Compiled by Dr Alex May
21 June 1935 – 31 December 2015
The playwright, author, and theatre director Hugh Steadman Williams died on 31 December 2015, aged 80. Born in Wood Green, London, the son of a Congregational minister, he was educated at Rotherham Grammar School and, after national service with the Royal Signals, University College, Oxford, where he read modern history. On graduation in 1959 he joined the Christian organisation Moral Re-Armament as a full-time employee, working initially in Nairobi, where he organised a musical revue. On returning to London he became assistant stage manager at the Westminster Theatre (run by MRA), of which he eventually became artistic director from 1975 to 1990, renowned for his staging of modern Christian dramas, often with a sharp social message. In 1990 MRA decided to sell the theatre, and Williams retired to Yalding in Kent, where he ran amateur productions. His wife Dell died in 2009 and in 2011 he married Nicky Grainger; he was survived by her and the two sons of his first marriage
Sir Clifford Boulton
25 July 1930 – 25 December 2015
Sir Clifford John Boulton GCB, clerk of the House of Commons from 1987 to 1994, died on 25 December 2015, aged 85. Born in Staffordshire, he was educated at Newcastle-under-Lyme High School and, after national service in the Royal Armoured Corps, St John's College, Oxford, where he read modern history. On graduating in 1953 he joined the staff of the House of Commons as an assistant clerk; in the course of a long career he was clerk of most of the important select committees. He was the 44th clerk, an office dating back to 1363. In retirement he was a member of the Nolan committee on standards in public life and a trustee of Oakham School, having lived in Rutland for thirty years. He was knighted KCB in 1990 and advanced to GCB in 1994. He was survived by his wife Anne and their two adopted children.
Sir Brian Tovey
15 April 1926 – 23 December 2015
Sir Brian John Maynard Tovey KCMG, director of the Government Communications Headquarters from 1978 to 1983, died on 23 December 2015, aged 89. The son of a vicar, he was educated at St Edward's School, Oxford. He read modern history at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, but left to serve in the Royal Navy and the Intelligence Corps, and on demobilisation he went to the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, where he took a degree in modern Chinese. He joined GCHQ in 1950, and was highly regarded as an intelligence analyst. He took early retirement as director of GCHQ following the conviction of the Soviet 'mole' Geoffrey Prime, though he was also challenged by the Thatcher government's decision to ban trade unions from GCHQ. He caused some controversy by then taking directorships of various communications companies. Throughout his career he pursued a sideline as a scholar of Renaissance art, and in retirement in Oxford he pursued this vocation with enthusiasm. He was survived by his fourth wife, Mary, and three children from his first marriage (a daughter having predeceased him).
Jane, Lady Abdy
24 May 1934 – 22 December 2015
Jane Abdy (née Noble), Lady Abdy, art dealer, died on 22 December 2015, aged 81. Born in London, the daughter of a doctor, she was educated at Wycombe Abbey and Somerville College, Oxford, where she read English. After graduating in 1955 she took a job as an assistant at a London art gallery where she met the connoisseur and art dealer Sir Robert Abdy, fifth baronet; she became his third wife in 1962 (when she was 28 and he 66) and divorced ten years later, but she looked after him until his death in 1976. She became an expert on nineteenth-century French art, but was renowned for spotting emerging trends in other areas of art, and formed the Bury Street Gallery in partnership with Anne, Lady Heseltine. She had no children.
16 February 1925 – 21 December 2015
David Acfield Emms, headmaster, died on 21 December 2015, aged 90. Born in Lowestoft, the son of a bank manager, he was educated at Tonbridge School and, after four years' service (1943-7) with the Royal Artillery, Brasenose College, Oxford, where he read modern languages, graduating in French and German in 1950 and taking a diploma in education the following year. At Oxford he won a rugby Blue in 1949 and 1950, and he later played for Northampton, Eastern Counties, and the Barbarians. He taught at Uppingham School from 1951 to 1960 before becoming headmaster of Cranleigh School (1960-70), Sherborne School (1970-4), and Dulwich College (1975-86). He was known as a reformer, which went down well at Cranleigh and Dulwich but not at Sherborne. From 1987 to 1995 he was director of the London Goodenough Trust for Overseas Students. He latterly listed his hobby as 'putting names to faces'. He was survived by his wife Pamela and three of their four children.
23 February 1940 – 17 December 2015
Anthony Michael Kent (Tony) Rickwood, paediatric urologist, died on 17 December 2015, aged 75. Born in London, the son of a chemical engineer, he was educated at King Edward VII School, Sheffield, and University College, Oxford, where he qualified in medicine in 1965. After junior posts at the Radcliffe Infirmary, he completed his surgical training at the Royal Hospital in Sheffield. He then specialised in paediatric surgery at Sheffield Children's Hospital, becoming a consultant in 1979. In 1983 he moved to Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool as consultant paediatric urologist, remaining there until his retirement in 2001. An internationally renowned specialist in abnormal bladder function in children, he was the author of several ground-breaking publications on neuropathic bladder dysfunction, and played a key role in discrediting the use of unnecessary surgery. He was survived by his wife Valerie, a theatre sister whom he met while a trainee at the Radcliffe Infirmary, and their four children.
Sir Peter Gregson
28 June 1936 – 12 December 2015
Sir Peter Lewis Gregson GCB, civil servant, died on 12 December 2015, aged 79. Born in Yorkshire, the son of a schoolmaster, he was educated at Nottingham High School and Balliol College, Oxford, where he read literare humaniores, graduating in 1959. After national service in the Royal Army Educational Corps he joined the Board of Trade in 1961 (working on Britain's first, unsuccessful, attempt to join the Common Market). He was private secretary to Harold Wilson then Edward Heath (1968-72), deputy secretary at the Cabinet Office (1981-5), where he assisted Prime Minister Thatcher in dealing with the miners' strike, and permanent secretary at the Department of Energy (1985-9) then the Department of Trade and Industry (1989-96). In retirement he held a number of directorships and voluntary appointments. He was knighted KCB in 1988 and advanced to GCB in 1996. He never married, and had lived with his mother until her death.
18 January 1948 – 9 December 2015
The Revd Canon John Clifford Penn Cockerton died on 9 December 2015, aged 88. Born on the Wirral, he was educated at Wirral Grammar School and the University of Liverpool, where he read geography and took a diploma in education. After a short time teaching he decided to seek holy orders, enrolling at Wycliffe Hall and taking a degree in theology in 1954 as a student of St Catharine's Society. Ordained a priest in 1955, he was an assistant curate for four years at St Helens parish church. He then spent twenty years at the University of Durham as tutor and chaplain of Cranmer Hall, vice-principal of St John's College, and finally Principal of St John's College and Cranmer Hall (1970-8). Rejecting further preferment, he then served as a country rector, in Wheldrake, near York. He was appointed an honorary canon of York in 1987. His wife, Diana, predeceased him.
18 January 1948 – 9 December 2015
Jennifer Mary (Jenny) Wormald, fellow and tutor in history at Hilda's College, Oxford, from 1986 to 2005, died on 9 December 2015, aged 73. Born in Glasgow, she was adopted by a GP, Thomas Tannahill, and his wife Margaret. She was educated at Glasgow High School for Girls and Glasgow University, graduating in 1963. The following year she married the medieval historian A L Brown. They were later divorced, and she married the medievalist Patrick Wormald; they divorced in 2001. Meanwhile from 1968 to 1986 she taught at Glasgow University and built a reputation as an incisive scholar of early modern Scotland and of the Stuart monarchs. She was particularly known for her Mary Queen of Scots: A Study in Failure(1987). On retirement from Oxford she returned to Edinburgh, where she remained active in historical research. She was survived by her three sons.
12 May 1919 – 5 December 2015
Major James Aikman (Peter) Cochrane, army officer and businessman, died on 5 December 2015, aged 96. Born in Glasgow, he spent his early years in the Far East where his father was a civil engineer. He was educated at Loretto School, Edinburgh, and Wadham College, Oxford, where he read jurisprudence and rowed for the college. His studies were cut short by the outbreak of the Second World War, during which he served with the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders, won both an MC and a DSO in north Africa, and took part in the battle of Monte Cassino. After the war he worked for the publishers Chatto & Windus, then, from 1952 to 1979, the printers Butler & Tanner. He wrote two books, Dr Johnson's Printer: The Life of William Strahan (1964), and an acclaimed memoir of his war service, Charlie Company (1977). He was survived by his two daughters, his wife Louise having predeceased him.
26 July 1936 – 4 December 2015
The opera critic Rodney Milnes Blumer (known as Rodney Milnes) OBE died on 4 December 2015, aged 79. Born in Stafford, the son of a surgeon, he was educated at Rugby School and Christ Church, Oxford, where he read modern history, graduating in 1958. After national service in the Royal Army Educational Corps and a brief spell in publishing he became music critic for Queen magazine (later Harpers and Queen), and an entertaining and frequently waspish opera critic for The Spectator, the Evening Standard, and from 1992 to 2002 The Times. He began contributing to Opera magazine in 1971, was editor from 1986 to 1999, and continued writing for it until his death. He published a number of opera translations. He never married.
27 February 1934 – 4 December 2015
Barbara Williamson (née Freeman), careers adviser, died on 4 December 2015, aged 81. Born in Leicestershire, the daughter of an accountant, she was educated at Wyggeston Grammar School and Somerville College, Oxford, where she read philosophy, politics and economics, graduating in 1955. In 1959 she married Tony Wiliamson, then a car factory worker, later a vicar and Labour councillor; she served as lady mayoress of Oxford in 1982-3 when he was mayor. Meanwhile she served for 34 years as a magistrate, joined the university careers service in 1979 (retiring as deputy head), and was active in several charities. She was survived by Tony and their four children.
29 May 1924 – 30 November 2015
The journalist Nigel Edward Buxton died on 30 November 2015, aged 91. Brought up in Sussex, he was educated at Collyer's Grammar School, Horsham, and the Imperial Service College, Windsor. Volunteering for military service in 1942, he served with the Royal Artillery in Normandy and north-west Europe. On demobilisation he worked in publicity before going up to Worcester College, Oxford, where he read modern history, graduating in 1954. He then worked as a tutor and an advertising copywriter before joining the Sunday Telegraph as travel columnist (later travel editor), until his retirement in 1989; he also wrote about wine. In retirement he found unusual fame as 'BaaadDad', the septuagenarian 'yoof' culture critic on Channel 4's Adam and Joe Show; his assignments included taking rap lessons from Coolio and smoking cannabis at the Tribal Gathering music festival. He was survived by his wife Valerie and their three children.
