Geoffrey Langlands, British army officer and educator, Died at 101

Geoffrey Douglas Langlands born on October 21, 1917, and died on January 2, 2019.

He was a British educationalist who spent most of his life teaching in and leading schools in Pakistan, instructing many of the country’s elite.

In World War 11, Geoffrey served as a Major in the British Army, and afterward in the British Indian Army, where Geoffrey worked to keep the peace during the partition of the British Indian Empire in 1947.

Geoffrey transferred to the Pakistani Army at the birth of the country, and returned to a career in education, first of army officers.

Then, at the invitation of the President, Geoffrey joined the so-called “Eton of Pakistan”, Aitchison College in Lahore.

After 25 years there, Geoffrey left to lead a military high school, Cadet College Razmak.

Geoffrey ended his career by taking on a new school in Chitral and raising it to internationally high standards.

He continued to lead it into his 90s when it was renamed in his honor Langlands School and College.

He was born with a twin brother, in Hull, England,

His father employed in an Anglo-American company and a mother who was a classical folk dance instructor.

Geoffrey mother then took her children to her parents’ home in Bristol.

She died of cancer ten years later, as soon thereafter did the children’s grandfather, leaving him and his siblings without any living relatives.

Geoffrey was given a free place at King’s College, Taunton an independent paying, school by its headmaster, a family friend.

Geoffrey older brother received a scholarship to an orphan school in Bristol, and a family friend helped secure positions for the other children.

In July 1935 he completed his A-Level education and began his teaching career in London, the following year at age 18.

In September 1936 Geoffrey was a mathematics and science teacher to second-grade students in a school in Croydon.

When World War II began in 1939, he joined the British Army as an enlisted soldier.

In 1942 he became a commando and took part in the Dieppe Raid.

In January 1944 he arrived in British India as an army volunteer on a troop carrier and worked three years as part of the selection board for officers training in Bangalore.

Rising to the acting rank of troop sergeant major Geoffrey received an emergency commission in the British Indian Army as a second lieutenant in the Garhwal Rifles on 3 September 1944.

After Bangalore, he was stationed in Dehradun.

Geoffrey was promoted to temporary captain on 28 July 1945, subsequently transferring to the 14th Punjab Regiment.

During the partition of the sub-continent in 1947 when India and Pakistan became independent nations, he decided to move to Pakistan and was transferred to Rawalpindi where he joined the Pakistan Army.

He began his career in Pakistan by working as an instructor for the country’s newly created army.

Geoffrey selected and trained officers for approximately six years.

Upon the completion of the contract with the Pakistan Army, British Army troops began to leave the country, and Geoffrey had to decide what to do next.

Ayub Khan, then President of Pakistan, asked him to stay and teach, which Geoffrey immediately agreed to do.

Geoffrey devoted the next 25 years to the so-called “Eton of Pakistan”, Aitchison College in Lahore, teaching mathematics to “upper-crust young Pakistanis destined to lead in business, politics and the outfitted power and climbing to be the school’s senior part and director of its private institute.

In 1979, the Chief Minister of the Northwest Frontier Province now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa offered he the post of central at Cadet College Razmak in North Waziristan.

IN April he joined the Cadet College, which had been created only the year before, and served until September 1989.

In late 1989, he took charge of the first private school in Chitral, which was later renamed Langlands School and College in his honor.

The school, founded in September 1988 by local Deputy Commissioner Javed Majeed, grew steadily under Geoffrey leadership.

From 80 students it developed to 800, about a third young ladies, and many won grants to colleges

He served the school for the rest of his life.

Geoffrey suffered a stroke in 2008, which hastened the search for a replacement.

When Declan Walsh gave an account of the man and the school in 2009.

It was clear that standards had slipped, and the financial situation was parlous, the district’s top official said he was a brilliant teacher but not a good manager.

Eventually, another principal was found, and he reluctantly agreed to move to grace and favor accommodation on the grounds of Aitchison College, as it was thought that he could do more good for the Chitral school by fundraising in the capital.

At the age of 94 in September 2012, Geoffrey moved back to Lahore.

He disagreed with some of the changes his successor – also a British citizen – began to put in place.

Geoffrey attempted to prevent Carey Schofield from doing her work by asking a former pupil, Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan, the Interior Minister, to deny her a work visa.

Eventually, scores of the college staff boarded a school bus for the 1000 km drive to Lahore, where they met with him and persuaded him to allow Schofield to continue her work.

Geoffrey turned 100 in October 2017, which was celebrated with a party which many luminaries attended, as reported in Dawn.

He passed away at 101 years old.