Former colleagues and friends gather to remember former Emmbrook head Ted BurtonBy Laura Herbert
October 18, 2012
Former colleagues, family and friends remembered a much-loved and respected headteacher of a Wokingham secondary school.
Sports enthusiast Edward Burton, known as Ted, was headteacher of The Emmbrook School for 14 years until he retired in 1997.
Mr Burton, 72, died on Thursday, September 27, after a long illness. He leaves his wife Hilary, two children and five grandchildren.
Paying tribute during his funeral at St John’s Church, in Crowthorne, on Thursday, Mr Burton’s former deputy head at The Emmbrook, Graham Dyer, said: “Emmbrook School grew into a very successful comprehensive school under his leadership.
“There can be no doubt that Ted loved his work. His colleagues in neighbouring Berkshire schools respected him. I once heard Ted described as a ‘truly professional human being’.
“He took pride, not just in the school as a whole, but the people who worked there.
“Ted firmly believed every child had a talent and the role of the school was to nurture that talent.”
Mr Burton was born in Essex and met his wife while studying at Queen Mary College in London.
He began his teaching career as a history and PE teacher in south-west London before moving to St Bartholomew’s School in Newbury and then to The Emmbrook, in Emmbrook Road.
The Reverend Lawrence Stevens, a colleague of Mr Burton’s at St Bartholomew’s School, where he joined as second master in 1975, said: “He had a very significant role shaping the new school.
“As a deputy head he brought order and a much-needed meticulous approach.
“Ted was a fantastic history teacher with detailed knowledge of his subject and a particular interest in Ireland in the 1920s.”
He continued: “I was so very grateful for his help when I joined St Barts as school chaplain and head of RE.
“In many ways those who served with him at that time regard them as the golden years and we are grateful for them and Ted’s part in our lives.”
Mr Burton was struck down by a near-fatal illness in 1988, which remained undiagnosed for four months, and he was off school for a term and a half.
His condition developed into rheumatoid arthritis.
Paying tribute, Mr Burton’s son Andrew said: “Dad loved sport until his dying day. First doing it, and then increasingly watching it.
“Dad loved people. As a headmaster he spent a lot of time dealing with people from all walks of life.”
He added: “He has not left us completely. He lives on in our memories and our hearts.
“My son said ‘Grandad was never able to make it along to cricket practice, but this Sunday he will be there to watch.”
Reading a eulogy Reverend Lisa Cornwell said: “Ted will be remembered as a proud father, affectionate father-in-law, grandfather and as a friend to many.”