Farewell Dogged Dawe, working to the last


By ALAN FRAME

Tony Dawe was remembered and celebrated at his full-house memorial service at St Bride’s on September 14 attended by several Express old boys and girls. 

Dawe, who died on April 23, 2017 at the age of 71 had been suffering from cancer but was working to the last. Indeed when he was admitted to hospital he spent the first day going through notes for a special report he had been commissioned to write for The Times. He then phoned the office assuring them that he would be filing in the next day or so. Sadly he was dead within the week.

Two Dinners Dawe as he was known (well, we did enjoy rather generous expenses in those halcyon days) joined the Daily Express as Investigations Editor in the early ‘80s working with Jack Crossley, who was at the memorial, and it was there that he began his long partnership with the lovely Liz Grice, then one of the star writers during my time as Features Editor. 

Dawe memorial

Later he became Deputy Editor of the Sunday Express but lost his job with the inevitable change at the top that happened with such regularity then.

Two themes ran through the service: His dogged persistence and sheer professionalism as a reporter on some of the biggest stories of the day, and his passion for cricket, particularly of the village variety. It was appropriate therefore that his son James read Days of Summer by Neville Cardus, greatest of all cricket writers, and the order of service featured a caricature of Tony at the crease drawn by our own late and very great Tim Holder.

Express alumni present included Liz Gill, Sue Peart (who has now done 17 years as editor of You magazine which must be some sort of record), Caroline Hendry, John Roberts, Michael Evans (still at The Times), Leon Symons, John Jinks and of course Liz Grice.

This was a fine celebration of a fine journalist and top marks to The Times for laying it on even though Dawe was no longer on the staff or under contract. But that was how he liked it. As he said himself: I am a man of no position and happy with it.


© 2005-2019 Alastair McIntyre