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Tributes to Gravesend teacher George De La Hoyde, grandfather of Love Island's Cara De La Hoyde, after his death


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Tributes to a "legendary" former teacher have been pouring in from former pupils reaching out to pay their respects.

George De La Hoyde taught at numerous schools around Gravesend for more than 40 years with an estimated 5,000 children passing through his classroom doors during his time.

Tributes have been paid to the former Gravesend teacher. Picture: Chris De La Hoyde
Tributes have been paid to the former Gravesend teacher. Picture: Chris De La Hoyde

The 83-year-old passed away after having vascular dementia.

Born in Jamshedpur in India, Mr De La Hoyde moved to the UK in 1961 with his wife Peta in search of a better life and opportunities.

Their son Chris told of his father's early life: "He did not have an easy life. He was born in India and his dad died when he was three. He was the youngest of seven children. He got a fellowship to one of the top boarding schools and used to travel 3,000 miles on the train at the age of six each term.

"It had its ups and downs. At that time coming to England, he faced a lot of discrimination but he just shrugged it off.

"Teaching was his vocation. He loved it."

The IT manager explained his dad's qualifications were not recognised in England so he was not able to secure a teaching job and instead joined the RAF for 10 years.

Mr De La Hoyde taught at Southfields School from 1970 to 1974 before returning in 1977. Picture: Chris De La Hoyde
Mr De La Hoyde taught at Southfields School from 1970 to 1974 before returning in 1977. Picture: Chris De La Hoyde
Mr De La Hoyde taught at Southfields School from 1970 to 1974 before returning in 1977. Picture: Chris De La Hoyde
Mr De La Hoyde taught at Southfields School from 1970 to 1974 before returning in 1977. Picture: Chris De La Hoyde

He eventually was able to get a job at the former Southfields School in Singlewell Road which is when he moved to Central Avenue, Gravesend.

Throughout his career Mr De La Hoyde, whose granddaughter is former Love Island star Cara De La Hoyde, also worked at Gordon School for Girls and Ifield School where he became extremely popular amongst the pupils.

Chris, 60, added: "All of a sudden all of these people started posting messages and getting in touch. For so many people to say the same thing about him, that he was the best teacher, it is quite an amazing thing. You do not say that unless you really, really mean it. To hear all that, it has dumbfounded me.

"I did not realise what an impact he had on people's lives. It is a bit weird. It is a person I did not know as that was his work life.

"It was always the kids who were being naughty and somehow my dad took them into his class and taught them and helped them. He just spent time with the kids. He remembered all their names.

"It was not just the children, he was an amazing mentor to the younger teachers. He mentored all of them. I am hearing this for the first time, I am getting a sense of pride and sense of sadness that I did not know at the time.

He was said to always be impeccably dressed. Picture: Chris De La Hoyde
He was said to always be impeccably dressed. Picture: Chris De La Hoyde

"He was a very humble chap, he was not bothered about money. He was always impeccably dressed to go to school. He always looked smart. That was the way he was."

He added that for the dad-of-three and grandfather-of-eight, teaching at Ifield was the most rewarding as the kids really needed his help and he was able to give this to them.

After posting the news of Mr De La Hoyde's death on Facebook, many students came together in the comments to remember their "legendary" teacher.

David Beattie was taught science by the great-grandfather-of-four at Southfields School before it closed in the 1990s.

The 44-year-old said: "You could see how he treated all students the same and with respect. He would have made a difference in how students went on in life. He was just amazing, if he could help he did.

"A number of years after I left school I saw him in the local pub. It was like someone famous had walked in that day. He came in and it was like a celebrity had come in. He was being followed by a mass of people, it just showed how popular he was.

Former students have referred to him as "legendary" as they reminisce on their school days. Picture: Chris De La Hoyde
Former students have referred to him as "legendary" as they reminisce on their school days. Picture: Chris De La Hoyde

"I do not know anyone who would have a bad word to say about him. He was up there as the best."

Mr De La Hoyde died late last year but his funeral will be held at Thamesview Crematorium on January 28 at 2pm and the family will then celebrate his life at The Viewpoint Club, next door to Thamesview School, from 3pm.

Chris has extended the invitation out to anyone who would like to join and share their stories and memories of his father.

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