Pete Blandford

Some time around 1995, Chris called me and said “Pete, I’ve just sold a car so I’ve got some cash burning a hole in my pocket. I fancy a trip somewhere cool, where shall we go?”. We decided that we’d learn to Scuba dive and, as a good friend Claire Hatton was in Indonesia, we’d head that way and go to Bali. The original plan was for Chris to do his PADI course and for us to then meet up with a dive guide who’d take us to the best spots. Our guide was a mad but incredible local called Wally Siagian who decided that Chris didn’t need a PADI course and he’d teach him to dive. Chris first dive was a night time wreck dive! My fondest memory of that trip was being 25m underwater with Chris while Wally was standing in the water frog legged conducting two enormous schools of fish.

Chris and I had been mates at University but it was the two weeks on a dive tour of Bali where I really got to know him. We had a lot of fun, a lot of giggles and a few close scrapes. As we got older Chris and I both had some great times and some times that were a bit tougher. Chris was always there with support and a smile when it was needed, he had a talent for raising spirits when times were bad and making fun times even more enjoyable just with his company. When I think of Chris, it’s always with a smile, on his face and on mine.

Chris and Wally

Chris and Wally

Chris and Pete

Chris and Pete

Toby Potter

Unlike many of you, I didn’t know Chris that well, but we seemed to bump into each other many times over the years. He was one of the most genuine, generous, helpful and fun people to spend time with. Whether talking business, playing (bad) golf, or having a laugh over a beer it was always good to spend time with Chris. One of life’s great guys who seemed to enjoy life to the full.

Declan Dickens

Dear Jude. Dad was a special dad but you knew that anyway. I met your dad way back in 2000 when we worked for the same company and them he came to work with me again in 2001. It must be difficult to think of a world that didn’t have Facebook but Your dad was special and didn’t need things like Facebook to make friends and keep them. He passed that special test . If you didn’t see each other every day at work , would you still be the best of friends…? In your Dads case a big fat yes… Always in touch and easy…relaxed…and very funny…treat everybody with respect, do what you say you’ll do, make people laugh and love your mum and you won’t go wrong… Take care Jude..

Gloria Cole Sparks

My husband and I had the pleasure of meeting Chris almost 13 years ago. We were visiting London and I got in contact with Simone Barry. They met us at a local pub and we had the best time catching up with Simone and getting to know Chris Elsmore. I just want to say that he is a genuine person who will be missed by so many people all over the world. Even in small town Taylorville.

Nigel Walsh

He made me laugh. My son is a similar age to you Jude. We swapped stories of how bad we were at parenting, but how much we loved the new life as a dad. How hard it was to leave you guys when we traveled for work (the pic of you with the suitcase), how kids always wanted a gift from the plane, airport or wherever were we at the time on travel (but mums would always give out).

I always remember the man from stoke’s accent. He was a clumsy old fool too, but in a nice way.. Accident Prone for sure, falling over in showers or however the story goes!. He was one of the good guys, always looking out for others. In a strange way we found others that knew him too in a totally unconnected by very close way, Roy, Sarah, Simon and Rory – all from different jobs over the years – all had the same to say about him. He was a great guy.

All that aside, he wore a smile like it was the only thing you needed to do, and he was right. Wear his smile Jude and wear it with the same level of pride he was of you. Be strong for your mum! You are the man of the house now. I wish you guys both a Long Life.

Lenee Fraley

My boys and I met Chris on a trip to England the day after we met Jude. We had lunch with Simone & Jude and another hometown friend, Stephanie and her youngest Quentin. Our picnic was on the lawn outside the Tate Modern. The next day, we ate at an Indian restaurant Simone recommended and then headed to Snowflake for some ice cream. Jude & Simone met us there. Before we knew it, Chris came to join us. After finishing the awesome treat, your dad tried to point us in the direction of our hotel to save us from taking the Tube. True to his caring and giving self, he offered for us all to walk to our hotel. Chris made everyone feel like he had known them for years. His laugh is unforgettable.

Not long after our meeting in London. My youngest Nic & I joined Chris, Simone & Jude at the Children’s Museum at Navy Pier in Chicago on their trip to Taylorville. It was a hot summer day but the company couldn’t have been better. Nic enjoyed playing with Jude and exploring all the different areas of the museum, especially the fire station area, and riding the Merry-Go-Round outside. There were many laughs that day.

I will always remember Chris with a smile on his face and in his eyes.

Emma Hannaby

My first memory of Chris ….I had heard lots and lots about Chris before I met him , Rob Hannaby had told me of all his crazy antics as they had been friends for years and years. I was sitting in the local pub with a group of girlfriends in 1993 and only going out with Rob for about a month when Chris plonked himself at our table and asked “right which one of you is going out with Nobby” then asked me questions about myself to ensure I was suitable for his mate. He was also our first visitor when we moved to NZ all those years ago and later returned with Simone. He was an awesome guy, once met, never forgotten .

Amanda Jewiss

Where to start…I worked with your Father at SAP. He always had a huge smile on his face, kind and generous of heart. He would always bounce into a room and you knew Chris had arrived. However busy he always had time to talk.

I loved hearing about you and your Mum, he loved you both so much. You look so much like him and I can see his kindness in your face.

His work trips were always interesting too and never without a story. He had his wallet stolen, cards copied and even fell over in the shower. We were due to catch up one day and he had managed to trip over whilst walking down the pavement and cut his head open. I will miss him but am so glad I met him as he was a huge inspiration.