10 June 1926 – 29 November 2015
The poet and translator (John) Christopher Middleton died on 29 November 2015, aged 89. Born in Truro, he was educated at Felsted School, Essex, and, after four years in the RAF, Merton College, Oxford, where he read modern languages, graduating in 1951, followed by a DPhil (awarded in 1954) on 'Herman Hesse as Humanist'. He held teaching positions at the University of Zürich and King's College, London, before moving to the University of Texas at Austin in 1966, where he was professor of Germanic languages and literature until his retirement in 1998. He published more than 20 volumes of poetry, sometimes experimental, and translations from French, Spanish, Arabic and Turkish, though he was best known for his translations from German, including works by Goethe, Hölderlin, Nietzsche, and the Swiss writer Robert Walser. He was survived by his three children, his marriage having ended in divorce.
29 June 1914 – 20 November 2015
The archaeologist Nancy Katharine Sandars FBA, FSA, died on 20 November 2015, aged 101. Born in Little Tew, Oxfordshire, the daughter of an army officer, she was educated at Wychwood School for Girls, Oxford. After travelling extensively in Europe, and joining Kathleen Kenyon's excavations at the Wrekin, she served during the Second World War as a motorcycle dispatch rider and intercepting radio transmissions for Bletchley Park. After the war she studied at the Institute of Archaeology, London, the British School at Athens, and St Hugh's College, Oxford, where in 1953 she was awarded a BLitt for a thesis on Bronze Age cultures in France. She took part in a large number of excavations in Europe and the Middle East, and was especially known for her translation of The Epic of Gilgamesh (1960), and her work on the 'sea peoples' of the eastern Mediterranean. She was elected an FBA in 1984. She never married, and lived at Little Tew with her sister Betty.
30 April 1921 – 13 November 2015
Richard Morgan Oliver Stanley, businessman, died on 13 November 2015, aged 84. Born on Anglesey, the son of an army officer, grandson of the fifth Marquess of Bath, nephew of the seventh Baron Sheffield, and younger brother of the eighth Baron, he was educated at Winchester College and, after national service in the Coldstream Guards, New College, Oxford, where he read modern history. After graduating in 1954 he joined the Metal Box Company, where he remained until 1985, contributing to its growth into Britain's largest packaging company. He was later a director of Friends Provident and Pantheon International Participations, and was involved with a large number of charities, including the Rainbow Trust, of which he was chairman from 2004 to 2010. He was survived by his wife Phyllida and their four children.
23 August 1920 – 7 November 2015
Col. John Deane Reynolds MC, army officer, died on 7 November 2015, aged 95. Born in Bromley, he was educated at the King's School, Worcester, and Hertford College, Oxford, where he took the war-shortened classical moderations in 1940. He enlisted in the Worcestershire Regiment but was soon recruited to the Special Service Brigade (commandos), with whom he served throughout the war, taking part in raids behind enemy lines in Norway, North Africa, Italy, and north-west Europe; he won his MC in Italy in 1943. After the war he was granted a regular commission and served with the Worcesters and the Cheshires, with spells assigned to the Aden Protectorate Levies and later the Kuwait Army. After retirement in 1970 he worked as an administrator of Shenstone Teacher Training College; he also served in various capacities in the Worcestershire Regimental Association and the Commando Association. He was survived by his wife Alison and two of their three children.
24 April 1921 – 4 November 2015
The Revd John Bonsall Langdon, Royal Marines officer and Church of England priest, died on 4 November 2015, aged 94. Born in the Canadian Rockies, the son of an army officer, he was educated at Oundle School and, after war service in the Royal Marines (landing at Sword beach on D-Day, and later serving in Burma), Lincoln College, Oxford, where he read philosophy, politics and economics. He was ordained in 1954 and served mainly in the north of England, including as rector of St Mary's, Swillington, Leeds, and St Mark's, Leeds Woodhouse. He was an honorary minor canon of Ripon Cathedral. He was appointed to the Légion d'honneur shortly before he died. He never married.
4 November 1957 – 2 November 2015
The historian Christopher Duggan died on 2 November 2015, aged 57. Born in Kent, the son of a ship broker, he was educated at Dulwich College, Westminster School, and Merton College, Oxford, where he read history, and met his future wife, Jennifer Mundy. After a year in Italy he returned to Oxford to complete a DPhil thesis under Denis Mack Smith on fascism and the mafia (later the basis of his first book). He was a post-doctoral fellow of All Souls from 1985 to 1990 and a fifty-pound fellow from 1990 to 1997, but from 1987 taught at the University of Reading, where he became professor of modern Italian history in 2002. His work included a biography of Francesco Crispi (2001), The Force of Destiny: A History of Italy since 1796 (2008), and Fascist Voices: An Intimate History of Mussolini's Italy (2012). He was survived by Jennifer and their two children.
13 November 1941 – 2 November 2015
The sociologist and historian of west Africa, John Christopher Yeadon Peel FBA, died on 2 November 2015, aged 73. Born in Dumfries, the son of the educationist Edwin Peel, he was educated at King Edward's School, Birmingham, Balliol College, Oxford, where he read literae humaniores, graduating in 1963, and the London School of Economics, where he gained a PhD in 1966 for a thesis on Aladura, the Yoruba religious movement which was the subject of his first book. He taught at Nottingham University, the LSE, the University of Liverpool, and finally the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, where he was professor of sociology and anthropology from 1989 to 2007. He wrote widely on west African religions, and on the sociologist Herbert Spencer; he was elected an FBA in 1991. He was survived by his second wife, Anne, and by the three sons of his first marriage.
28 August 1933 – 27 October 2015
The film critic Philip Neville French OBE died on 27 October 2015, aged 82. Born in Liverpool, the son of an insurance salesman, he was educated at Bristol Grammar School and, after national service in the Parachute Regiment, Exeter College, Oxford, where he read jurisprudence and edited Isis. Graduating in 1957, he took a postgraduate course in journalism at Indiana University (where he met his Swedish wife Kersti) then joined the Bristol Evening Post as a reporter and, in 1959, the BBC as a producer; he was editor of The Arts This Week, and Critics' Forum, and remained a senior producer for BBC Radio until 1990. Meanwhile he was theatre critic and arts columnist for the New Statesman before becoming, from 1978 to 2013, the highly influential film critic of The Observer. He also wrote a number of books, including an acclaimed and much revised and reprinted study of Westerns (1974) and a memoir, I Found It At The Movies (2011). He was survived by Kersti and their three sons.
S. Barry Cooper
9 October 1943 – 26 October 2015
Stuart Barry Cooper, mathematician, died on 26 October 2015, aged 72. Born in Woking, the son of a cabinetmaker, he was educated at Chichester High School for Boys (where he played for the England rugby under-16s) and Jesus College, Oxford, where he read mathematics, graduating in 1966. In 1969 he joined the staff of the University of Leeds, where he stayed for the remainder of his career, latterly as professor of pure mathematics. An expert on the structure theory of Turing degrees, he was also prominent in the campaign to commemorate Alan Turing, and to secure him a posthumous pardon. He was a co-founder of the Chile Solidarity Campaign and was active in promoting jazz music in Leeds. He was survived by his wife, Kate, and four children.
9 September 1927 – 26 October 2015
The film critic and editor Penelope Houston OBE died on 26 October 2015, aged 88. Born in Kensington, she was educated at Roedean School (for most of the time evacuated from Brighton to the Lake District) and Somerville College, Oxford, where she wrote for Isis and Sequence, and read modern history, graduating in 1948. She worked briefly as a research assistant on the official history of the Second World War before joining the British Film Institute in 1950. From 1956 to 1990 she was editor of its influential magazine, Sight and Sound. Although most of her writing took the form of articles (including film criticism for the Spectator, Guardian and Observer) she also wrote The Contemporary Cinema (1963), a monograph on Alberto Cavalcanti's wartime film Went the Day Well? (1992), and Keepers of the Frame (1994), a history of the National Film and Television Archive. She was a passionate golfer and follower of horse-racing. She never married.
13 November 1956 – 25 October 2015
The historian David Cesarani OBE died on 25 October 2015, aged 58. Born in London, the son of a hairdresser, he was educated at Latymer Upper School, Hammersmith, Queens' College, Cambridge, Columbia University in New York, and St Antony's College, Oxford, where in 1986 he completed a DPhil on Zionism in England between 1917 and 1939. He held academic posts at the University of Leeds, the Oxford Centre for Postgraduate Hebrew Studies, Queen Mary College, London, University College, London, the universities of Manchester and Southampton, and finally Royal Holloway, University of London, where he was a research professor from 2004 until his death. A prolific author, he was especially known for his work on Anglo-Jewry, and on the Holocaust; he was also a regular broadcaster and commentator. His research for the All-Party Parliamentary War Crimes Group on Nazi criminals who had come to Britain after the war was credited with a strong influence on the War Crimes Act 1991. He was survived by his wife Dawn and their two children.
The Earl of Mansfield
7 July 1930 – 21 October 2015
William David Mungo James Murray, eighth Earl of Mansfield and Mansfield, barrister, politician and landowner, died on 21 October 2015, aged 85.The only son of the seventh Earl, he was educated at Eton College and, after national service with the Scots Guards in Malaya, Christ Church, Oxford, where he read jurisprudence and was known by his courtesy title, Viscount Stormont. He was called to the bar by the Inner Temple in 1958 and thereafter built up a successful common law practice. He succeeded his father in 1971 and served as a minister of state at the Scottish Office (1979-83) and the Northern Ireland Office (1983-4) under Margaret Thatcher. He held a number of directorships and was an active supporter of many charities. He and his wife Pamela also developed the family seat, Scone Palace in Perthshire, as a tourist attraction. She survived him, with their three children.
4 November 1939 – 21 October 2015
The Rt Hon Michael Hugh Meacher PC, politician, died on 21 October 2015, aged 75. Born in Hemel Hempstead, the son of a farmer, he was educated at Berkhamsted School and New College, Oxford, where he read literae humaniores, graduating in 1962. He went on to take a diploma in public administration at the London School of Economics, and held academic posts at the universities of Essex and York and the London School of Economics until 1970 when, by then active in the Labour Party, he was elected MP for Oldham West. He held this seat (and following boundary changes in 1997 Oldham West and Royton) until his death. A leading figure on the left wing of the party, he sat on Labour's frontbench for 29 of those years, serving as a junior minister in the 1974-9 Labour governments, and as a minister of state (and minister for the environment) from 1997 to 2003. In 1983 he came second (to Roy Hattersley) in a ballot for deputy leader of the Labour Party. He was survived by his wife Lucianne, and the four children of his first marriage, to Molly Reid (Baroness Meacher).
30 October 1950 – 20 October 2015
(Frances) Jane Wardle FBPsS, FMedSci, FBA, clinical psychologist and behavioural scientist, died on 20 October 2015, aged 64. The daughter of a painter, she attended more than a dozen different schools before going up to St Anne's College, Oxford, to read psychology, philosophy and physiology. After graduating in 1973 she trained at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, where she became a lecturer then senior lecturer, from 1976 to 1991. In the latter year she joined the ICRF Health Behaviour Unit as a reader in health psychology. She was director of its successor, the Cancer Research UK Health Behaviour Research Centre, from 1997, and professor of clinical psychology at University College London. Her research focused on psychosocial processes and health, and made important contributions to cancer screening, and the understanding of eating disorders and obesity. She was elected an FBA in 2013. She was survived by her second husband, Andrew, her two children, and a stepson.
