the Big Lake, catching one and then having to eat it.
  • Beating Rope Hill Second XI 32-0…at soccer!
  • Being beaten by Hordle House at cricket, First XI, in 2 balls. We were all out for 4. Their opening bowler, and batsman, hit a 4, and then a 6. 
  • The choir, and the festival of 12 lessons and carols before Christmas each year.
  • Being extremely homesick and running away from the school twice in one day. 
  • Justin Davies, our Latin master — best teacher I ever had anywhere.
  • JB, a wonderful human being.
  • And of course, Ebenezer Beelzebub Gordon — Gordo, his printing, his hamsters and his hidden past as a confidante of Evelyn Waugh.
Who would you like to get in touch with/hear about?  
Archer Davis, Robin and Christopher Rustom, John Roberts, George Bernard, Chris Cowper, Richard Bialy.