Sending lots of love to you and your Mum, Amanda X

Kirsty Sue Elliott

Jude, Chris was one of a kind. Supremely generous and caring, empathetic, and as many have mentioned, the biggest, best smile. A good friend to so many. He loved music and I used to love going to your place and setting up a little playlist of all my favourite songs from his selection to accompany the occasion. There’s one song that I know Sarah Lafferty and I will always associate with him and now every time I hear it it will put a smile on my face as I picture Chris on the dance floor. Sarah Lafferty would say that if you put this song on, Chris will be the first up to dance. With the two of us right behind him. She was always right:


Sharon Thomson

Dear Jude, I was lucky enough to have known your dad since our school days, we even dated in college but your dad realised quite early on I was high maintenance and just became my taxi service instead!! Through Facebook we reconnected and years ago before you were born, I was in London and your dad invited me and my friend over. I met your mum then and your dad took us out for dinner which included some of his work colleagues. We had a fab night, laughed a lot and your dad was as always, fun, happy, storytelling and hospitable. Your dad was one in a million Jude but most of all his infectious spirit, humour, kindness and generosity made him special and his amazing smile that was always there for all to see. XXXX

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Sarah Lafferty

Hey Jude, where do I begin with your amazing dad? How about the beginning. I met Chris in 2000, 2 years before I was flatmates and became close friends with your mum. We worked in a very fast-growing software company called i2 that was “interesting” – full of lots of good people and no shortage of intimidating alpha dogs hell-bent on smashing their quarterly targets at all costs. I wasn’t always convinced a person could be both very kind and very successful in business until I met Chris. His success came from his integrity, humour and genuine love and respect for others. I can’t remember him ever saying a bad word about anyone – a very rare quality. When your mum moved in with me (right across from where you live in London) our friend and colleague Alexei Levene thought she and Chris might make a good match and set them up on a date. Simone Barry asked me what I thought of Chris. I said something along the lines of “he’s a great guy and he always follows through”. Well, I guess that reference was convincing, because your mum and dad were together from that blind date forward, and now we have you blessing our lives. I’m so sad that Chris left us too early in life. It’s so easy to take for granted the amount of energy it takes to be that infinitely generous, larger than life character that gives time and a sympathetic ear to everyone. Chris inspired us in so many ways to be our best selves. Above all, he taught us that real joy comes through kindness and generosity to others – and not taking oneself too seriously! He loved you and Simone more than life itself and we will remember him with great love and affection always. Love, Sarah

Andy Menzies

Jude ~ Your Dad and I had crossed paths many times during our professional career but never actually worked together, sometime around 2013 we ended up doing business together, Panopticon and StreamBase partnered combining software assets (we did the clever bit and Chris provided the pretty pictures :-)) ~ you have already read a million stories that talk to your Dad’s smile, his jovial personality and his ability to lift a room, these are all true, just looking at your face tells me that your likely to inherit these qualities. Your Dad and I enjoyed a long lunch, we played Golf together a couple of times too …. I loved being in his company, we would share the day to day stress of our work, it was like a therapeutic stress relief counselling session all mixed up with a few bottles of wine and a lot of childish humour. On one occasion, your Dad got upset, work was all getting a bit too much for him, travel, pressure etc ~ your Dad worked hard, he burnt the candle at both ends ~ there is more to life than work Jude, just remember that. Seeing your father upset was a compliment to me, that he was able to show his emotions, this is another quality your father had, showing your emotions is a good thing, (controlled sometimes of course) real men do cry. Chris and I were due to have lunch together just a few weeks before his trip to Singapore, I was looking forward to catching up (he had lots of new work stories to share) unfortunately I had to cancel (due to work commitments) and that makes me very sad. Your Dad would have wanted us all to celebrate his life, he would have wanted you to know that he loves you and that he will be by your side in times of need, which of course he will, if not in body but in mind. I for one am super glad I spent time with Chris, it was my privilege to have done so.

Khurram Mahmood

My fondest memory with Chris was how he made me feel like he knew me for years when I met him for the very first time in Singapore. We went out to see an international football game in town, I think the World Cup was on. Making fun of the Dutch football team and being a general loud guy. He was so much fun and full of energy. He had this great ability to just get along with everyone. We had great road trips around Asia during the Business Objects SalesForce rollout and some interesting conversations. He loved his family so much and could never stop talking about you all. He will be sorely missed and as I have previously said, whenever I go to Singapore now, it will never feel the same to me again. I miss his great smile and his energetic outlook on life. Rest in peace dear mate.

John Musoke

I first met Chris in 2006 not long after moving to Singapore. Chris instantly made me feel at home. We kept I’m touch and met occasionally over the next few years after Chris moved back to Europe. We shared a great few days in Denver for Michelle Woodward Hodges surprise birthday celebration and Chris and Simone Barry kindly gave me accommodation for a few days and entertained me I’m London, coincidentally this was when your mum was expecting you Jude. A number of years later I invited Chris and Simone to my wedding in How Chi Minh City in Vietnam. Unfortunately they could not attend due to a last minute work engagement. A few months later I received a message from Chris saying that he was passing through Bangkok on his way to Sydney and want our address so that he could send us a wedding gift. A few weeks later we received a parcel which turned out to be a frame Warhol esque picture from our Singapore wedding. Your dad cared enough to take the time to find a picture from our wedding, edit it frame and carry it from London to Bangkok. He valued friendships and embraced strangers like they were members of his family, always fun to be around, a story to tell and a someone to make you forget about any issues you were having at the time. I hope you embrace like and people like your father did.


