It is with great sadness that HCB reports the death of long-time contributor Herbert Julio Kennard – or ‘HJK’ as he was known in these pages – at the age of 100. Herbert died at home, as he had wished, on 19 March after several years of declining health.
Herbert was born to parents of German extraction and lived his entire life in the apartment in St John’s Wood, London they were renting at the time of his birth. He took advantage of a change in legislation in the 1970s to acquire the lease on the property, one of many canny financial decisions he made.
He knew tragedy early on, losing his mother while he was still a child. A sister died before he was born. After that, he was brought up by his father and governess, Helen, to whom he remained devoted right up until her own death in 1981.
Herbert’s father gave him the choice of going to university or spending some time in Switzerland learning languages; he already knew the country well and decided that would serve him better in the long run, which turned out to be the case. World War II then intervened and he spent much of it at the RAF training school in Hendon, north London. In later life he had plenty of stories to tell about his time there.
After the end of the war he spent a few years with relatives in Brazil, returning to London to join the civil service around 1950. He eventually became involved in the dangerous goods section of the Ministry of Transport, where his language skills were of great use in the development of the first edition of ADR in 1968. Even after retirement he proved useful as a source of regulatory memory and he continued to contribute to DfT briefing meetings.
Being required to retire from the civil service at the age of 60, Herbert began contributing regulatory articles to HCB, essentially continuing to report on the Geneva meetings, and also worked for Croner. He continued to contribute to HCB until his mid-90s.
Herbert was a man of varied passions. He was an avid opera and ballet fan – indeed, his last outing, less than three weeks before he died, was to the Royal Opera House where he had a seat in the Royal Box for the performance of Fidelio. He was a keen collector of satinwood furniture and tea caddies and was said to have the finest collection in private hands, some of which will be bequeathed to the nation.
Herbert was a traveller by nature and, even in his later years, would take on intrepid journeys around Europe – especially if an opera or ballet could be included in the itinerary. Up until his 60s he could also be found on his BMW motorbike, something that played a large part in his younger life. He was a lifelong member of both the BMW Club and the Royal Automobile Club.
Herbert also paid a great deal of attention to his friends, keeping a full diary and address book. It was only after an accident in 2005 curtailed his ability to get out and about as easily that he slowed down, although he remained as active as he could for another ten years.
HCB understands that a memorial service will be held for HJK once life returns to normal after Covid-19. HCB will also miss HJK a great deal – we will not see his like again.[post_title] => Herbert Kennard: 1919-2020 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => herbert-kennard-1919-2020 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-03-27 12:43:24 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-03-27 12:43:24 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://hcblive.com/?p=18747 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )