Desmond Scott Lowden passed away peacefully on Sunday, May 19 in a care home in East Sussex. He was 86 years old.

Des was born on September 27, 1937 at home in St Cross, Winchester. His parents Dr P.A.T Lowden and Mrs Peggy Lowden had two more sons, Tim and Jeremy.

He attended Pilgrims’ School in Winchester but sadly had to spend long periods of time in hospital as he contracted TB of the bone. This was during the war and therefore petrol was rationed, and he spent long periods on his own.

He was in a hospital in Purfleet in 1944 and 1945 and used to say that he could hear the V1 and V2 rockets as they were heading towards London. He was on the same ward as troops returning from Europe, something that is difficult to believe now. His love for literature came to the fore during this period, he was asked to read to other children in his ward as he was the only one who could read.

Hampshire Chronicle: Desmond LowdenDesmond Lowden (Image: Mat Lowden)

READ MORE: 'Effervescent, enthusiastic and eccentric' tribute to Vernon Bruce

He attended Marlborough College from 1951 to 1955 and subsequently found work at Pinewood and Shepperton Studios, working first as a runner and then moving on to assistant editor. This was where he always said he learned how a story was constructed and spoke fondly of this time. He was writing constantly during the evenings and working during the day and really honed his craft during this period. He moved to the South of France working as a deckhand and then onto Crete as a TEFL teacher, continuing to write the whole time. He married his wife Gillian while in Athens.

The couple returned to Winchester where two children, Matthew and Annabel, were born. Des became a full-time writer and continued in his chosen career for the rest of his working life, with the exception of a spell running the Red Lion in Petworth in the mid-80s.

Des published a number of books and plays, two of which were turned into films (Shadow Run starring Michael Caine and James Fox in 1986 and Bellman and True starring Bernard Hill in 1987).

He had plays produced by the BBC for Thirty–Minute Theatre including The Newsbenders starring Donald Pleasence and Nigel Davenport in 1968. He was awarded the Silver Dagger for crime writing in 1989.

SEE ALSO: Winchester death notices and funeral announcements from the Hampshire Chronicle

His other great passion was for music, and he sang in choirs for most of his adult life, was one-quarter of a barbershop quartet and ran his own jazz band for several years. He played the saxophone and had an encyclopaedic knowledge of jazz music from the 1940s onwards, he would be able to tell you about the personnel on all of the great recordings and had seen many of the big names, Duke Ellington, Count Basie etc, when they came to the UK in the late 1950s.

He is survived by his two children and two brothers and will be sadly missed.

His family will be holding a memorial for him on Friday, June 28 at 1.30pm at the Beachcroft Hotel in Bognor Regis, West Sussex.