Paul Todd

I only knew Chris for a year. I met him shortly before Jude’s 4th. birthday party at The Prince Edward. I believe he bought a copy of my book “Fluke And The Bannajee” recently. I hope -when the dust clears obviously- that he likes it. If I can be of any help to either/both of you, Never saw Chris without a smile. I’m in The Prince Edward. 12-2 everyday. (I’m a sad person!) Please ask at the bar for Toddy or Paul. My love, sympathy, condolences and arms round the shoulders to both of you. With sincere love, Toddy XX.

Nichola Johnson

Hi Jude
I remember meeting your Dad on his very first day at Business Objects, I can’t remember the year though – think I’m getting old! He was in front of me in the staff restaurant… he was buying coffee, I was buying a diet coke. I could tell he was new and so I said a friendly hello… and well, that was that really… we chatted for a while about all sorts of stuff – and like many have said before me – it felt like we had known each other for years. It was certainly easy to see that he was was one of the good guys…. and thats not always a given when it comes to software sales guyswink emoticon

Not long after that – and apologies if I have my time line a little muddled – your Dad met your Mum and I met Duncan Greenwood. Duncan and your Dad were great friends – thick as thieves and joined at the hip back then! You’ll have to speak to Duncan about their many funny tales…. We had a lot of fun times together and one day when you’re a bit older Duncan and I can tell you about ‘Crazy Dave’ and why your Dad always said I was a ‘lucky cow’!

I will always remember Chris as a bit of a cheeky chap, he loved life and most importantly loved his family and friends with all his might. He was so proud of you and your Mum – you were both his entire world.

I am deeply sorry that your Dad was taken from you too early – I do hope that you can find some comfort from all these tales and messages. I can see so much of your Dad in you Jude from all the pictures that have been posted over the last 5 years – so when times feel tough and you’re missing your Dad just look inside yourself and you will find him right there with you.

Also remember this – no matter how grown up/big/teenager like you get you can NEVER give your Mum too many cuddles!

Jude – please know that Duncan, myself, Daniel (7) and Holly (4) are always here for you and your Mum. We have a spare room any time you fancy escaping the city and paying Marlow a visit. We’ve got a great park, skate park and boats to hire. Its where your Dad always said Duncan would love to live.. and Duncan listened.

Be courageous and kind and love your Mum and you will do grand.
Much love Nichola xxx

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Andrea Brian

Hi Jude

You don’t know me, but a long time ago, when we all used to live in the same place, I knew your Dad. I think I remember most that he was always smiling, always happy and full of life and energy. I can see from all the millions of friends that he’s made over the years and things that he’s done, that those things never changed.

As well as being so smiley and happy, your dad was super clever – in fact, the really clever stuff your Dad made used to help me in my job, and loads and loads of other people in theirs too!

Even though I’ve never met you, it’s hard to describe how much I feel for you right now. I’m glad you’re so little in one way, but wish you’d had more time with your dad, and him with you and your mum more. I do know that your dad will always be by your side, by you and your mum every step of the way. Always know that.

Be happy sweetheart xxx

Andrew Mountford

This is rare.
Chris isn’t smiling.
We had the most enormous hangovers. This was in Brighton. Chris had hired a white transit van and we had piled in the back and gone down to watch Stoke in The Great Going Down Party
I still don’t know if that van was insured.


Alexei Levene

Hello Jude. Your dad and I met at i2 technologies which was a rollercoaster of a business based out of Texas and a place with some of the most talented people I have had the pleasure of working with. I don’t remember the exact moment when I met Chris first but I do remember immediatly liking him. Chris was warm and friendly and always made time for you, he was also incredibly reliable and extremely generous. If we went out for dinner as a big group you would routinely find that the bill had been paid for everyone by Chris, which struck me as unusual as many times other of our contemporaries were distinctly less forthcoming! I remember one time when Chris invited me over to stay in Ascot after a work do and we had a really good chat about life and love and the universe. I felt that I saw him on that evening and could see that he was seeking companionship after his earlier divorce, and it seeded in my mind to keep an eye out for a worthy lady for him. I knew your mum through Sarah Lafferty when they were living together and despite a little resistance from a couple of folks who thought that they were quite different people I helped them to meet and have a first date, I guess you know the rest. That evening back at Chris’s we were later joined by a couple of other colleagues at i2, Nick Ford and Kim Cartledge, both great fun and we had such a laugh. When I eventually went to bed Chris offered me a pair of boxer shorts to wear as I came without a change of clothes. This may sound like a small gesture but it spoke of a thoughtfulness, intimacy and generosity that characterised Chris. Over the years I saw Chris and your mum from time to time and always felt a great sense of warmth and connection to them both. The last time I saw Chris we met for lunch in Hyde park, just a few months ago after he came back from a retreat in Thailand and we spent several hours catching up before taking a walk in the park. I was deeply sad to hear of Chris’s passing, he really was a rare soul and someone who stood out for his good nature and empathy. I wish you and your mum all of the best and as you grow older and read the many tributes to Chris I am sure you will have a strong sense of the amazing father you had and the spirit which you now can carry on. I was once told that that it is best never to fight the darkness, just to bring light, and Chris was very much a light in this world. Best wishes to you and Simone and do feel free to contact me at any time

