Isle of Man • London


Alfred Howard Simcocks was born on December 20 1915 at the Rushen Abbey Hotel, Ballasalla, and was always known as Howard. He was educated at the Buchan School Kindergarten and King William's College.
Howard was halfway through his Accountancy Articles in 1939 when he volunteered to enlist in the Manx Regiment. He served in the desert and was blinded in May 1944 at the Battle of Monte Cassino in Italy.
He spent some time recuperating at St Dunstan's rehabilitation centre in Shropshire before returning to the Isle of Man.
He became a law student with the help and support of retired Attorney General, Ramsey Moore. He qualified and was formally admitted to the Bar as a Manx advocate in August 1948. He passed his exams by dictating his answers to a clerk in the Rolls Office. Helen Kinvig became his secretary and was to be his eyes and ears for the rest of his working life. In the 1950s Howard acquired a tandem and Miss Kinvig used to drive him to the Castletown office from Ballasalla and back.
In 1949 Howard and advocate Stanley Allen went into partnership. They used their names and borrowed part of an established name to help launch their fledgling business.
Howard practised as an advocate until 1990 when he retired to Winchester. He died in January 1995. His ashes are buried in Malew Parish Church yard.
Whilst living at Ballasalla he took part in many activities. He had been a member of the Abbey Choir before joining the Forces and again on his return. He became a Parochial Church Council member and was a churchwarden for many years.
Howard became a Member of the Malew Parish Commissioners and was an MHK for Rushen and became a member of the Legislative Council. He served on many boards of Tynwald, latterly as chairman of the Water Authority. He was also an active member of the Royal British Legion and was awarded an MBE.
He contributed many newspaper articles on the Manx political scene and even composed verses for the Abbey Choir members to sing to well-known tunes at church concerts. Howard enjoyed listening to jazz music and Talking Books for the Blind.