Memorial service for modest champion of others

The life of a well-loved doctor and campaigner will be celebrated at a memorial service next month.

Dr Ian Thwaites, founder and chairman of Keep Southwater Green, died peacefully on September 30 after losing his battle with prostate cancer.  He left a wife Linda, a son Guy, a daughter, Katy, and grandchildren.

Born in 1943, and a doctor in Horsham for many years, Mr Thwaites was a member of Horsham Cricket Club. He also devoted a lot of time to the Keep Southwater Green campaign to limit the amount of new housing in Southwater, where he lived.

The memorial service will be held at St. Mary’s Church, The Causeway, Horsham, on November 23 at 2pm, with a reception afterwards at Horsham Cricket Club.

The Keep Southwater Green group said in a statement: “Ian established KSG in 2010, and remained our leader until the beginning of this year. Although he decided to take a back seat then, in order to concentrate on his health issues, he continued to be involved, scrutinising documents, attending our meetings, and dispensing wisdom and humour in equal measure.

“Ian was held in high esteem by everyone who knew him.

“He was a man of integrity, great charm and humility; the epitome of an English gentleman.

“He did far more for our community than most are aware of, working tirelessly and determinedly to battle against the tide of housebuilding that threatens to swamp our village. 

“Ian’s passion for, and unswerving commitment to, protecting Southwater and its countryside for the benefit of future generations means we are all the poorer for his passing. As a community group, we are indebted to him. As individuals, we each feel it is a great privilege to have known such a genuinely lovely man.” Mr Thwaites was a talented cricketer, good enough to play for Sussex second team and winning a Cambridge Blue, and later playing for Horsham. A former flying doctor in South Africa, he worked at the Orchard surgery in Horsham from 1970 until 1990, when he became a musculoskeletal and sports physician from his home in Southwater.

One of many tributes paid to him, from Judith Nesbitt and Guy Claxton, said: “Ian was the epitome of an English gentleman: decent, principled, public spirited. He cared deeply for his community and laboured to protect it. His charm, humour and intelligence touched every encounter. We are all the poorer for his passing. He was the modest champion in our midst.”

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