Tracey Rendle

I had the pleasure of meeting Chris eleven or so years ago when I met Robbo. A best mate to Robbo for many many years. Chris what can I say about you – a gorgeous, warm hearted, funny, kind, loving, wonderful guy who genuinely lit up a room with his laughter. We will so miss your smile and your constant determination to make every social engagement going no matter how many miles away you were wink emoticon. Jude, your smile and character remind me so much of your dad. Always smile and enjoy every second of your life as your dad did. Xxxx



Catherine Egan

Hi Jude,
I met your Dad in May 2003 the very same day I met my husband James, we went back to a party in Chris’ house after a Polo match in Windsor! So my life might have turned out very differently without that party! I would not have predicted that night that 8 years later myself and your Mum would be pushing yourself and my daughter around Hyde Park in your buggies, we hoped you would both sleep long enough for us to have a coffee. I have a daughter who is 5 like you are now but you might already know that by the time you read this.
My favourite story about your Dad involves a security breach by your Mum while she slept in their bed, stay with me, she is not a spy! Your Dad wakes up one night in the middle of the night, he was still dreaming, he jumped out of bed and demanded your Mum ‘identify herself’, he then started to pat down the bed and kept on repeating the same phrase ‘identify yourself’, he followed his demand to ‘identify yourself’ with a warning, ‘there has been a security breach’! As your mum identified herself she also managed to wake him up and then they both laughed themselves back to sleep. I could not hear this story often enough it makes me laugh so much. Any time in your mum and dads company always involved belly laughing until your tummy was sore.
The greatest thing we can do with this gift of life we have is to live it to the fullest of our ability and your mum and dad had that figured out.

Like every one here when we think of Chris we smile.

All our love
Catherine & James


Nick Tudor and Sarah Tudor

Jude, like so many others I met your father at Aston university. I never quite worked out in the early days what he studied or what he was interested in but we always seemed to be bumping into each other.
It was clear early on that your Dad had a huge appetite for life. There was no question of him ever taking a backseat, if you were with him and part of the gang you were in for the ride and boy was it fun. After we left university we all went our separate ways but rarely a weekend went by without some form of reunion. It was always great to see Chris. He was sharp, intelligent, great company and merciless when he felt you had behaved in a way inconsistent with the values we lived our lives by. Its fair to say I took some stick at times but it was always given in a way that only endeared him further to you. I never had a brother but if I had I would have wished him to be like your Dad. We all loved him.

As was often the way our lives drifted apart for some years as we both travelled and worked overseas. Then Chris found himself in Singapore at the same time as I was living in Sydney (just down the road). He was often down in Sydney for team meetings, some of them actually required, and would stay at my flat in Bondi the weekend before or after when he wasn’t flying back to London to see your Mum. We both loved everything that Sydney had to offer and we had some fantastic times. I’ve got some wonderful memories to keep. My particular favourite was a weekend trip up to the Hunter Valley, a few hours north of Sydney to see the vineyards. Bizarrely I had a walk in wine cellar in my modest flat so I thought it would be a good opportunity to stock up on some quality Semillion. We had such fun, driving round in the convertible (my mid life crisis was in full bloom – see the movie Sideways when you’re old enough or ask your Mum !), stopping at the vineyards and getting advice at the various cellar doors. By the end of the Sunday we’d manage to buy plenty and had worked out your Dad had bought more than me for storage at his “Bondi weekender”. After getting lots of guidance on the way in which our wine should be kept in peak condition it soon became clear that he had taken the advice about quarter turning the bottles weekly very seriously. Barely a week went by when I didn’t get a call, email or text from all corners of the globe reminding me of that quarter turn. I still giggle about it now.

A few years ago we had a lovely afternoon walking with you round Hyde Park and I can’t tell you how much you reminded me of your Dad – an impish smile, those dimples, that sense of fun but most of all that desire to wrap up all around you in your affection – you were most insistent that we all come back with you for a family dinner. We all went away from that day bowled over by you and what a fantastic job your Mum & Dad were doing. I have no doubts that your Mum will continue to help you turn into a young man who would make his father very, very proud.



Phil Burgess

Hey Jude. I worked with your dad but more importantly I was honoured to call him a friend. “Friend” is a much used word now but a true friend is the rarest thing – something to be treasured and to thank the Universe for.

I remember the session that he, Nick Ford and I did in South Africa. It was a difficult time for him but you wouldn’t have known. “These guys were born within 10 miles of each other, a bottle of champagne for anyone who can name where it is” the host announced in broad South African. So we all put on our best “BBC English” accents so we would be the only people who knew and gain the prize!!. BUT the Stokie twang still came out…..and someone guessed “Kidsgrove” and we didn’t get the bottle. BUT the “Stokies on the road” tag line was born!!

Integrity, sincerity and professionalism – plus a heart so big and full that it shone. Mixed in with this “serious” stuff was a massive a dash of pure fun and life force that had the ability to light up those around them.

This came from his fundamental love, respect and care for people and what they can do if you give them a chance, some guidance and the ability to fly. This intent was a major pillar in his life and was why he was so respected and loved – he leaves a big hole in all our hearts

I know the massive joy that you and your Mum bought to him. It shone from him and shines from the photographs and stories. It is a gift that he leaves to the world in you. That gift is in short supply

We all wish you had had more time with him but remember your Dad and the gift he has given you and go out and make your own story. Your Dad will always be there when you need him for guidance and help – mine always is.

