Ian Berkeley MCMILLAN
On 6 November 2003 in Virginia Water aged 90. Father of DAVID IAN MCMILLAN (K54-58).
9 July 1913 – 6 November 2003
Gentleman, soldier, life insurance & pension specialist and sportsman
His descendancy from the Duke of Normandy and William the Conqueror might have explained his success as an officer in the military but his relationship with Lady Godiva did not explain his lack of exhibitionism or showmanship. Ian Berkeley McMillan was born and raised in the strict era of Victorian England and carried from then onwards the manners, discipline and respect that was required by and of a handsome and athletic schoolboy in the early twenties. These same values carried with Ian to his final days where he was described by his caretakers in Virginia Water as “the epitome of a gentle man”. Forever and until his demise bedecked in jacket and tie, he was never comfortable with the casual ways that developed in recent years.
His mother Myra Berkeley, a descendant from the Duke of Normandy and the Berkeleys was a strict maternal influence who after her marriage to William McMillan, a civil servant sent Ian packing to the strict and highly disciplined confines of Framlingham College in Suffolk where he excelled in rugby, cricket and hockey.
The insurance and pension industry was to become his passion and his career and, after a brief stint at the Prudential where he met Mollie Drew, his future wife, he was drafted into to the army for what turned out to be a painful but successful series of campaigns mostly in North Africa. Ian moved quickly through the ranks of his regiment to the rank of Major where he served with distinction until injured in the trenches of Algeria. With understandable hatred for the German enemy, he told often of his trip home through the straights of Gibraltar when the Luftwaffe flew overhead and dipped their wings out of apparent respect. Shrapnel from that injury that lodged in his stomach was to confound the airports’ metal detectors for years to come.
After the war, Ian returned to the city where, as a Life Insurance Broker, active member of the Conservative Party and a Director of Lloyds of London, he continued to pursue his passion for his sports where he played and refereed rugby matches in the Home Counties where he made his home in Walton on Thames.
An enthusiastic member of The Marylebone Cricket Club (Lord’s), Ian was to become a passionate cricket fan and defender of the game’s ancient traditions with a small circle of friends all of whom also seemed to be nicknamed ‘Mac’. Faced with the possibility of Lord’s without a McMillan, the birth of a boy to his son David and his wife Venice was the ideal opportunity to place him on the waiting list for membership, when the time allowed.
His glamorous and effervescent wife, Mollie Constance Drew, from whom he separated in 1961 passed away in Washington, DC in 1978 at the age of 63. He vehemently described himself as a ‘one-woman-man’ and he never remarried.
Ian retired in 1968 from L. Hammonds where he had set up a life and pension division, but continued as a boisterous member of Lord’s for as long as his legs could carry him there, and sometimes back.. He thoroughly enjoyed the companionship of his many city colleagues from ‘the City’ from his home in St John’s Wood. He spent his remaining years at Merlewood, a seniors home in Virginia Water where he continued to smoke Rothmans, sip his Teachers Whisky, read voraciously and follow all of the sports that were his life.
Born in Surbiton, Surrey, he died in Virginia Water on November 6th 2003. He is survived by his son David in Montreal, Canada and his daughter Wendy McGloughlin in Ireland, with grandchildren Stuart, Mark, John, Paul and Brian who produced six great grandchildren.