18 March 1926 – 15 October 2015
Kenneth John (Ken) Pritchard CB, civil servant, died on 15 October 2015, aged 89. The son of a railwayman, he was educated at Newport High School and, after military service mainly in India, enrolled with St Catherine's Society, Oxford, where he read philosophy, politics and economics. On graduating in 1951 he joined the Admiralty. He was director general of supplies and transport at the Ministry of Defence from 1981 to 1986, and in this post was responsible for ensuring that the Falklands task force was kept supplied. He was director of Greenwich Hospital from 1987 to 1992. He was survived by his second wife, Angela, and four children; his first wife, Betty Bradshaw, whom he married while still at Oxford, died in 1978.
27 October 1950 – 13 October 2015
The journalist and broadcaster Sue Lloyd-Roberts CBE died on 13 October 2015, aged 64. Born in London, the daughter of the orthopaedic surgeon George Lloyd-Roberts, she was educated at Cheltenham Ladies' College and St Hilda's College, Oxford, where she read history and modern languages and worked on Isis. On graduating she joined ITN and spent seven years there before moving to Channel 4 News, and finally from 1992 the BBC, where she made her name as an intrepid foreign correspondent whose reports, particularly on human rights abuses, often swayed public opinion and government policy; she was the first western journalist to report from Homs at the start of the uprising against the Assad regime. She was survived by her second husband, Nick Guthrie, with whom she also ran a hotel in Fornalutx, Mallorca, and by the two children of her first marriage.
27 September 1936 – 9 October 2015
The broadcaster, writer and actor (Ronald) Gordon Honeycombe died on 9 October 2015, aged 79. Born in Karachi, the son of a sales manager, he was educated at Edinburgh Academy and, after two years' national service in Hong Kong (during which he worked as an announcer for Radio Hong Kong) University College, Oxford, where he read English, graduating in 1961. Although best known as the newsreader for ITN from 1965 to 1977, and for TV-am from 1984 to 1989, he pursued parallel careers as an actor (including with the Royal Shakespeare Company and at the Royal Court), and as a prolific writer, of stage and television plays, radio dramatisations for Radio 4, a musical, several novels and 'documentary novels', and non-fiction which, in the same year (1982) ranged from the best-selling The Year of the Princess to the meticulously researched The Murders of the Black Museum. He never married, although at one point he was engaged.
11 May 1921 – 6 October 2015
Squadron Leader Philip Lawson, RAF officer and farmer, died on 6 October 2015, aged 94. Born in Bradford, he read agriculture at Balliol College, Oxford, but left early to join the RAF Volunteer Reserve. He flew some 100 bombing missions over Italy and was also inserted behind enemy lines in Montenegro to help evacuate wounded partisans. After the war he took up farming in Hampshire and Suffolk. He was survived by four children, his wife Mary and one son having predeceased him.
13 May 1964 – 3 October 2015
Christopher Peter Tambling, organist and choirmaster, died on 3 October 2015, aged 51. Born in Clevedon, near Bristol, he was educated at Christ's Hospital, Horsham, and St Peter's College, Oxford, where he read music and studied with John Harper. After graduating he taught at Sedbergh School, Cumbria, Glenalmond College, near Perth, and Downside School, near Bath, where from 1997 he was director of music, and also organist and master of the Schola Cantorum. He wrote a tutor book, The Church Organist, and composed many successful pieces for choirs and organs, including a much-loved fanfare for the organ based on Graham Kendrick's song, 'Shine, Jesus, Shine'. He was survived by his wife Sara and their two sons.
12 May 1920 – 29 September 2015
Douglas Robertson Nicoll CB, code-breaker and civil servant, died on 29 September 2015, aged 95. Born in Wembley, he was educated at Merchant Taylors' School and St John's College, Oxford, where he took the war-shortened classical moderations in 1940. On call-up he was directed to work in Hut 6 at Bletchley Park, where he played an important role in helping to decode German Enigma signals. He elected to stay with Bletchley's successor, GCHQ, after the war, first at Eastcote and then at Cheltenham, becoming head of Z branch (which distributed finished intelligence) and then deputy director. On his retirement in 1980 he was employed by the Cabinet Office to produce two influential reports on the intelligence services, the second shortly after the Falklands war (when many of the failings highlighted in his first report became evident). He was later publicly critical of .the Labour government's manipulation of intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq war. He was survived by his second wife, Cathryn, and by the two sons of his first marriage (to Winifred Campion, who also worked at Bletchley).
11 June 1921 – 28 September 2015
Samuel Alexander (Sandy) Faris, composer and conductor, died on 28 September 2015, aged 94. Born in Co. Tyrone, the son of a Presbyterian minister and a headmistress, he was educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution, and Christ Church, Oxford, where he read music. During the Second World War he served with the Irish Guards, including in the liberation of Douai in 1944. After further studies at the Royal College of Music he pursued his passion for opera as musical director of the Carl Rosa Opera Company and as a conductor at Sadler's Wells and elsewhere. He was particularly associated with productions of Offenbach's operettas (he published a scholarly study of Offenbach in 1980), and the works of Gilbert and Sullivan, but was perhaps best known as a composer of film and television music, especially for the ITV series Upstairs, Downstairs; its theme tune won him an Ivor Novello Award in 1975. He never married.
5 May 1912 – 18 September 2015
(Ernest) Basil Gladden Reeve, medical researcher, died on 18 September 2015, aged 103. Born in Everton, the son of a vicar (and brother of the geneticist Eric Reeve), he was educated at Norwich Grammar School and Oriel College, Oxford, where he read physiology, graduating in 1935. After further training as Lord Brock's house surgeon he worked as a GP then, during the war, in Ronald Grant's Medical Research Council unit at Guy's Hospital, where he made important contributions to the understanding of bleeding and helped reduce the number of deaths from war wounds. During the later stages of the war he moved to Newcastle, taking with him as his technician the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. In 1952 he emigrated to Denver, Colorado, where he continued his research into blood clotting. His third wife, Dorothy, predeceased him; he was survived by the two children of his first marriage.
15 June 1939 – 12 September 2015
The Revd Kenneth Leech, Church of England priest and founder of the charity Centrepoint, died on 12 September 2015, aged 76. Born in Ashton-under-Lyne, he took degrees in modern history at King's College, London, and in theology at Trinity College, Oxford, before training as a priest at St Stephen's House, Oxford. He was ordained deacon in 1964 and priest in 1965, and was curate at Holy Trinity, Hoxton, before moving to St Anne’s, Soho, where he founded Centrepoint for homeless young drug addicts in 1969; the charity would go on to help more than 100,000 young people by the time of his death. Meanwhile he became chaplain and tutor at St Augustine's College, Canterbury, then rector of St Matthew, Bethnal Green, before taking on posts for the British Council of Churches and the Church of England Board for Social Responsibility. He was director of the Runnymede Trust from 1987 to 1990. He published widely, especially on pastoral care, drugs, and race. He was survived by his third wife, Julie, whom he married in 2014, and by the son of his second marriage.
30 June 1930 – 11 September 2015
(Oliver) Richard Silvester Bull, schoolmaster and headmaster, died on 11 September 2015, aged 85. Born in Gerrards Cross, he was educated at Rugby School and, after national service in the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment, Brasenose College, Oxford, where he read literae humaniores, graduating in 1955. He was an assistant master at Eton from 1955 to 1977, and a housemaster from 1968; he was then headmaster of Oakham School from 1977 to 1984, and of his alma mater, Rugby School, from 1985 to 1990. At Oakham he introduced co-education but he faced stiffer opposition at Rugby, where he also found his progressive ideas were not always welcome. In retirement in Radnorshire he was active in the Society of Friends. He was survived by his wife Anne, née Fife, whom he had met at Oxford, their four daughters, and one of their two adopted sons.
9 June 1932 – 9 September 2015
The Very Revd John Edward Allen, provost of Wakefield from 1982 to 1997, died on 9 September 2015, aged 83. Born in Rusholme, Manchester, the son of a vicar, he was educated at Rugby School and University College, Oxford, where he read philosophy, politics and economics, graduating in 1954. In 1957 he joined the Colonial Service, serving in Kenya until its independence, then worked briefly in sales and marketing for Kimberly-Clark Ltd. before training for the priesthood at Westcott House, Cambridge. He was a curate in Deal, Kent, vicar of St Paul's, Clifton, and senior chaplain to the University of Bristol, and finally vicar of Chippenham, Wiltshire, before taking up his post at Wakefield. There he was a noted moderniser, who opened up the cathedral to the local community. He was a member of the General Synod and a strong supporter of the ordination of women. He retired to Sawdon, near Scarborough, where he was active in local charities and public service. He was survived by his wife Eleanor and their four children.
27 September 1934 – 7 September 2015
David Alphy Edward Raymond Peake, merchant banker, died on 7 September 2015, aged 80. The son of Sir Harald Peake, chairman of Lloyds Bank (and stepson of Dame Felicity Peake, first director of the postwar WRAF), he was educated at Ampleforth College and, after national service in the Scots Greys, Christ Church, Oxford, where he read modern history, graduating in 1958. In the latter year he joined Banque Lambert in Brussels, moving the following year to J. Henry Schroder Wagg & Co in 1959 and then in 1963 to Kleinwort Benson (where his father-in-law was a director); he was chairman of Kleinwort Benson from 1989 to 1993. He also chaired the London arm of Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP Paribas) from 1997 to 2005. In 1976 his wife Suki became chatelaine of Sezincote, which he helped maintain and develop. He lived latterly in Bourton-on-the-Hill and was involved in various charitable activities locally. He was survived by Suki and their two children.
24 November 1922 – 4 September 2015
Claus Adolf Moser, Baron Moser KCB, CBE, FBA, Warden of Wadham College, Oxford, from 1984 to 1993, died on 4 September 2015, aged 92. Born in Berlin, the son of a wealthy Jewish banker, he escaped with his family to England in 1936. He attended Frensham Heights School in Surrey then, after being interned at Huyton Camp as an enemy alien, the London School of Economics, where he switched from commerce to statistics. From 1943 to 1946 he served in the RAF. On demobilisation he returned to the London School of Economics as an assistant lecturer, lecturer, reader, and from 1961 professor of social statistics. From 1967 to 1978 he was director of the Central Statistical Office and head of the Government Statistical Service, working closely with three successive prime ministers. He was a visiting fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford, from 1972 to 1980. He was involved in a bewildering variety of societies and organisations connected with his interests in social statistics, education, and music (he played piano to a professional standard). Among many honours he was Chancellor of Keele University (1986-2002) and of the Open University of Israel (1994-2004); he was elected an FBA in 1969, knighted KCB in 1973, and made a life peer in 2001. He was survived by his wife Mary and their three children.
