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Tributes paid after death of 'inspirational' former schoolmaster

PUBLISHED: 08:14 21 May 2019 | UPDATED: 08:14 21 May 2019

Former master at the Abbey prep school at Woodbridge School  Nicholas Garrett Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

Former master at the Abbey prep school at Woodbridge School Nicholas Garrett Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

A former Woodbridge School master has died after a battle with cancer, the school has confirmed.

Nicholas Garrett, who was master of Woodbridge School's Abbey School for almost 20 years, from 1997 until 2015, died last week at the age of 56.

At the time of his appointment he was said to be one of the youngest preparatory school heads in the country.

After 18 years in Woodbridge Mr Garrett decided to follow his dreams of teaching abroad by becoming a headmaster at a British private school in Abu Dhabi.

Mr Garrett spent much of the past 18 months battling acute myeloid leukaemia and died at Eastbourne District General Hospital on May 15.

Mr Garret's daughter Anna described her father as being an extraordinary judge of character, treating all fairly.

"It is no coincidence that my sister and I have both become teachers," she said.

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A statement on the school's website by current school headmaster Dr Richard Robson paid tribute to Mr Garrett and his work at the school.

"It is with great sadness that I inform you of the death of Nicholas Garrett who passed away earlier this week," said Dr Robson.

"Nick was the very much loved Master of the Abbey from 1997 to 2015.

"He was appointed from St Andrew's School, Eastbourne, and after leaving Woodbridge became Headmaster of a school in Abu Dhabi. He was diagnosed with cancer last year.

"The funeral is to be held at St Nicholas Church, Pevensey, East Sussex at 2.30pm on Thursday 6 June, and an event to mark his life will be held in Woodbridge School at a later stage.

"I am sure you will join me in prayers for Nick's widow Ruth, his daughters Anna and Lara (who are both teachers), and his wider family."

Many former students shared their memories of Mr Garrett on the school's Facebook page where they described him as an inspirational, kind and gentle teacher.

Also among the memories being shared were the two rules which had become his legacy at the school: "Here at The Abbey we have two golden rules: always try your hardest, and treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself."

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