Tim Heywood

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Geoffrey Beresford Heywood MBE DL (July 12, 1914-June 15, 2006), known as Tim Heywood, was a soldier and bureaucrat. He served as the chief signals officer of the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) in the ]. In later life, he was president of the Country Landowners' Association (CLA) and founder president of the European Landowners' Association.

Heywood was born in Newcastle. His father was a stockbroker. He was educated at Eton, where he built radios in his spare time. He became an accountant, and was commissioned into the Royal Corps of Signals (Middlesex Yeomanry) in 1939. His regiment was sent to Palestine with the 1st Cavalry Division in 1940. He volunteered to join the Long Range Desert Group and was interviewed by Major Ralph Bagnold and Captain Bill Shaw in Cairo. He joined the LRDG and became its chief signals officer in August 1941, in charge of its special radio equipment, its codes, and the communications group at the Group's headquarters. After fighting for three years in North Africa, and a spell in Lebanon and the Greek islands, the Group moved to Bari in south Italy, from which it raided Corfu and operated in the Dalmatian islands and Yugoslavia.

Heywood was demobilised as a Major, and was awarded the MBE. After the war, his godmother gave him her estate in Gloucestershire. He attended the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester, and became a farmer. He became active in landowners' representative associations, including the County Agricultural Executive Committee, the Country Landowners' Association and the Severn River Authority. A convinced European, he provided much of the impetus behind the formation of the European Landowners' Association as the UK moved to join the European Economic Community, and was its founder president in 1972. He was president of the CLA the following year.

He was successively a governor, chairman of the governors (1980-1985), and vice-president of the Royal Agricultural College. During his time as president, the College was approved to award academic degrees, and admitted the first women. He was awarded the College's Bledisloe Gold Medal in 1989 for services to agriculture. He was also a Deputy Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, district commissioner of the Boy Scouts, and a general commissioner of income tax

In addition to heavy programme of good works, Heywood enjoyed sailing. He was a member of the crew of Gulvain in 1950 when it performed well in the Newport Bermuda Race and when it came home first in the first post-war transatlantic race, from Bermuda to Plymouth, immediately afterwards. He was a founder member of the Ocean Cruising Club, and was its second Commodore after Humphrey Barton.

He married twice, first in 1946 (later divorced) and again in 1977. He was survived by his second wife, and a son and two daughters from his first marriage.