Trevlyn D’Cruz obituary

My father, Trevlyn D’Cruz, who has died aged 83, was an accountant who became managing director of the publishing company New English Library (NEL) in 1974. His years there read like a primer of 70s culture: he distributed Bob Guccione’s Playboy magazine rival, Penthouse, was involved in the launch and distribution of the feminist magazine Spare Rib, and published Richard Allen’s hugely popular youth culture novels, including Skinhead and Suedehead.

He also worked closely with authors such as Harold Robbins, Stephen King and James Herbert, and secured the UK rights to L Ron Hubbard’s Battlefield Earth. On one occasion he was invited to lunch with Hubbard in California, but arrived to find the great man represented at the table only by a framed portrait and some senior Scientologists.

Trev, as he was widely known, was born into India’s mixed-race Anglo-Indian community to Kathlyn (nee Belletty), a telephonist, and Samuel D’Cruz, a commercial buyer, in the Entally district of Calcutta (now Kolkata) during the last years of British rule. Evacuated to the countryside during the second world war, he was again moved away from the city in 1947, this time to avoid the civil strife that accompanied independence and partition. As a result he was schooled at Goethals, an austere Congregation of Christian Brothers school in the Himalayas.

After studying intermediate commerce in Calcutta, he went to England on his own, aged 16 in 1955, doing articles with a firm of accountants in Battersea in south London and qualifying as a chartered accountant in 1961. The move to the UK was supposed to be a temporary one, but in the event he never went back to live in India. In 1961 his father died, and instead of returning home, he brought his mother and youngest sister to London.

Trev’s new roots in England were already firmly planted as he had, upon arrival, fallen in love with Jill Rogers, the daughter of the couple who ran the boarding house where he lived in Balham. They married in 1964 and remained together until Jill’s death this year.

Trevlyn D’Cruz in the late 1950s, not long after arriving in the UK from India
Trevlyn D’Cruz in the late 1950s, not long after arriving in the UK from India

Working first as an accountant at the Morgan Crucible factory in Battersea, in the early 70s he became financial director of NEL, and was appointed as its managing director in 1974.

Leaving NEL shortly after it was sold to Hodder & Stoughton in 1982, he established a new publishing company, Quadrant Books, before going on to manage the commercial arm of the Institute of Chartered Accountants from 1985 to 1999, when he retired. He then became immersed in voluntary work for various charities, including Wandsworth’s Foster Board, Merton Women’s Aid, the Rosemary Simmons Housing Association and the Diabetic Society.

Widely admired for his charm and wit, Trev was a noted host and entertainer. He is survived by my sister, Emma, and me, our foster brother, Jason, five grandchildren, Jack, Raphael, Ollie, Theo and Evie, and his sisters Anita and Yvonne.

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