Richard Aylmer (Bl 49)  

01 March 2024

Despite being born in Devonport, it was in the British Army that Richard Aylmer made his way in life. 

With a degree from London University, he joined the Royal Artillery in 1952 before retiring with rank of Captain in 1959. He was selected for the 1956 Winter Olympics in his chosen sport of cross-country skiing, Fortune did not favour him once he arrived in Cortina d’Ampezzo however, for within five kilometres of the start of the 50km race, he had broken a ski. That wasn’t going to stop him and after borrowing a ski, he continued and “won the admiration of the crowd [as he] pluckily continued”, according to the Lancashire Evening Post. It was no surprise that in the circumstances, Aylmer finished last but at least he finished the course – unlike three other competitors. He was also a member of World Military Ski championship team in 1957. 

After his Army service Richard became a teacher and an enthusiastic and skilled painter, not just of portraits but of landscapes, scenes, flowers, and fruits (in oils and pastels). He was a supporter of many Museum and Art Galleries, Army charities, and Theatres. Richard was a descendant of Joshua Reynolds’s sister, and he did much research on JR, producing The Reynolds Newsletter – about him and his world. 

A published author, he was very much an all-rounder in life and, a much-loved man, he leaves his wife Marelyn whom he married in 1964, two sons and 5 grandchildren.