Lord Montagu of Beaulieu
20 October 1926 – 31 August 2015
Edward John Barrington Douglas-Scott-Montagu, third Baron Montagu of Beaulieu, died on 31 August 2015, aged 88. The only son of the (by then ageing) second Baron Montagu of Beaulieu, he succeeded his father at the age of two. He was educated at Eton and, after service in the Grenadier Guards, New College, Oxford, where he read modern history, but was rusticated after a particularly wild party in his rooms. Moving to London, he worked in public relations, overseeing the launch of the comic Eagle. In 1954 he, Peter Wildeblood and Michael Pitt-Rivers were sentenced to imprisonment after being found guilty on charges of indecency involving RAF servicemen; he never denied his bisexuality but claimed he had been victimised. The case became a cause célèbre, and was a major factor in the setting-up of the Wolfenden Committee, which recommended the decriminalisation of homosexual acts between consenting adults. On leaving prison he threw himself into saving the Beaulieu estate and in the process became one of the leading stately home entrepreneurs, creating a world-leading motoring museum, and holding jazz festivals and other music events. He founded and was president of the Historic Houses Association, and from 1983 to 1992 was chairman of the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission (forerunner of English Heritage). In 1999 he was elected by his fellow hereditaries to remain in the House of Lords. He wrote almost 20 books on cars and motoring, and an autobiography, Wheels Within Wheels (2000). He was survived by his second wife, Fiona, two sons, and a daughter.
Lord Williamson of Horton
8 May 1934 – 30 August 2015
David Francis Williamson, Baron Williamson of Horton GCMG, CB, PC, civil servant, died on 30 August 2015, aged 81. The son of a schoolmaster, he was educated at Tonbridge School and Exeter College, Oxford, where he read Greats, graduating in 1956. After national service in the Royal Signals he joined the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in 1958. He gained wide experience in international negotiations, and was seconded to the Diplomatic Service for the Kennedy Round of GATT trade negotiations (1965-7) and later to the European Commission as deputy director-general, agriculture (1977-83). After a brief spell as a deputy secretary in the Cabinet Office (and a key figure in negotiating Britain’s EEC rebate) he returned to Brussels as secretary-general of the European Commission (1987-97), succeeding the legendary Emile Nöel. He was made a GCMG in 1998 and a life peer in 1999, and was convenor of the crossbench peers from 2004 to 2007. He was survived by his wife Patricia and their two sons.
9 July 1933 – 30 August 2015
The neurologist Oliver Wolf Sacks CBE died on 30 August 2015, aged 82. Born in north London, the son of a physician and a surgeon, he had a traumatic experience as an evacuee in the Midlands, to which he attributed his loss of religious faith. Returning to London, he was educated at St Paul’s School and the Queen’s College, Oxford, where he read physiology, graduating in 1954, before completing his medical education at the Middlesex Hospital and taking his Oxford BM in 1958. In 1961 he emigrated to the United States, working first at the Mount Zion Hospital in San Francisco then at the University of California, Los Angeles. In 1965 he moved to New York, where he was professor of neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (and later at Columbia University), and consulting neurologist at the Bronx Psychiatric Center, the Beth Abraham Hospital, and the Little Sisters of the Poor Hospital. He became famous for a string of books on aspects of psychiatry and neurology including Awakenings (1973), which was later made into a film, A Leg to Stand On (1984), and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat (1985). Among many other honours he received an honorary DCL from Oxford in 2005. He was survived by his partner, Bill Hayes.
Sir Kenneth Stowe
17 July 1927 – 29 August 2015
Sir Kenneth Ronald Stowe GCB, CVO, civil servant, died on 29 August 2015, aged 88. Educated at Dagenham County High School and Exeter College, Oxford, where he read modern history, on graduating in 1951 he joined the National Assistance Board, becoming an assistant under-secretary of state in the amalgamated Department of Health and Social Security in 1970. He moved to the Cabinet Office in 1973, and was principal private secretary to three successive prime ministers between 1975 and 1979, before becoming permanent under-secretary of state at the Northern Ireland Office (1979-81) then permanent secretary at the Department of Health and Social Security (1981-7). In retirement he was involved in a large number of charitable organisations, and lent his advice on civil service reform to many countries, including post-apartheid South Africa. He was knighted KCB in 1980 and advanced to GCB in 1986. He was survived by his partner, Judith, and the three children of his marriage; his wife, Joan, predeceased him.
25 December 1924 – 26 August 2015
Sheila Jeanne Browne CB, French scholar, chief inspector of schools, and principal of Newnham College, Cambridge, died on 26 August 2015. She was educated at Ranelagh School in Bracknell, and Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, where read modern languages, won a blue for hockey, and was active in the Student Christian Movement. After graduating in 1945 she spent a further two years at the École Nationale des Chartres, in Paris, before embarking on a teaching career first at Royal Holloway College, London, then at St Hilda's College, Oxford, where she was a tutor and fellow from 1951 to 1961. In the latter year she joined Her Majesty's Inspectorate, rising to become senior chief inspector from 1974 to 1983. Her reports were frequently critical of government policy. She was principal of Newnham College, Cambridge, from 1983 to 1992, but later moved back to Oxford. She never married.
6 January 1931 – 26 August 2015
The poet Patrick Joseph Gregory (P. J.) Kavanagh died on 26 August 2015, aged 84. The son of Ted Kavanagh, writer of the radio comedy It’s That Man Again, and raised a Catholic, he was educated at Douai School in Berkshire, the Lycée Jaccard in Lausanne, and, after national service with the Royal Ulster Rifles in Korea, where he was shot in the shoulder, Merton College, Oxford, where he read English. After graduating in 1954 he taught at the British Institute in Barcelona and then worked for the British Council in Indonesia. His first volume of poems was published in 1960 and was followed by fourteen others, noted for their acute observations and emotional sensitivity. In the 1960s he financed his poetry by acting, and later by writing, for the Daily Telegraph, Spectator and Times Literary Supplement. He also wrote an acclaimed autobiographical book, The Perfect Stranger (1966), in response to the death from polio of his first wife, Sally, after two years of marriage, and edited several collections, including the Oxford Book of Short Poems (1985). He was survived by his second wife, Kate, and their two sons.
John Russell Brown
15 September 1923 – 25 August 2015
The Shakespearean scholar John Russell Brown died on 25 August 2015, aged 91. Born in Somerset, the son of a butcher, he was educated at Monkton Combe School and, after war service in the Fleet Air Arm, Keble College, Oxford, where he read English, graduating in 1949. In 1951 he became a fellow at the University of Birmingham's new Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-on-Avon; he was then a lecturer, senior lecturer, professor, and head of the Department of Drama and Theatre Arts at Birmingham. In 1971 he moved to Sussex as professor of English, until 1982, when he became professor first at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, and then the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He returned to England on retirement in 1997, but remained active as a visiting professor at Middlesex University and University College London. He wrote a large number of commentaries and books on Shakespeare and had trenchant but influential views on the staging of Shakespeare's plays. He was survived by his wife Hilary, a potter, and their three children.
Dom Columba Thorne
1 March 1914 – 24 August 2015
The Revd Selwyn Thorne (Dom Columba Thorne), Anglican chaplain and Roman Catholic monk, died on 24 August 2015, aged 101. Born in Southend-on-Sea, the son of a solicitor, he was educated at Lindisfarne College and Keble College, Oxford, where he initially read English but switched to theology, graduating in 1936. He trained for the priesthood at Cuddesdon and served as a curate at Woodford Green and Becton before volunteering as a military chaplain. Attached to the first Airlanding Light Regiment of the Royal Artillery, he accompanied the ill-fated Arnhem operation in September 1944. Conspicuous for his bravery while attending to the wounded, he was captured, and spent the remainder of the war at Stalag XI-B, near Hanover. On repatriation he spent some time at Downside Abbey and was received into the Catholic Church. He trained for the Catholic priesthood at St Edmund’s, Ware, and served as a curate at Brook Green, London, before returning to Downside, where he joined the community, and took the name Columba. He taught English at the school and for 15 years was chaplain to the nuns of St Mary’s Abbey, Colwich.
19 June 1934 – 19 August 2015
Herminio Martins, sociologist, died on 19 August 2015, aged 81. Born in Lourenço Marques, Mozambique, he was orphaned at an early age and brought up by an uncle and aunt. An opponent of Portuguese rule, in 1952 he moved to England, where he read sociology at the London School of Economics. He subsequently taught at the universities of Leeds, Essex, Harvard and Pennsylvania before in 1971 moving to Oxford, where he was a fellow of St Antony’s College until 2001, becoming an emeritus fellow thereafter. He was also a fellow of the Latin American Centre. He published widely on sociological theory, the sociology of Portugal and Brazil, and the sociology of science and technology, and was a much loved teacher. He was survived by his wife, Margaret, and their son, Paul.
27 April 1922 – 16 August 2015
Brian Thomas Webster Stewart CMG, intelligence officer, died on 16 August 2015, aged 93. Born in Edinburgh, the son of a jute merchant who worked in Calcutta, he was brought up by an aunt, and educated at Glenalmond College and Worcester College, Oxford. In 1942 he was commissioned into the Black Watch, leaving Oxford without taking a degree, and served in Europe and the Far East. On demobilisation in 1946 he joined the Malayan Civil Service, where he was secretary for Chinese affairs in Malacca and Penang, and was involved in counter-terrorism operations. In 1957 he was recruited by the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), becoming one of its key China and east Asia specialists, serving in Rangoon, Peking, Shanghai, Manila, Kuala Lumpur, and Hanoi. From 1968 to 1972 he was secretary to the Joint Intelligence Committee, before becoming station chief in Hong Kong. He ended his career as one of three directors of the Secret Intelligence Service from 1974 to 1978. He published a number of books, including an autobiography, Scrapbook of a Roving Highlander (2002). He was survived by his second wife, Sally, and his four children, including the MP Rory Stewart.
5 January 1935 – 15 August 2015
Rupert Paul Sylvester Hughes, civil servant, died on 15 August 2015, aged 80. The son of a vicar, he was educated at Lancing College and, after national service, Worcester College, Oxford, where he read literae humaniores, graduating in 1959. His civil service career began in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, followed by a spell at the Cabinet Office, before he joined the Department of Health and Social Security in 1983. As an assistant secretary there, he was chair of an inter-departmental committee on childcare law and subsequently a key architect of the Children Act 1989, which made radical changes to child protection in the UK. He retired in 1995 but remained actively involved in many organisations promoting children’s welfare. Among other honours he received an honorary doctorate from the Open University. He was survived by his partner, Priscilla Campbell Allen.
