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Roff Norman Hollingdale



TRIBUTES to Capt N. H. Roff, headmaster of the Launceston Church Grammar School, as a soldier, scholar, and churchman, were paid by the school chaplin (Canon Lansdell) at a memorial service in the school chapel yesterday.

CAPT ROFF was killed in action while serving with the 2/40th Battalion. AIF, in Timor,The service was attended by members of the School Bd., scholars, old boys, and members of the 2/40th Battalion.

Canon Lansdell said Capt Roff was born in England in 1904, and educated at Sir Roger Manwood's School and Caius College, Cambridge. After taking his degree he taught at Christ College. Horsham.

In 1926 he came to Australia, and until 1932 was on the staff of Guildford Grammar School. Perth. There he held the posts of senior science master, housemaster, sports master, and officer commanding the cadet corps.      

He was then on the staff of the Geelong (V) Grammar School for four years.      

In 1936 Capt RofF was appointed headmaster of the Launceston school, and showed himself an educationist of vision, and a man of tremendous energy, said Canon Lansdell.

He imbued with his enthusiasm all those with whom he came in contact, and under his guidance the school made great progress.

Capt Roff was a lay reader for the diocese of Tasmania. For St. George's Church he was treasurer and minister's warden, lay representative on Synod, and a teacher in the Sunday school.He took an active part in dramatic performances of the Launceston Players, and was a member of the Launceston Rotary Club. 

A keen military man from his university days, he offered his services to the AIF in 1939and joined the 2/40th Battalion In 1940. He commanded a company.  

"Capt Roff was interested in all community movements, and realised the importance of modern developments in education," said Canon Lansdell.

He will be a great loss to Tasmania in general, and the Launceston Church Grammar School in   particular 

The Mercury 22 Oct 1945

Tribute to Late Capt Roff

"A leader of men who look a personal interest in every man under his command," was how Lt-Col W. Leggatt, commanding officer of the 2nd/40th Battalion, described the late headmaster of the Launceston Church Grammar School (Capt N. H. Roff), who was killed in action on Timor in 1942.

Lt-Col Leggatt, who is in Launceston visiting relatives of men of his battalion who lost their lives while prisoners of the Japs, yesterday addressed a large assembly of boys at the Grammar School. He was accompanied by Mrs Leggatt and Mr J. Savigny.

Lt-Col Leggatt said Capt Roff met his death while leading his company over open grounds to attack a strong concentration of Japs who were dug in on a hilltop. A few minutes after his death his second in command, Lt N. R. Gatenby, an old boy of the Grammar School was also killed. They were buried side by side that evening.

Lt-Col Leggatt said few of the men had been in action before, and it took leadership and pluck on the part of Capt Roff to lead his men into action the first time.

In thanking Lt-Col Leggatt for his address, the headmaster (Mr H. V. Jones) said the account of the action would live as part of the school's traditions.

The Mercury 7 Dec 1945




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