I give thanks for the honour of knowing him and calling him friend and I know he was, is and will be always proud of you.

Lisa Walsh

I wanted to share one funny story (and there are many) about Chris during the short time we worked together at Guidewire between 2013-2015.

He had organized a team meeting at our headquarters with about 20 folks in the room. He stepped out for another meeting and about the time we were expecting him back, we get an email from him “hey, I am at Starbucks, do you want anything”.

“Why yes Chris, we do!” I had all 20 people email him simultaneously and request the most complicated drinks ever. Mine was a grande, decaf, no fat one Splenda extra hot latte. Someone else had a grande light ice two pump soy latte. You can imagine when you multiply this times 20…how he might have reacted waiting at line in Starbucks.

We all sat in the room totally cracking up at our cleverness and how we had stumped our fearless leader. Next thing you know, in Chris walks with a big cardboard box. He got all those drinks right and I will never forget how much we all laughed about it and the look of delight on his face that day as he read off every drink and passed them around the room.

Jude, your dad always had my back, cared about his team and was always there to help me network or provide advice. I will miss him, the fun he brought to work and his great sense of humor!

Nick Fee


I was a young man when I first met your Dad. Wet behind the ears and into the world without the watchful eye of parents for the first time. We were part of a like-minded bunch associated with the University football team (very loosely in your Dad’s case). I can’t begin to tell you how many scrapes and situations we got ourselves into, but I seem to recall most of them ending up in someone’s kitchen the next day in hoots of laughter telling the tales and remembering the day before. Even then, Chris stood out as having a seemingly endless supply of friends, anecdotes, jokes, and fancy dress. Not only that, but he possessed the ability to knuckle down to work when it was required too. If he wasn’t such a nice guy – you’d be green with envy!

I was a man when I left university. Into the bright lights of employment we went. The crowd dispersed, but so tight were the bonds that it wasn’t too long before the weekend get-togethers were organised (though I don’t know how we did this – nobody had a mobile phone in those days!). This is where your Dad developed his infamous “triple booked” social diary as he found it almost impossible to prioritise one group of friends over another. We’d all revel in our relatively healthy disposable income and dance the night away, whether it was in Leuven, London or Liverpool.

I was married when we all started to celebrate our thirtieth birthdays. Meetings got fewer and farther between, but the locations became more exotic (from Sydney to New York to Lisbon to Lancashire (!)) and our partners became an equally important part of the gang. The strength of the friendship was still very much alive, with Chris the glue that seemingly bonded us all together. Many people have commented just how big-hearted Chris was and all I can add to that is there wasn’t a single occasion when your dad’s generosity of spirit ever relented. We’d laugh and joke about the good old times until the tears ran down our faces.

We’re all older now. We still regularly meet up a group, but we don’t talk about “the good old days” much anymore. We talk about you……and my kids…. and everyone else’s kids. And that’s just the way we like it.

Jude – the time will come for you to create your own adventures – just remember that you can achieve everything you want, knowing that even though “triple booked”, Dad will be keeping a very proud eye on you. Just make sure you look after your Mum. x


Ian West

Hey Jude, dont be sad
Take these messages and be happy
Remember your Dad was a great guy
Then you will start to make it better

Hey Jude, dont be afraid
You were made to go out and get it
The minute you let it under your skin
Then you need to make it better

And anytime you feel the pain, hey Jude, refrain
Dont carry the world upon your shoulders
From Him you know its OK to be the life and soul
And make the world a little better

Hey Jude, make him proud
He always wanted you to have fun
Remember he’s always in your heart
Then you will be making it better, better, better!

James Belsey

Hi Jude,

Here are a couple of photos I took of your Dad over the years. The first is from what I think was the first Business Objects Kick Off we attended together. This was in January 2003 and was held at the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas, it was the first time I’d been to Las Vegas and we’d flown direct from the UK, arriving pretty late in the day and very tired, but, true to form we tried to keep going, unfortunately, it was all too much for your Dad that night and he managed to fall asleep in the bar.

Your Dad focused on a slightly different area of the business than I did at Business Objects, so sadly we didn’t get to work too closely together, but the office was always a bit more fun when he was around. I have vivid memories of what I think was the first meeting we had together, your Dad drove us both into London from the Maidenhead office in his soft top Porsche on a lovely summer day for a meeting with one of the top partners of our company. I don’t remember much about the meeting itself, but I remember having a lot of fun on the drive in and the way back, your Dad was just fun to be around.

Despite moving continents and many jobs, we still kept in contact and it was great to catch up in October 2011 and meet you and your Mum. I was on holiday in San Francisco with my wife and son Ben. We had a lovely couple of hours of catching up on work, family and shared lots of stories about our mutual friends around the world.

There’s a song in Les Miserables called ‘A heart full of love’, that’s what your Dad had. In the show it’s about two people that don’t even know each others names falling in love, but where your Dad was concerned it was about having love for everything in this life. His family, his friends, his work, loving everything openly and without restraint. I think that’s why so many people loved him right back.