23 April 1923 – 11 August 2015
Philip Arthur Whitcombe, cricketer and farmer, died on 11 August 2015, aged 92. The son of a major-general, he was educated at Winchester College and, after war service with the Royal Horse Artillery, Christ Church, Oxford, where he took the war-shortened course in modern history, graduating in Michaelmas 1948. Earlier that year he had taken 37 wickets at an average of 13.16 runs for Oxford, including seven Cambridge wickets for 51 runs in one innings in the Varsity match; he had also twice bowled Len Hutton and (playing for Middlesex) dismissed Don Bradman for six at Lord's. His county career was curtailed by injuries, but he continued to play for the clubs Free Foresters and I Zingari, while pursuing a career first as a shipping agent and later as a farmer, at Churt, Surrey, then Liss, Hampshire; he was active in the National Sheep Association. He was survived by his two children, his wife Rosemary having predeceased him.
The Rt Rev Ronald Gordon
19 March 1927 – 8 August 2015
The Rt Rev (Archibald) Ronald McDonald Gordon, Anglican bishop, died on 8 August 2015, aged 88. The son of Sir Archibald Gordon, legal adviser to the British embassy in Washington, he was educated at Rugby School and, after national service in the RAF, Balliol College, Oxford, where he was an organ scholar and read Greats, graduating in 1948. He trained for the priesthood at Cuddesdon and after a curacy in Stepney and a chaplaincy at Cuddesdon he was vicar of St Peter’s, Spring Hill, Birmingham, where he built a thriving congregation, then a residential canon at Birmingham Cathedral before becoming vicar of the University Church of St Mary, Oxford, from 1971 to 1975. He was subsequently Bishop of Portsmouth (1975-84), Bishop at Lambeth and head of the Archbishop’s staff, serving mainly under Robert Runcie (1984-91), and canon and sub-dean of Christ Church, Oxford (1991-6). From 1992 to 2001 he was president of the Oxford Mission to Calcutta. He lived latterly in Wantage. He never married.
19 January 1949 – 8 August 2015
Christopher John (Chris) Marshall FRS, biologist and cancer researcher, died on 8 August 2015, aged 66. Born in Birmingham, the son of the works manager at the Massey Ferguson tractor plant, he was educated at King Henry VIII School, Coventry, Churchill College, Cambridge, where he read natural sciences, and Lincoln College, Oxford, where he completed a DPhil on cell biology. From 1973 to 1978 he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund laboratories in London, and from 1978 to 1980 he was a researcher at the Sidney Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, USA; in 1980 he joined the Institute of Cancer Research in London, where he remained until his death, initially as director of the CRC Centre for Cell and Molecular Biology, and latterly as director of research and head of the Division of Cancer Biology. He was especially noted for his work identifying the genes that can trigger cancer, and of the signalling faults that cause them to proliferate, which led to revolutionary new drug treatments. He was elected an FRS in 1995 and received many other honours. He was also a passionate and competitive cyclist for the Norwood Paragon cycling club. He was survived by his wife Lesley and the three children of his first marriage.
30 June 1912 – 5 August 2015
(Arthur) Walter James, editor of the Times Educational Supplement from 1952 to 1969, died on 5 August 2015, aged 103. Born in Southampton, the son of a postmaster, he was educated at Uckfield Grammar School and Keble College, Oxford, where he read modern history. After graduating in 1933 he was a scholar in medieval studies at the British School at Rome, but, failing to gain an academic post, in 1937 he began his career in journalism, initially with the Manchester Guardian. During the Second World War he served in the National Fire Service, and in 1945 he unsuccessfully contested Bury as a Liberal. He joined the Times Educational Supplement in 1947 as deputy to H. C. Dent, succeeding him five years later. Under his editorship the paper quadrupled in size and doubled in sales; he particularly expanded its coverage of higher education (it was only in 1971, after his retirement, that the Times Higher Education Supplement was launched as a separate publication), but was best known as a defender of grammar schools and opponent of ‘progressive’ education. He wrote a number of books, including The Christian in Politics (1962). From 1974 to 1982 he was principal of St Catharine’s Foundation, at Cumberland Lodge, Windsor Great Park. He was survived by his four children, his wife Jocelyn having predeceased him.
18 January 1949 – 5 August 2015
(David) Hugh Marren Pryor-Jones, journalist and broadcaster, died on 5 August 2015, aged 66. Born in Liverpool, the son of doctors, he was educated at Downside School, Somerset, and Merton College, Oxford, where he read modern history, followed by a BPhil in African politics and two years as a Harkness Fellow at Northwestern University and UCLA. Retuning to England he became a secondary school teacher but was increasingly drawn to journalism, initially for West Africa magazine, and as a contributor to the BBC’s African Service. He was soon presenting the World Service’s thrice-daily current affairs programme, 24 Hours. In 1985 he moved to Radio 4’s File on 4 and reported for Panorama and Newsnight, but in 1990 he returned to the World Service as presenter of Newshour, successor to 24 Hours. In 1999 he left the BBC because of a chronic health condition, but with friends set up Television Network International, producing and presenting a number of documentaries, including on the break-up of the former Yugoslavia. He was survived by his partner Ingrid Hull, with whom he ran a small farm in Somerset.
15 July 1917 – 3 August 2015
The historian (George) Robert Acworth Conquest CMG, OBE, died on 3 August 2015, aged 98. Born in Great Malvern, he was educated at Winchester College and Magdalen College, Oxford, where he read philosophy, politics and economics, was briefly a member of the Communist Party, and graduated in 1939. On the outbreak of the Second World War he joined the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, including on attachment to the Soviet army in Bulgaria. On demobilisation he joined the Foreign Service, but after postings including the United Nations in New York he resigned in 1956 to devote himself to historical research, journalism and poetry, spending much time in the USA, where he held a succession of research fellowships and visiting professorships. His most influential book was The Great Terror: Stalin’s Purge of the Thirties (1968), which was followed by several others on the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, including studies of Lenin and Stalin; he was an adviser to Margaret Thatcher on Soviet affairs. He was also an acclaimed poet, with several published volumes, and a friend of Kingsley Amis, with whom he collaborated on the ‘Black Papers’, attacking the Wilson government’s education policies. He lived latterly in California, and was survived by his fourth wife, Liddie, two sons, and a stepdaughter.
13 June 1953 – 29 July 2015
The historian and Africanist Stephen Derek Kingscote Ellis died on 29 July 2015, aged 62. Born in Nottingham, he spent a gap year as a teacher in Douala, Cameroon, before studying modern history at St Catherine’s College, Oxford, and going on to take a DPhil in 1981 for a thesis on ‘Collaboration and Resistance in Madagascar, 1895-1899’. In 1979-80 he taught at the University of Madagascar but he initially eschewed an academic career, working for Amnesty International and then (from 1986 to 1991) editing Africa Confidential. In 1991 he moved to the Netherlands, here he was director of the Africa Studies Centre in Leiden and later a professor at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. He was a prolific author, his books including The Criminalisation of the State in Africa (1999) and The Mask of Anarchy: The Destruction of Liberia and the Religious Dimension of an African Civil War (2001). In 2013 he caused a controversy by establishing Nelson Mandela’s membership of the South African Communist Party in External Mission – The ANC in Exile. At his death he was working on a history of organised crime in Nigeria. He was survived by his partner, Gerrie Ter Haar.
11 November 1934 – 23 July 2015
The historian Colin Peter Sherard Platt died on 23 July 2015, aged 80. Born in Canton, China, the son of a businessman, he was educated (with his identical twin Christopher) at Collyer's Grammar School, Horsham, and Balliol College, Oxford, where both read modern history, graduating in 1958. After a short spell training as an accountant he studied at the Institute of Archaeology in London. From 1960 to 1964 he held a research assistantship and then a lectureship at the University of Leeds. In 1964 he moved to the University of Southampton, where he became a professor of history from 1983 to 1999, subsequently emeritus. A specialist in medieval archaeology, he wrote a large number of accessible books about medieval architecture and social and cultural history. He won the Wolfson Prize for The Architecture of Medieval Britain: A Social History (1990). He was survived by his second wife, Claire, the four children of his first marriage, and two stepsons. His brother Christopher, professor of Latin American history at Oxford, died in 1989.
18 April 1926 – 17 July 2015
Peter Hugh Knight, newspaper executive and cartoon agent, died on 17 July 2015, aged 89. Born in south London, the son of a printer, he was educated at St Olave’s Grammar School in Southwark and, after war service in the Royal Navy, the Queen’s College, Oxford, where he read philosophy, politics and economics. After graduating in 1950 he read for the bar but wasn’t called; instead he joined Beaverbrook Newspapers, where for many years he ran the syndication department. In 1984 he left to set up an agency, Knight Features, specialising in the syndication of cartoons; he had great success in syndicating British cartoonists’ work in newspapers abroad, as well as becoming the UK agent for Charles Schulz’s Peanuts and Jim Davis’s Garfield. He was survived by his partner, Edda Tasiemka, and the two children of his marriage.
9 September 1919 – 15 July 2015
Brigadier Fraser Scott, army officer and defence industry spokesman, died on 15 July 2015, aged 95. The son of an army officer, he was educated at Marlborough School and Christ Church, Oxford, where he took the natural science moderations in 1938. Already a Territorial Army officer, on the outbreak of the Second World War he was called up, serving with the Royal Artillery in the Middle East and Italy, where he was wounded. After the war he took a regular commission as a technical staff officer with the Ministry of Supply, where he became a noted researcher and authority on artillery sighting and other branches of weapons research. He left the army in 1970 to work as a consultant, and in 1976 he was the moving spirit behind the formation of the Defence Manufacturers’ Association, particularly to represent the interests of small, specialist companies. By the time of his death it represented 1,000 companies with a combined workforce of over 300,000. He was frequently called on to act as a spokesman for the defence industry on television and radio. He was survived by his three children, his wife Biddy having predeceased him.
23 September 1937 – 13 July 2015
The classical scholar Martin Litchfield West OM, FBA, died on 3 July 2015, aged 77. Born in Hampton, Middlesex, he was educated at St Paul’s School and Balliol College, Oxford, where he read Greats. From 1960 to 1963 he was a junior research fellow at St John’s College, and in the latter year he was awarded his DPhil for ‘A Commentary on Hesiod’s Theogony’. He was subsequently a fellow of University College (1963-74), professor of Greek at Bedford College (latterly Royal Holloway and Bedford New College), University of London (1974-91), and a senior research fellow at All Souls College, Oxford (1991-2004), later emeritus and honorary fellow. He wrote a series of acclaimed works on all aspects of Greek literature, but with a particular emphasis on the archaic and early classical periods, and on Greek literature’s roots in Indo-European traditions. He was elected an FBA in 1973 and made a member of the Order of Merit in 2014. He was survived by his wife Stephanie and their two children.
