WITHIN an hour of each other the last two founding monks of St Benedict's School passed away last week.

Father Kevin Horsey, 92, and Father Bernard Orchard, 96, died peacefully in their sleep in the early hours of Tuesday, November 28.

The monks had been involved in the development of St Benedict's and the surrounding community for more than 60 years.

Father Bernard had been a pupil at Ealing Priory School and was its first pupil to go to university when he left in 1927 to study at Cambridge.

He entered monastic life at Downside Abbey before moving to Ealing to become headmaster of his own school.

He was twice headmaster - from 1945 to 1960 and later from 1965 to 1969.

Father Kevin was born in New York and moved to England for his education.

He moved to Ealing Priory in 1942 where he taught geography and religion and was a house master and master in charge of the middle school. He also set up the 20th Ealing Scouts.

Chris Cleugh, St Benedict's School headmaster, said: "The whole school community are deeply saddened at the deaths of Father Bernard and Father Kevin, both of whom were wonderful supporters of the school.

"Although quite unwell for a number of years Father Kevin showed great interest in events at the school. Father Bernard was actively involved, especially with sports fixtures, regularly attending 1st 15 rugby and 1st 11 cricket - indeed only two weeks ago he was watching the boys play rugby at our sports grounds at Perivale.

"Father Bernard was a great personal support and inspiration for me as present headmaster. They will both be much missed. May they rest in peace."

A Requiem Mass for both monks will take place in the Abbey Church tomorrow (Tuesday, December 5) at 1.30 pm.