Roy Murphy

Hi Jude

You probably won’t remember me, but I hope you’ll remember the helicopter ride we did a couple of years ago? I think it was around your 3rd birthday when we all went for a spin around the Thames Valley – with you dressed up in your amazing Spiderman’s outfit!! The weather wasn’t great, so we couldn’t go over London that day, but more on that later…

Your dad was a very special person; one who hadn’t let himself be drawn in by the less attractive side of modern business. He and I first met a few years ago when I was to be introduced by his peers as their new man at Guidewire Inc., a job that involved looking after its Business Partners. The meeting was to be held in Guidewire’s board room and of course, everyone was expected be ‘suited and booted’ and keen to show off the latest corporate PowerPoint. It was a surprise during the evening before therefore, to get a text from your dad (whom I had never even spoken to at this point and who amusingly introduced himself as my new “Superior Senior Executive Vice President, Inter-Galactic Global Alliances and Partner Business Development Director” – imagine how wide his business card would be!!). He suggested meeting in a pub around the corner for a cheeky one instead and from the second I read that text, I knew we were going to get on like a house on fire!

Your dad worked in an industry that is full of egos, ‘empty suits’ (ask your mum), prima donnas (ask your mum again – sorry, Simone) and politics; it was plain that he, like me, despised all these things. Our first, one hour meeting ended up going on for over four hours and, having polished off our agenda in twenty minutes, we cancelled our respective appointments for that afternoon and spent the rest of the day polishing off a couple of bottles of fine red wine and giggling like school boys over various stories and jokes that nobody else would understand. It was refreshing to know I’d be working with such a great guy. Over the next few weeks, his ‘can do’ attitude bulldozed through all the usual nonsense red tape and we had fun discussing business, families and experiences of places from all over the world.

Our respective work schedules meant we didn’t meet that frequently, but we scheduled regular get-togethers, once every month or two, always over either a full English breakfast in “the ‘hood”, or a mandatory ‘Tavuk Shish’ at one of London’s ‘Haz’ Turkish restaurants. We were always texting each other and whenever we met, it was as though we had only previously met the day before, even though it might have been a month and a few thousand air miles ago. I now know of course, that it wasn’t just me. This was how your dad was – a very popular and funny person, who never took things too seriously and who had a personal ‘code of conduct’ that set himself apart from almost everyone I’ve met. He had a that rare ability to make professionalism fun.

One of his most endearing features was his generous and caring nature – he loved helping people and I’ve got the perfect example to share with you. They say you find out who your real friends are when things get a little bumpy and you go to those friends for advice and help. A little while ago, that happened to me. I unexpectedly found myself in a sticky situation at work and that meant your dad and I actually had to talk about proper business issues for a change – I needed his help. Dad was one of a few people I turned to for support. Many of the others I had known professionally for ten years or more and, of course, they all made the right noises and said they’d “do everything they could”. Predictably however, the sympathy didn’t convert into action and it became obvious that I had suddenly become interruption for the empty suits who were keen to remove me from their ‘things to do’ pile; after all, I wasn’t going to change their lifestyle. Your dad however, stepped up. He dropped everything, called a meeting with me to fully understand the issue, then called another meeting with his colleagues and owned the task of working with them to help build a solution. He updated me twice a day, following feedback he’d received from his intercontinental colleagues and worked really hard to help me. He was a very busy man and simply didn’t need to do that – it was something I had never seen before, not in my 35 years in this dog-eat-dog industry and it was something I shall never, ever forget.

I’m sorry that you won’t have the opportunity to share growing up with your dad – he adored both you and your mum and he was immensely proud to be your dad. He always beamed with joy when he shared the pictures and stories about what you and he had been up to – I think you gave him an excuse to unleash the child in his brain and let his inner self act its age! He would have given anything to be beside you now and in the future, so you need to be strong for him and look after mum. He’ll look down on you both with that big smile on his face and if you grow up to have half his decency and generous, caring attitude, as well as his wicked sense of humour, you will do him proud as well. He was an extraordinary man and in the years to come, you should occasionally read all these messages to remind you what you’re aiming for smile emoticon

Now then, at the beginning of this monologue I mentioned a helicopter flight. I promised your dad that I’d fly you over London when the weather was better, so when you both feel like it, just get your mum to drop me a line and we’ll fix it up. It’s the very, very least I can do for you and your dad.


Elizabeth Dalton-Brennan

Jude – I first met your Dad in 1991 and his infectious personality had me hooked from the beginning, always great fun to be around, and usually a bit of drama, be it in our local in Blythe Bridge, Aston University, Chester he even came to visit when I lived in Florida,I remember he lived in Belgium for a while and would always bring me my favourite white chocolate truffles, he was so thoughtfull, he was best man at my wedding and did the job well in true Chris style full of life and fun making sure everyone was having a great time, unfortunately due to circumstances we no longer saw each other for about 9 years but we connected on social media in August 2010, he told me he met your Mom in 2003 an American girl from Chicago I joked with him saying “you always did have a thing for the American gals” he agreed and told me he was going to be a Dad in February with much excitement. I loved looking at your Dad’s posts and it was clear to see he was very devoted to your Mom and you, looking at pictures of you is like looking at your Dad lovely smiling eyes, cheeky chappy take care of your Mom and yourself ?Xx

Rob Hannaby

Jude – Chris was one of my oldest friends. We both grew in Forsbrook. I can’t remember the first time we met but it would have been at Infants School – probably trying to avoid the wrath of Mrs Buchanan for not eating our school dinner! We went all the way through school playing rugby for Blythe Bridge High and testing Johnny Mills’ patience when he was trying to teach us English.

After finishing school we remained good friends – spending many a good night in our local pub ‘The Smithfield’. We travelled far and wide together, down to see Chris at University in Birmingham or to watch Stoke City away from home. There were trips up Hanley and long haul holidays to Spain with the lads from Blythe.