16 September 1925 – 12 July 2015
Irene Collins (née Fozzard), historian, died on 12 July 2015, aged 89. Born hear Halifax, an identical twin (her sister died of meningitis at the age of five), she read modern history at St Hilda’s College, Oxford. After graduating in 1946 she joined the staff of the University of Liverpool, where she remained until 1986, latterly as a reader and dean of the Faculty of Arts. Among her books were Government and Society in France, 1814-48 (1970), and Napoleon and his Parliaments, 1800-1815 (1979), but she was more widely known for her two books on Jane Austen, Jane Austen and the Clergy (1994) and Jane Austen: The Parson’s Daughter (1998). She was active in the Historical Association, of which she was the first woman president. She was survived by her husband, Rex Collins, a textile chemist whom she had met at Oxford, and their daughter, Jo.
28 March 19245 – 11 July 2015
Patricia Crone, Islamic scholar, died on 11 July 2015, aged 70. Born in Roskilde, Denmark, she studied at Copenhagen University then took a PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, under the supervision of Bernard Lewis. From 1977 to 1990 she was a university lecturer in Islamic history and a fellow of Jesus College, Oxford; in 1990 she moved to Cambridge, where she was a fellow of Gonville and Caius College and from 1994 a reader in Islamic history. In 1997 she moved to the United States, where she was Andrew W. Mellon Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. Among her books were Hagarism: The Making of the Islamic World (1977), with Michael Cooke, which controversially portrayed early Islam as a tribal rebellion drawing on Jewish messianic traditions, Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam (1987), and The Nativist Prophets of Early Islamic Iran: Rural Revolt and Local Zoroastrianism (2012). She never married but had many friends and was known for her extravagant parties.
17 January 1928 – 10 July 2015
The author Rosemary Dinnage (née Allen) died on 10 July 2015, aged 87. Born in Oxford, the daughter of Sir Carleton Allen, warden of Rhodes House, she was evacuated to Canada during the Second World War, but returned at the age of fifteen. At Somerville College, Oxford, she read English, graduating in 1949. She subsequently worked as a typist for Unesco in Paris and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation in Rome. Briefly married to Paul Dinnage, and the mother of two sons, she started working as a translator from French; she then branched out into journalism, and was for many years a regular reviewer for the Times Literary Supplement, the New Statesman, and the New York Review of Books. Her own books ranged widely, from One to One: Experiences of Psychotherapy (1988) to Alone! Alone! Lives of Some Outsider Women (2006). She also wrote a memoir, The Long Vacation (2012). She was survived by her sons.
Giles St Aubyn
1 March 1925 – 10 July 2015
Giles Rowan St Aubyn LVO, schoolmaster, died on 10 July 2015, aged 90. The son of Major-General Sam St Aubyn, later the third Lord St Levan, and the nephew of Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West, he was educated at Wellington and, after war service in the Royal Navy, Trinity College, Oxford, here he read modern history, taking the war-shortened degree in 1945. He joined the staff at Eton in 1947, becoming a housemaster from 1959 to 1976, and head of history from 1961 to 1975. He tutored the young Duke of Kent during the holidays, and was a friend of the Queen Mother, whom he accompanied on several official journeys. He wrote twelve books, including biographies of Queen Victoria and King Edward VII. His later years were spent in Guernsey. He never married.
10 April 1926 – 9 July 2015
David Douglas Hooper Sullivan QC, barrister and historian, died on 9 July 2015, aged 89. Born in Nakuru, Kenya, the son of a farm manager, he was sent as a boarder to Haileybury School, and from there went to Christ Church, Oxford, where his education was interrupted by war service with the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. On demobilisation he returned to Oxford, where he graduated in literae humaniores in 1949 and took a BCL in 1951; he was called to the bar by the Inner temple the same year. He became an authority on contract and insurance law, and represented, among others, the Beatles and Frank Zappa. He took silk in 1975 and retired in 1988. With a cottage in Suffolk as well as a house in Hampstead, he had a strong interest in John Constable, and wrote a radio feature and a play (one of several) about him. He wrote two books on medieval Westminster, The Westminster Corridor (1994) and The Westminster Circle (2006). He played a key part in saving Burgh House in Hampstead, and in turning it into the Hampstead Museum and Arts Centre. He was survived by his wife, Ann, the three daughters of his first marriage, and two stepchildren.
29 April 1920 – 30 June 2015
Evelyn Faithfull (Bill) Monier-Williams, barrister and judge, died on 30 June 2015, aged 95. The son of a barrister, he was educated at Charterhouse and University College, Oxford, where he read modern history and was awarded a war-shortened degree. From 1940 to 1946 he served with the Royal Artillery in north Africa, Italy, and north-west Europe. On demobilisation he studied law and was called to the bar by the Inner Temple in 1948. He undertook much pro bono work for organisations such as the National Council of Civil Liberties. He was a circuit judge from 1972 to 1992, continuing to sit in crown and county courts until 1995, and had a reputation for leniency. He was much involved in professional organisations such as the Council of Legal Education and the Selden Society, and was the leading figure in a campaign to have Mahatma Gandhi posthumously reinstated to the bar. He was a noted book collector. He was survived by his two children, his wife Maria-Angela having predeceased him.
14 March 1932 – 29 June 2015
The zoologist and environmentalist (Joseph) Bryan Nelson died on 29 June 2015, aged 83. Born in Shipley in the West Riding, he left Saltaire Grammar School at the age of sixteen to work, but later entered St Andrews University, where he read zoology. In 1960 he enrolled as a student at St Catherine’s Society, Oxford, and married June Davison, with whom he spent most of the next three years on the Bass Rock, off the south-east coast of Scotland (and uninhabited except for the lighthouse keepers). His observations of the breeding biology and behaviour of the gannet formed the basis for his DPhil, awarded in 1963. He became the world’s leading expert on gannets and the larger group of seabirds which includes boobies, pelicans, cormorants, and frigatebirds. He and June spent many years camping on remote islands including some of the Galapagos islands, and Christmas Island. He also studied migrant birds at the Azraq oasis in Jordan. From 1969 until 1985 he taught at Aberdeen University, retiring to a remote former iron mine house in Kirkcudbrightshire. He was survived by his wife June and their two children
25 February 1926 - 27 June 2015
Harvey McGregor CBE, QC, Warden of New College from 1985 to 1996, died on 27 June 2015, aged 89. Born in Inverurie in Aberdeenshire, he was educated at Inverurie Academy then, after the family moved south, Scarborough Boys’ High School. After service in the RAF (mainly in Singapore) as a flight officer, he entered the Queen’s College, Oxford, taking firsts in jurisprudence in 1950 and (following a year as a teaching fellow at the University of Chicago) the BCL in 1952. He briefly worked in advertising before being called to the bar by the Inner Temple in 1955. Alongside a successful and lucrative practice in tax and commercial law, he updated a work from 1856 called Mayne on Damages, which in its twelfth edition in 1961 became Mayne and McGregor on Damages, and for all subsequent editions (the last, the nineteenth, published in 2014) appearing as McGregor on Damages. Having been a frequent visiting professor at New York and Rutgers universities, in 1972 he became a fellow of New College, where he taught contract law. He was made a QC in 1978 and received an Oxford DCL in 1983. As Warden he was remembered for his lavish parties, concerts (in which he frequently played the piano), and lunches at which undergraduates would meet a variety of famous and influential people. He continued his parties and concerts after he retired to Edinburgh. He was survived by his partner of more than fifty years, John Davy.
16 March 1938 - 23 June 2015
The actress Elizabeth Margaret Ross MacLennan died on 23 June 2015, aged 77. Born in Glasgow, the daughter of two doctors, she was educated at Benenden School in Kent and St Hilda’s College, Oxford, where she read modern history and appeared in revue. She also met John McGrath, a student at St John’s, whom she married in 1962, three years after graduating. In 1971 she, her husband, and her brother, the actor David MacLennan, set up the 7:84 touring theatre company in Scotland, which very rapidly established its credentials as the leading radical theatre company with productions such as McGrath’s The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black Black Oil. She estimated that they put on more than 1500 performances with the company, mostly in small village halls. After her husband’s death in 2002 she spent much time on the Greek island of Ithaca, where she wrote a volume of poetry and a children’s book. She was survived by her three children.
Sir Chris Woodhead
20 October 1946 - 23 June 2015
Sir Christopher Anthony (Chris) Woodhead, Chief Inspector of Schools from 1994 to 2000, died on 23 June 2015, aged 68. The son of an accountant, he was educated at Wallington Grammar School in Surrey and the University of Bristol, where he read English before taking the Post Graduate Certificate in Education. After seven years teaching in schools in Shrewsbury, Gloucester, and Avon, he was tutor for English on Oxford University’s teacher training courses from 1976 to 1982. Between 1982 and 1991 he worked for Shropshire, Devon and Cornwall local education authorities; he was then chief executive of the National Curriculum Council and the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority. As Chief Inspector of Schools and second head of Ofsted, the Office for Standards in Education, he was known for his traditionalist views and his confrontations with the teaching unions. He was later a professor of education at the University of Buckingham and chairman of the Cognita Group, a chain of ‘for profit’ independent schools. He was knighted in 2011. His final years were clouded by the onset of motor neurone disease. He was survived by his wife Christine and by Tamsin, the daughter of his first marriage.
18 October 1932 – 21 June 2015
Francis Paul Bowyer Nichols, economist and farmer, died on 21 June 2015, aged 82. The son of the diplomat Sir Philip Nichols, he had a peripatetic childhood, and during the early part of the Second World War was evacuated to the US. On his return he was educated at Winchester and, after national service in the army, Balliol College, Oxford, where he read philosophy, politics and economics, graduating in 1956, followed by a master’s degree in economics at Yale. He worked as an economist in the Caribbean and central Africa for the Colonial Development Corporation, in the UK for the Country Landowners’ Association, and in South America for the Anglo-American Mining Company. He later farmed at Lawford Hall, near Manningtree, Essex, and was an active supporter of Lepra. He was an inveterate traveller and an enthusiast for Zen meditation. He was survived by his wife, Maureen, née Cleave, whom he met at Oxford, and their three children.
2 February 1954 – 5 June 2015
The virologist Richard Michael Elliott died on 5 June 2015, aged 61. Born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, the son of a bank accountant, he studied microbiology at the University of Surrey before taking a DPhil in Oxford on ‘Polypeptide synthesis in frog virus 3 infected cells’, under the supervision of David Kelly. After a spell at the Mount Sinai Medical Centre in New York he joined the MRC Virology Unit at the University of Glasgow, where he became professor of molecular virology in 1995. In 2005 he moved to the University of St Andrews, but he returned to Glasgow in 2013 as Bill Jarrett Professor of Infectious Diseases. His speciality was emerging viruses, and especially Bunyaviruses; his research led to the development of a number of vaccines, and his advice was sought in the context of the recent Ebola outbreak in west Africa. He was a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and of the Royal Entomological Society. He was survived by his wife, Angela, and their two daughters.
