Attention: You are using an outdated browser, device or you do not have the latest version of JavaScript downloaded and so this website may not work as expected. Please download the latest software or switch device to avoid further issues.

News > Archive News > Obituaries > Michael Ludlow (SH 46-51)

Michael Ludlow (SH 46-51)

2 Nov 2022
Written by Tracey Ahmet
Daddy, Chris & Mike at Rugby
Daddy, Chris & Mike at Rugby

Michael Ludlow was born at home in Weston Green,

Surrey, in March 1933 and died at home in London in November 2022, after 89 years of zestful innings.

Michael was the youngest of four (and the only son) of Sir Richard and Lady Katharine Ludlow, who met at Oxford. Sir Richard was a barrister, knighted in 1950 for services to the crown. In 1921, Katharine among the first 1,000 women to be awarded an Oxford University degree.

Katharine later taught at Fyling Hall School in Yorkshire, where Michael began boarding school life at the tender age of four, leaving his mother’s room for dormitory life after just one term.

Joining Rugby in 1946, Michael furthered a passion and skill for team sports. He played for several teams at Rugby and Oxford University, including the Rugby 1st XV, the Hockey XI (field hockey) and the 1st School Cricket XI. He scored a thrilling century against Marlborough School at the 1951 Lord’s match.

Rugby marked ‘the happiest five years’ of Michael’s schooling and friendships begun there lasted throughout his life. He shared lodgings with John Hamilton (W 47-52) and John Jeffrey (SH 48-52) and with Jeremy Barron (SH 46-51), they were best men for Michael’s three weddings, to Prue, Diane and Sheila. Crucially, Michael’s friendship with Derek Wright (T 44-49) led to his second marriage, to Derek’s sister.

Michael continued his connection with Rugby, playing for the Old Rugbeian Golfing Society and enrolling daughter, Fiona (D 92-94), who, like her father, ate her meals at School House as a sixth-former.

Michael left Rugby for National Service, joining the Royal Welch Fusiliers and training new recruits in Sierra Leone. After studying law at Trinity College, Oxford he began his legal career at Beale & Co in London in 1956 (with a year in between at Wellington & Clifford in Gloucestershire in 1960), becoming Senior Partner in 1982. He helped shape Beale & Co’s reputation in litigation, engineering and construction, for putting clients first and for using innovative ways to settle disputes. After retiring in 1993 he undertook private mediation and arbitration work and was Chairman of the London branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (1993-94) and the Master of the Worshipful Company of Arbitrators (2000).

Colleagues and clients have spoken of him professionally as ‘fearless’, ‘far-sighted’ and ‘determined’ and as a ‘passionate and gifted lawyer with a warm humanity’.

His friends remember him for his jovial, engaging company, sage advice and excellent curries.

Michael had four children, from his marriages to Prue (1962- 1968) and Diane (1969-1995). His children remember him mostly for cherishing simple pleasures: improving his golf swing, receiving someone’s smile, seeing his four grandchildren – and for his values of love, kindness, justice and independence.

After he was widowed in 1995, Michael felt enormously lucky to find happiness again, marrying Sheila in 1996. They travelled, played golf together and had fun with labrador, Trudy. He later cared for Sheila lovingly, until she died in 2020.

What mattered most to Michael in his last months was love. He wanted his family and friends to know that he loved them and he said that the best gift he had ever received was friendship.

Adapted from a contribution by daughters, Fiona Ludlow (D 92-94) & Anna Ludlow.

Similar stories

Most read

Have your say



Rugbeian Community Office

✉ Email us

+44 (0) 1788 556 139

© Rugby School 2022

Charity Registration Number 528752

This website is powered by