In 1990, with Wilf another old school friend and his mate Rob, we decided to back pack around Europe on the train and ended up island hopping in Greece. One night we ended up with a bunch of other travellers sleeping out on a hard, cold concrete hotel roof in Athens. As always your Dad made the most of the situation and kept us all entertained. Mind you I can’t imagine that hotel would have been high on his list if he ever travelled to Greece later in life though!

As we grew older we saw each other less but always stayed in touch and caught up whenever we could – despite living on the other side of the planet from each other! When we moved to New Zealand your Dad was one of the first to come and visit us. He always made an effort with people and he always enjoyed life to the full. Life was never dull around Chris. I will miss your Dad immensely but he will always be a part of my life and yours.

RIP my friend Chris

Rob Hannaby (Nobby)


Denise Johnson

Your dad was a genuine gentleman. . We went to infants school together. . I remember him more at joinior school. He made me and my friends smile. . I always knew he would go far in his life .. such a intelligent and honest man …. always remember him with happy thoughts. .. he was a good soul …. he lives on in you x

Nancy Lambrianides

Hi Jude, I used to live for 5 years in the same block of flats with your parents in Notting Hill, the hood! I didn’t know your dad very well but for what I know he ALWAYS had a smile on his face! He was really enjoying life to the maximum, all the times I’ve overlooked from my flat’s window, I could see him laughing with your mother and always happy. I am sure that he will be happy up there, looking at the way you turned out! Your dad and your mum are VERY honest, kind and genuine people, you don’t get to meet people like them everyday… I have a daughter your age and I hope you meet her one day! Your mother has to find every little strength that’s there to help you all the way through life. Love, Nancy.

Ian McNally

Hi Jude, like a few of your Dad’s good mates I was lucky enough to meet him at Aston University in September 1988. I’ve spent a few hours over the past few weeks looking back over old photos and some more recent photos which remind me of all of the fun that we have shared as a group ever since.
Our group just sort of happened – a bunch of like minded lads who liked a bit of football (which we were average at) and celebrating afterwards (which we excelled at). If you liked a laugh and you could put up with the endless repetitive ‘in’ jokes and could give and receive merciless character assassination in equal measure then you were ‘in’. I’m pleased to say that this has changed very little over the years. It was clear even during those early days that your Dad was someone special – he did an Engineering Course that meant over 30 hours of lectures per week whereas most of the rest of us did courses with about 10-15 hours per week. I remember joking with him that it was like having a full time job.
During these years and in the years after we had left Aston we did much the same thing, only in much nicer locations. When we left Aston your Dad and I worked for the same organisation (the sensible picture in those attached) – your Dad working for BOC Gases and me for BOC Distribution Services. This meant that we could earn a bit of money and enjoy a bit of travel. Some of the pictures attached show some of the many holidays and stag do’s that we all attended – always great fun with your Dad at the centre of making everyone laugh.
There is also some pictures of a great trip that we went on to Malaysia and Bali with Martin Smith and Julian Pidcock in 1998. I love the picture of your Dad ‘playing’ lead guitar for an Elvis tribute band that we went to see a few times when we were in Bali – but then your Dad has made a habit of making good friends with people all over the world. He had that effect on people – always bringing a smile to peoples faces and endearing himself to them through his honesty and generosity.
As well all got a bit older and marriage and children came along we still kept in touch, meeting up on a regular basis to catch up and share stories. I love the fact that although your Dad had an important job and obviously had to deal with some big-hitters around the world he still always greeted you with a Stokie ‘Alright Youth!’ which was enough for me to know that he was still the same Chris and that is why we all loved him.
Make sure that you and your Mum take good care of each other, lots of love from Maccy, Tracy, Ava and Ellis


Ron Mackintosh

Hello Jude, I was lucky enough to meet your Dad in 1992, in our first job after University. We joined BOC and were posted to Glasgow, and your Dad and I shared a flat together.

Your Dad was amazing, we got on instantly, and his beaming smile never left his face. He worked really hard, but always made time for his family and friends, treated every single person with kindness, was full of daft jokes and included those of us he had just met in his fun without a second’s thought.

Weekends were always epic – he was either double booked, charging up and down the M6 to see friends or his parents, or we would have a big night out in Glasgow… Nights in Glasgow always followed a similar pattern – a flowery shirt, a few cheeky ones at the flat waiting for the likes of ‘Maccy’Ian McNally and others to arrive, lots of silliness out on the town (usually involving Maccy’s dancing and including at least one Taxi booked in the name of someone in Neighbours!) and back to our flat to crash out. Sunday’s always involved a Full English Breakfast (the English bit was extra important because we were in Scotland) giggling like school kids over the previous night’s fun.

Your Dad was super generous in every way, always helping out anyone he could. I remember one day he announced we would be having some students we had never met from your grandparents school / college to stay – they were backpacking in Scotland and your Dad wanted to save them some money!

I only saw your Dad every so often for a few years after he moved to Leuven in Belgium, (bumping into each other in supermarket car parks!) but in about 2005 we met up in Singapore and it was like we hadn’t seen each other for a week, rather than a few years! He hadn’t changed at all, he just had tons of new hilarious stories about his escapades!

Facebook has been a brilliant way to stay in touch over the last few years and seeing the pictures of him with you and your Mum showed him having the time of his life being your Dad, especially when dressed up as super hero!