Dame Anne Warburton
8 June 1927 – 4 June 2015
Dame Anne Marion Warburton DCVO, CMG, diplomat, and the first woman to be a British ambassador, died on 4 June 2015, aged 87. The daughter of an English father and an American mother, she was brought up partly in the USA and partly in England, attending Barnard College and Columbia University in New York before studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Somerville College, Oxford, graduating in 1949. She worked for the Marshall Plan administration in London, NATO in Paris, and Lazard Bros in London before joining the Diplomatic Service in 1957. Her postings included New York, Bonn and Geneva before she became Ambassador to Denmark (1976-83) then Ambassador to the UN and other international organisations in Geneva (1983-5). After retiring from the Diplomatic Service she was President of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge, from 1985 to 1994. In 1992-3 she led the European Communities’ investigation into the abuse of Bosnian Muslim women during the wars in the former Yugoslavia, her report becoming a landmark in subsequent efforts to end sexual abuse as a weapon of war, and she was also a member of the Nolan committee on standards in public life. She never married.
1 January 1922 – 30 May 2015
John Kenneth Drinkall CMG, diplomat, died on 30 May 2015, aged 93. Born in Burma, he was educated at Haileybury College. In 1942 he enlisted with the Poona Horse Regiment, and served with the Indian Army until 1945, for much of the time behind enemy lines in China, helping the Chinese carry out sabotage operations. After the war he studied philosophy, politics and economics at Brasenose College, Oxford. An all-round sportsman, he won four Blues, and played at Wimbledon while an undergraduate. He joined the Foreign Service in 1947, serving in Nanking, Formosa, Cairo, Brasilia, Nicosia, and Brussels, before becoming Ambassador to Afghanistan from 1972 to 1976, and High Commissioner to Jamaica until 1981. After retirement he stayed in Jamaica for another four years, helping mentor local businesses and studying and writing about the island’s history and ecology. He continued to play tennis until the age of 87. He was survived by his wife Patricia and their four children.
15 April 1926 - 18 May 2015
The economist Fredric Joseph (Fred) Bayliss died on 18 May 2015, aged 89. Born in Whitwick, Leicestershire, the son of a plumber, he was educated at Ashby de la Zouche Grammar School and, after three years’ service in the RAF, Hertford College, Oxford, where he read philosophy, politics and economics, graduating in 1950. He then went into adult education, first as an extramural teacher in the Kent coalfields for the Oxford University Tutorial Classes Committee, then as a lecturer in industrial relations in the University of Nottingham’s Department of Adult Education. In 1965 he became an adviser to the National Board for Prices and Incomes, the beginning of more than twenty years in key policy roles which took him to the Commission on Industrial Relations, the Pay Board, the Royal Commission on the Distribution of Income and Wealth, and the Department of Employment. He was especially known for his work advocating and planning the introduction of a minimum wage. In retirement from 1986 he was chairman of the Campaign for Work and the Employment Policy Institute, and resumed his connection with the Department of Continuing Education at Nottingham as a special professor. He was survived by his daughter Sarah, his wife Mary (whom he had met at school) and daughter Polly having predeceased him.
Michael Barratt Brown
15 March 1918 – 7 May 2015
Michael Barratt Brown, economist and promoter of fair trade, died on 7 May 2015, aged 97. Born in Birmingham, to a Quaker family, the son of Alfred Barratt Brown, later principal of Ruskin College, Oxford, he was educated at Bootham School, York, and Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where he read philosophy, politics and economics, graduating in 1940. During the Second World War he served with the Friends’ Ambulance Unit in Egypt, Italy, and Yugoslavia. After the war he joined the Communist Party and worked in adult education in Essex then Sheffield. Having left the Communist Party in 1956, he was one of the founders of the New Left Review in 1960, the Institute for Workers’ Control in 1968, and the Conference of Socialist Economists in 1970. In 1978 he became the founding principal of Northern College, a residential adult education college at Wentworth Castle, near Barnsley. In the 1980s he worked for Ken Livingstone’s GLC, and was involved in co-founding and launching Twin Trading, an early pioneer of fair trade, fully owned by a network of co-operatives in the developing world. He wrote three books about fair trade. He was survived by four children from his first and second marriages; both his second and his third wives predeceased him.
R. Geraint Gruffydd
9 June 1928 – 24 March 2015
The Welsh scholar Robert Geraint (known as R. Geraint) Gruffydd FBA died on 24 March 2015, aged 86. Born in Tal-y-bont, Merionethshire, the son of a farmer who was the first treasurer of Plaid Cymru, he was educated at the local schools, followed by the University College of North Wales, Bangor, and Jesus College, Oxford, where he was awarded a DPhil in 1953 for a study of religious prose in Welsh from the reign of Elizabeth I to the Restoration. He then spent two years working on the Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru (Dictionary of the Welsh Language) before taking up teaching posts at the University College of North Wales (1955-70) and University College of Wales, Aberystwyth (1970-9). From 1980 to 1985 he was Librarian of the National Library of Wales, and then from 1985 to 1993 Director of the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, in Aberystwyth. He was the author of numerous books and articles on aspects of Welsh language, literature, and literary and religious history. He served on numerous bodies connected with the cultural life of Wales, and amongst numerous honours he was elected an FBA in 1991. He was survived by his wife Eluned and their three children.
Sir Peter Fry
26 May 1931 – 11 May 2015
The Conservative politician Sir Peter Derek Fry died on 11 May 2015, aged 83. Born in High Wycombe, the son of a clothier and local councillor, he was educated at Wycombe Royal Grammar School and Worcester College, Oxford, where he read modern history and was an active member of the Conservative Association, graduating in 1954. He then became an insurance broker, and a county councillor in Buckinghamshire. He was Conservative MP for Wellingborough from 1969 to 1997. Noted for his right-wing views on a range of social issues, he never held ministerial office, but was a vocal backbencher, and was a campaigner for animal welfare. He was also for many years joint chairman of the All-Party Roads Study Group, and had a particular interest in the Balkans. His political consultancy work sometimes brought allegations of conflicts of interest, but he rejected any suggestions of impropriety. He was knighted in 1994. From 1999 to 2009 he was chairman of the Bingo Association. He was survived by his wife Helen and two children from his first marriage.
26 April 1929 – 9 May 2015
Alexandre Lamfalussy, banker and founder president of the European Monetary Institute, died on 9 May 2015, aged 86. The son of a forestry engineer, and originally named Sándor Lamfalussy, he was born in Kupavar, Hungary. He began studying Economics at Budapest University but in 1949 escaped across the border into Austria. Afforded asylum in Belgium, he continued his studies at the Catholic University of Louvain, and at Nuffield College, Oxford, where he was awarded a DPhil in 1958 for a thesis, A Study of Investment Decisions. He taught for a few years at Yale before joining the Banque de Bruxelles, becoming chairman of its executive board in 1971. He subsequently worked for the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, becoming general manager in 1985. As a member of the Delors committee on European monetary integration he argued that a single currency could not work without fiscal union, but he nevertheless agreed to serve as President of the European Monetary Institute (forerunner of the European Central Bank) from 1993 to 1997. He was survived by his wife Anne-Marie and their four children.
17 March 1937 – 5 May 2015
The Labour politician Brian Charles John Sedgemore died on 5 May 2015, aged 78. Born in Devon, he was brought up by his widowed mother after his father, a stoker on HMS Rawalpindi, was killed early in the Second World War. He was educated at Hele’s School, Exeter, and Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where he read philosophy, politics and economics, graduating in 1961. He worked for a while in the Ministry of Housing and Local Government before training to be a barrister, being called to the bar by the Inner Temple in 1966. He was Labour MP for Luton West (1974-9) and later Hackney South and Shoreditch (1983-2005). A supporter of Tony Benn (as whose parliamentary private secretary he briefly served before being sacked for disclosing confidential information), his opposition to Tony Blair drove him to switch his support to the Liberal Democrat Party in the midst of the 2005 election. He wrote several books, including The Insider’s Guide to Parliament (1995) and three novels, and contributed to Private Eye as ‘Justinian Forthemoney’. He was survived by a son, his wife Audrey (whom he married twice) having predeceased him.
25 October 1919 – 20 April 2015
Peter Norman Bulmer Howell, actor, died on 20 April 2015. Born in London, the son of a solicitor, he was educated at Winchester College and Christ Church, Oxford, where his studies in jurisprudence were interrupted by the Second World War, during which he served with the Rifle Brigade until invalided out from North Africa with dysentery. On recovery he found work as an actor, including at the Old Vic alongside Laurence Olivier. His acting career lasted another sixty years, with regular appearances in theatre, especially with the Bristol Old Vic and in the West End, and on television, radio and film. For ten years from 1957 he was Dr Harrison in Emergency — Ward 10; and on film he was the governor in Scum (1979). His last film appearance was in The Libertine (2004). He was survived by his four children, his wife Susan having predeceased him.
Sir Raymond Carr
11 April 1919 – 19 April 2015
Sir (Albert) Raymond Maillard Carr, FRSL, FBA, historian and Warden of St Antony’s College, Oxford, from 1968 to 1987, died on 19 April 2015, aged 96. Born in Bath, the son of a schoolmaster, he was educated at the County Secondary School, Brockenhurst, from where he won a scholarship to Christ Church, where he read modern history, graduating in 1941, Excused military service, he taught at Wellington College for the duration of the war. After a year as a lecturer at University College London, he returned to Oxford as a fellow of All Souls College, and then of New College, before moving to St Antony’s in 1964, where he was director of the Latin American Centre and briefly Professor of the History of Latin America before becoming Warden. Within the historical profession, and in Spain much more widely, he was acclaimed for his books on Spanish history, including Spain, 1808-1939 (1966) and The Spanish Tragedy: The Civil War in Perspective (1977). He also published seminal articles on Latin American history, and in Britain achieved notoriety as ‘the hunting don’, especially after publishing a history of English Fox Hunting (1976). A bon vivant, his parties were legendary. He was elected an FBA in 1978, and continued writing into his nineties. He was survived by two sons and a daughter, his wife Sara and one son having predeceased him.
Sir Christopher Bayly
18 May 1945 – 18 April 2015
The historian Sir Christopher Alan Bayly FRSL, FBA, died on 18 April 2015, aged 69. The son of a geography teacher, he was educated at the Skinners’ School in Tunbridge Wells, and at Balliol College, Oxford, where he read modern history and won the Stanhope Prize in 1965. An overland trip to India in 1965 convinced him to study Indian history, and after graduating in 1966 he completed a thesis at St Antony’s College, on the development of political organisation in the Allahabad locality, 1880-1925, for which he was awarded a DPhil in 1970. The same year he took up a post in Cambridge at St Catharine’s College. He was Vere Harmsworth Professor of Imperial and Naval History from 1992 to 2012. A wide-ranging historian, acknowledged as one of the pioneers of global history, his books included Imperial Meridian: the British Empire and the World, 1780-1830 (1989) and The Birth of the Modern World: Global Connections and Comparisons, 1780-1914 (2003). He was elected an FBA in 1990 and knighted in 2007. His wife, the historical anthropologist Susan Bayly, survived him.
