“That man is a success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who leaves the world better than he found it…………..”

I am indebted to Peter Thomas, David Vaughan’s godson, for his Reading of that quotation (attributed to R L Stevenson) to a huge throng of Jesters and friends who attended David’s Thanksgiving Service held on 23rd November 2015 at All Saints Church, Fulham, and afterwards at the Hurlingham Club in numbers which almost overwhelmed Jane Vaughan’s generous Wake. David would so loved to have been there!

What more can one say about such a lovely man as David? Everything is in Peter’s Reading. David lived very well; in his last days he even had us searching (successfully) for his recently appointed favourite beer, Doom Bar. Two days before he died he told me about the new red car he had bought (really!) and was shortly going to collect. David really loved driving – and fast too! He loved much; particularly he loved his devoted wife Jane who was such a great support and friend to him. David laughed at many things. One of my earliest memories of David is when I was playing Squash at South Kensington in the 1960s and heard his chuckle from the gallery as I played some dreadful shot. That chuckle was wholly without malice and I heard it many times as I played Squash or Tennis with him.

Intelligent men? There were many, who loved and respected David. Sir Lawrence Verney, one of his earliest friends and one of the most intelligent men of his generation, certainly did, as did David’s many other friends of great achievement and intelligence. They were all lifelong friends of whom David had many, a handful still remaining from his Oxford days. David had a great gift of retaining friends throughout his life, and falling out with no one. I remember Robert Dolman, speaking at an Annual Dinner, turning and saying to David in a mixture of amazement, envy and disbelief “You don’t have an enemy in the World!

As for the love of little children, one need look no further than next door to Jane and David’s house at 8 Ranelagh Avenue. For at No. 10 lived the Winter family, Richard and Sophie, with little children Ella (11), Georgia (9) and Oliver (7). Those little children absolutely loved David and brightened his life immeasurably as he slipped deep into his 80s. Ella encapsulated the friendship she, and her brother and sister, had with him in her poem which started “I am so very lucky to have a friend like him, I met him when I was three years old, And will always remember his charming friendly grin. His door is always open, to welcome me in……….

ex CO - OU 1949 Team

David’s niche in life was huge and he certainly filled it and accomplished his task. His contribution to our Games of Squash and Tennis has been enormous. He played both Games at the highest level, both internationally, and at Club level. Within the Jesters Club, David’s contribution to our affairs extended over some 60 years, as a Committee member in 1956, as Assistant Hon. Secretary (Overseas) in 1958, as vice-Chairman in 1972, as Chairman from 1979, and as President from 1980 until his death in 2015. What a contribution! David Vaughan certainly left the world “better than he found it” and he was indeed “a success“.

The song below, written by Jester Andrew Page, reflects the widespread affection for David Vaughan within the Jesters

=The Modern Jesters President=


He is the very model of a modern Jesters’ President.

He’s jocular and genial. He’s never shy or hesitant.

At squash and real tennis he’s a venerable veteran.

For after-dinner speakers, we have never known a better ’un.

His repartee is witty, never given to vernacular –

Unless he’s on the port, when his capacity’s spectacular.

From Sparta to Jakarta and from Bogota to Borneo,

You’ll never find an evergreen-er President than Vaughnio.


You’ll never find an evergreen-er President than Vaughnio.

You’ll never find an evergreen-er President than Vaughnio.

You’ll never find an evergreen-er President than horny Vaughnio.


He’s working on his girth a bit, like many men of eighty are.

The growth in his circumference has made his speeches weightier.

His blazer keeps his tummy in – don’t ask him to unbutton it!

At realers, in his flannels, he can still put heavy cut on it.

A source of inspiration and of wisdom to the juniors,

A fount of generosity towards the impecunious,

He’s never one to argue or reply to others testily.

In triumph and disaster he’s magnanimous and jesterly.


In triumph and disaster he’s magnanimous and jesterly.

In triumph and disaster he’s magnanimous and jesterly.

In triumph and disaster he’s magnanimous and jester-jesterly.


Although his hair is whiter and his teeth are getting denture-y,

He likes his women younger by a quarter of a century.

He loves to take ‘em dancing and go twirling ‘em and swirling ‘em,

At Hampton Court and Queen’s Club and the RAC and Hurlingham.

The Peter Pan of Jesters, he is staving off senility.

It’s Jane, and not Viagra, that’s the cause of his virility.

In short, you’ll never find a man whose temperament is placider

Than Vaughan our ancient President, the Jesters Club Ambassador.


Let’s toast our ancient President, the Jesters Club Ambassador.

Let’s toast our ancient President, the Jesters Club Ambassador.

Let’s toast our ancient President, the Jesters Club Ambassabassa-dor