Shock death of Weald man Sir Brandon Gough
TRIBUTES have flooded in after the sudden death of a representative of the Queen in Sevenoaks who was also a keen supporter of Knole Academy.
Sir Brandon Gough, 74, of Weald, died unexpectedly of a suspected heart attack at around 6am on Thursday.
Sir Brandon, a chartered accountant, was knighted in 2002 for his services to the public, which included serving as a Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Kent, chancellor to the University of East Anglia and trustee of Canterbury Cathedral.
Deputy Lord Lieutenants advise on events warranting royal visits, people worthy of honours or for invitations to Buckingham Palace garden parties, and on anniversaries deserving a message from The Queen.
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His wife, Lady Sarah, said their whole family – which includes three children and six grandchildren – was in shock.
Speaking from the family home in Long Barn Road, she said: "It has been just awful.
"Brandon hadn't been ill – he'd suffered a few colds since Christmas and had a bit of a bad chest but he visited the doctor on Wednesday and came back with a clean report.
"That day, we had an enormous lunch, visited the gym together, went out singing in the evening and turned in after watching the News at Ten.
"I woke up the next morning and he was making some awful sounds, and suddenly he was gone. The house seems so empty now but I know we were so lucky to have had so long together."
The couple had celebrated 50 years of marriage in 2011 with a family trip to Rome.
A committed Christian, Sir Brandon was a big fan of the opera and a keen singer. He championed Knole Academy, in Bradbourne Valed Road, with head teacher Mary Boyle describing him as "a good and honest man – a true gentleman".
She added: "Some people pledge support and others give it. Sir Brandon was a regular visitor to the academy and he and Lady Sarah opened a bursary fund to support students in their music learning. I held him in the highest esteem.
"Sir Brandon gave his time, intellect and money most generously to a number of causes. He was deeply concerned about the social injustices which affect many and was active in finding ways to make a difference.
"He will be sadly missed by many people, not least by me."
On behalf of Weald Parish Council, of which Sir Brandon's daughter Lucy is a member, chairman Rosie Wood said: "He was a man of many talents who worked endlessly for the community.
"A close family man, our heartfelt thoughts go out to them all, especially to his wife Lady Sarah, as they come to terms with their tragic loss."
His funeral is at 11am, May 11 at St Thomas's Church, Sevenoaks.