Simon Bromwell

Hi Jude. I don’t make a habit of picking up men in the park, but for your Dad, I made an exception. This was in San Francisco in about March or April 2012. I had just moved to San Francisco from Tokyo, but I am originally from the Wirral, which is about an hour north west of your Dad’s hometown Stoke. Anyway, I had recently arrived in San Francisco and was at the park with my daughter Keira and I could see you and your Dad bouncing around Clay Park. You were about 1.5 at the time and he was trying to keep you out of trouble, all the time with a big smile on his face. I heard his familiar accent and decided to go in for the kill, and asked him for a pint sometime. It turned out he had been eyeing me up as well and had been planning to make the first move himself. Anyway, we ended up going for a few pints in a local pub the next week and became firm friends thereafter.
You and your family ended up moving back to the UK about 6 months later, and so I ended up losing my first and for a long time only San Francisco friend. That being said, work meant that your Dad visited regularly and so we were still able to meet up every few months for a few drinks and a catch up. I remember one time he was planning to come over and he asked me if I wanted anything from the UK bringing out. It had been a while since I had tasted the delights on prawn cocktail Skips, and so asked him to bring across a few bags. He was kind enough to do so, although I had to go and pick them up from his hotel once he had left as he forgot to bring them along with him when we met up. Anyway, the reason I mention the Skips is that I hadn’t them eaten since your Dad bought them out about 3 years ago, but for some reason I decided to order some on Amazon about 6 weeks ago. To be honest, I’d completely forgot that I’d ordered them at all but then a couple of days after your Dad had passed a huge box of them arrived. Although I was devastated by the news of your Dad, I couldn’t help but raise a chuckle as it was if he had looked after his mate in San Francisco and dropped a few bags over to me on his way to Heaven.
Jude, your Dad was truly one of the best fellas I have ever met. A really generous, kind hearted, fun loving gent who will be missed by everyone who was every lucky enough to spend some time in his company.
Your Dad Chris was my hero, my mate.
Simon xx

Martin Smith

Hi Jude, I first met your Dad at Aston University some 27 years ago. Of course University is for learning stuff, in Chris’ case difficult engineering stuff but Chris like the rest of us knew there was an even more important journey that we were on and that was to make friends for life. You’ll see there is a theme that runs through the messages you’ve received and it’s not really about school, or university or work it’s about friendship, fun and laughter and how your Dad brought those things to so many. I liked your Dad a great deal, he was easy to get to know, he was easy to spend time with, it didn’t matter whether you hadn’t seen him for a year it was always easy to pick up where you left off. He was a jet setter of course and a grafter, these things can sometimes get in the way of you keeping in touch with old friends and making new ones too but not for your Dad he always made time and I know from reading his FB posts on Sunday evenings as he was about to fly off on business that even though he’d just left home he was already missing you and your Mum. Your Dad was an extraordinary person which in part comes from the fact that he was an ordinary guy, the boy from Stoke who achieved an amazing amount in his life and is loved by so many. I like hundreds of other people he met are proud to say I was a friend of Chris Elsmore. Love to you and to your Mum from Martin, Louise, Max and Chloe x


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Niall McCarthy

I had the good fortune of meeting your Dad several years back when trying to some business together.
It took only a few minutes to figure out that we both had an affinity of doing business over a beer as opposed to across a conference table.
Over the last few years, “business” was discussed in Chicago, NYC, San Fran & London and a good time always ensued.
The fact that we never came close to doing any material business was completely inconsequential.

A couple of years back, you happened to be passing through Chicago on Thanksgiving Day and joined us for Thanksgiving dinner.
Last minute & low key with a mixture of family, friends and neighbours – it was a lovely day with great food and wine.

My lasting memory of your Dad will be him effortlessly and unknowingly engaging and entertaining that table of people he had never met before as if they were his oldest friends in the world.

Mike Thomas

Hello mate!

I first met your Dad at Aston University about 27 years ago…….he greeted me with ‘Hello mate!’ each and every time I saw him from that first time to the last time which was in the security line at Terminal 5 at Heathrow airport on 8th November last year; we laughed like schoolboys, talked about you and my three children, your Dad messed about (in a nice way) with the security staff making little jokes and small talk, and we finally got through the security process leaving smiles on the faces of the staff and other travellers. I was laughing so much I managed to lose my belt and had to buy another one which is not a cheap exercise at T5 – your dad thought this was hilarious. He headed off to the lounge to put together a presentation for his meeting the following day in Johannesberg and guess what – he bumped into another old mate in the lounge and I am sure put a smile on their face too!

Your Dad came golfing with a few of us to Spain a couple of times over the years to enjoy some winter sunshine, very average golf, some laughs as well as catching up on events with everyone, reminiscing over the past, and creating a few more stories while we were there. Your Dad hit an absolute peach of a shot from the fairway to the 7th green but we heard it hit a tree (a shot known as a squirrel) and then couldn’t find it for looking until your Dad spotted it embedded in the tree trunk – see photo! We cried with laughing watching him trying to take his next shot!

I want you to know that your father Chris was an absolute one of a kind. Intelligent, funny, caring, enthusiastic, principled, gregarious, down to earth and would light up any room he walked into. He squeezed more ‘life’ into each month than most people including me can fit into each year. He made a hugely positive impact on each and every person he came across and each encounter with your Dad was always truly memorable.

I am honoured to have known your Dad and to have considered him a mate. Grow up knowing that he was the best of men and make him proud each and every day.

Love from Mike, Claire, Jack, George & Jessica Thomas

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