29 March 1929 – 11 April 2015
Sheila Helena Elizabeth Kitzinger (née Webster) MBE, advocate for natural childbirth, died on 11 April 2015, aged 86. Born in Taunton, one of seven daughters of a tailor and a nurse, she was educated at Bishop Fox Girls’ School in Taunton. She initially studied drama, but then decided to study social anthropology at Ruskin College and St Hugh’s College, Oxford, where she took her BLitt in 1955. She had by that time married Uwe Kitzinger (then an official with the Council of Europe, later a fellow of Nuffield College and a respected political scientist specialising in European integration), and had spent a year as a research assistant at the University of Edinburgh, where she took an MLitt for a thesis on race relations. She found her vocation after the birth of the first of her five daughters in 1956, having opted for a home birth. Thereafter she was the leading advocate of home births and natural childbirth, and a prolific author of books which included The Experience of Childbirth (1962), The Good Birth Guide (1979), and Pregnancy and Childbirth (1980). She was a founder, adviser, consultant, chair or patron of numerous organisations involved with childbirth and maternal and infant health, and among many honours was made an MBE in 1982. She was survived by her husband Uwe and their five daughters.
26 April 1931 – 10 April 2015
Paul Almond, film and television director and novelist, died on 10 April 2015, aged 83. Born in Shigawake, Quebec, he was educated at Bishop’s College School in Lennoxville, Quebec, McGill University in Montreal, and Balliol College, Oxford, where he read English, was president of the Poetry Society, and edited Isis. On graduating in 1952 he trained as a director, working for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and also for the BBC and Granada Television, for whom he made the acclaimed documentary Seven Up! (originally intended as a one-off) in 1964. Although he continued to work for British television, his later career was largely based in Canada, where he won many awards as a film, television and theatre director. He also wrote novels, including one in French, and an eight-volume saga, the Alford Saga, covering 200 years of Quebec’s history through the lives of a settler and his descendants. He was survived by his third wife, Joan, and a son from his second marriage.
26 August 1928 – 2 April 2015
The music critic Andrew Brian Porter died on 2 April 2015, aged 86. Born in Cape Town, the son of a dentist, he was educated at Diocesan College, Rondebosch, and, as an organ scholar, University College, Oxford, where he read English, graduating in 1950. He was successively music critic for the Financial Times (1952-72), while also editor of the Musical Times (1960-7), the New Yorker (1972-92), The Observer (1992-7), and the Times Literary Supplement (1997-2009). He was a visiting fellow at All Souls College, Oxford, in 1972-3 and Bloch Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1980-1. As well as his reviews, he published several books on music history, directed a number operas, was acclaimed for discovering the original version of Verdi’s Don Carlos and his translation of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, and wrote several libretti, including for John Eaton’s opera, The Tempest. He was survived by his twin sister, Sheila.
23 November 1934 – 22 March 2015
William David Prosser, Lord Prosser PC, QC (Scotland), died on 22 March 2015, aged 80. The son of an Edinburgh solicitor, he was educated at the Edinburgh Academy, Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where he graduated in literae humaniores in 1959, and the University of Edinburgh, where he took his LLB. He became an advocate in 1962, took silk in 1974, and was Dean of the Faculty of Advocates from 1983 to 1986. He became a Senator of the College of Justice and Lord of Session in 1986, serving until his retirement in 2001. An enthusiastic supporter of the arts, he served as chairman of the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh (1987-92), the Scottish Historic Buildings Trust (1988-98), and the Royal Fine Art Commission for Scotland (1990-5). A gifted linguist, he and his wife Vanessa kept a flat in Montmartre as well as a home in Edinburgh. She and their four children survived him.
Sir Hal Miller
6 March 1929 – 21 March 2015
The Conservative politician Sir Hilary Duppa (Hal) Miller DL died on 21 March 2015, aged 86. The son of a lieutenant-commander in the Royal Navy (who later won a GC for bomb disposal during the Second World War), he was educated at Eton and, after national service in the Royal Navy, Merton College, Oxford, where he had been awarded a scholarship to read Greats but where, at the suggestion of his tutors, he switched to Russian and French. After graduating in 1953 he worked for Lloyd’s then joined the Colonial Service in Hong Kong, serving there for thirteen years. He was Conservative MP for Bromsgrove and Redditch from the February 1974 election to 1983, and for the re-drawn constituency of Bromsgrove from 1983 to 1992. He was knighted in 1988. Known as an assiduous constituency MP, he was briefly a parliamentary private secretary in Margaret Thatcher’s first government, but his independence of mind ensured that his ministerial career did not prosper. In the early 1990s he played an important part in the ‘supergun’ affair when, much to the discomfort of ministers, he was able to produce documentation proving that one of his constituents, Rex Bayliss, who was facing prosecution as managing director of Walter Somers Ltd, had cleared the export of parts with the Department of Trade and Industry. After leaving parliament Miller was chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. He was survived by his second wife, Jacqueline, their two children, and the four children of his first marriage.
21 May 1930 – 20 March 2015
Malcolm John Fraser AC, CH, PC, Prime Minister of Australia from 1975 to 1983, died on 20 March 2015, aged 84. Born in Nyang, New South Wales, to a family of wealthy landowners, he was educated at Geelong Grammar School and Magdalen College, Oxford, where he read philosophy, politics and economics, graduating in 1952. He entered the Australian House of Representatives as Liberal member for Wannon, Victoria, in 1955, retaining the seat until 1983. He became minister for the army in 1966 and education minister in 1968. In 1975 he became leader of the Liberal Party, and within months Prime Minister, having used his party’s majority in the upper house to force a deadlock which was broken when the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr, controversially dismissed Gough Whitlam and called on Fraser to form a government. Fraser went on to win the next three general elections. He was known as a fierce opponent of apartheid, an advocate of Australia looking towards its near north, and a champion of human rights; in 2009 he resigned from the Liberal Party in protest at its policies on asylum seekers. He was survived by his wife Tamie and their four children.
11 October 1938 – 8 March 2015
Anthony Bruce Edward Hudson, MBE, headmaster, died on 8 March 2015, aged 76.The son of a solicitor, he was educated at Tonbridge School; Lincoln College, Oxford, where he read modern history, graduating in 1962; and London University, where he gained a diploma in education. He taught at Radley College from 1964 until 1988, for the last eighteen years as deputy headmaster, and from 1988 until his retirement in 2000 he was headmaster of Pangbourne College. While there, he was the leading figure in raising £2.3 million to build the Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel to serve both as a school chapel (reflecting the college’s naval tradition) and as a memorial to all who fought and died in the conflict; he won the support of Margaret Thatcher among others. He was survived by his wife Elizabeth, whom he married in 1963, and their three children.
11 September 1921 – 7 March 2015
Ian Duncan Fraser DSC, OBE, naval pilot and colonial officer, died on 7 March 2015, aged 93. Born in Solihull, the son of a Scottish vicar, he was educated at Marlborough College and Christ Church, Oxford, where he read Modern History but left to join the Fleet Air Arm. After training as a pilot he flew Beaufighters and Albacore torpedo bombers from the besieged island of Malta. He survived being shot down over the Western desert, and scored notable successes against enemy shipping, including the torpedoing of the Italian cruiser Abruzzi in November 1941 but in March 1943 he was shot down off Palermo and spent the rest of the war in captivity. After liberation he joined the Colonial Service, serving in Malaya, Aden, the Bahamas, and Singapore. He was survived by three children, both his wives having predeceased him.
12 June 1923 – 4 March 2015
John Simopoulos, founding fellow and tutor in philosophy at St Catherine’s College, Oxford, died on 4 March 2015, aged 91. The son of Charalambos Simopoulos, a Greek diplomat (and later wartime ambassador in London), he was educated at Stowe School and Magdalen College, Oxford, where he read Greats, graduating in 1945. After a spell teaching Latin at Christ Church Cathedral School he was appointed tutor in philosophy at St Catherine’s Society in 1953, becoming a founding fellow of the college in 1960 and remaining there until his retirement in 1988. Known for his gregariousness, eccentricity, and love of limericks, he was a devoted college tutor and a long-serving dean of degrees, but published little. He never married.
21 August 1933 – 4 March 2015
Bernard Anthony Rudden FBA, Professor of Comparative Law in the University of Oxford and fellow of Brasenose College, died on 4 March 2015, aged 81. Born in Carlisle, he was educated at the City of Norwich School and, after national service in the Intelligence Corps, St John’s College, Cambridge, where he initially read English but at the end of his second year switched to law. He then qualified and practised as a solicitor but soon moved back into academia as a lecturer in law at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, where he took his PhD on Soviet tort law. From 1965 to 1979 he was a fellow and tutor in law at Oriel College. His books covered such topics as English property law, Soviet law, French law, and the laws of the European Communities; he also co-edited with his Brasenose colleague Vernon Bogdanor a new edition of Samuel Finer’s classic Five Constitutions, published as Comparing Constitutions in 1995. He was elected an FBA the same year. He lived latterly in Penzance, and was survived by his wife Nancy and their four children.
Tom Devonshire Jones
15 April 1934 – 27 February 2015
The Reverend Thomas Percy Norman (Tom) Devonshire Jones, Anglican clergyman, died on 27 February 2015, aged 80. Born in Bath, he was educated at Marlborough College and St John’s College, Oxford, where after taking classical Moderations in 1956 he switched to theology, graduating in 1958. He was trained for the ministry at Cuddesdon College, and after serving in Portsmouth and Folkestone he was vicar of St Mark’s, Hamilton Terrace, London. He was especially noted for his interest in the arts, and his sponsorship of closer collaboration between religion and the visual arts, including through the charity Art and Christian Enquiry, which he founded. He was survived by his second wife, Susan, and a stepson; his first wife, Rosemary, having predeceased him.
23 August 1916 – 26 February 2015
Sheppard Sunderland Frere CBE, FBA, Professor of the Archaeology of the Roman Empire and fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, died on 26 February 2015, aged 98. The son of a colonial civil servant, he was educated at Lancing College and Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he read Classics. On graduating in 1938 he taught at Epsom College. During the Second World War he worked for the National Fire Service. He then returned to teaching, at Lancing College, meanwhile developing his interest in archaeology, such that in 1954 he was appointed a lecturer in archaeology at the University of Manchester, moving after a year to the London University Institute of Archaeology, first as a reader, then from 1963 as a professor. He was noted particularly for his excavations at Verulamium, his ‘rescue digs’, and a series of scholarly but accessible books, including Britannia: A History of Roman Britain (1967). He was elected an FBA in 1971. He was survived by his wife Janet and their two children.
Christopher Wynn Parry
14 October 1924 – 24 February 2015
Christopher (Kit) Wynn Parry MBE, physician, died on 24 February 2015, aged 90. The son of Sir Henry Wynn Perry, a High Court judge, he was educated at Eton and University College, Oxford. On completing his medical training he joined the RAF as a doctor, and after further training as a rheumatologist he spent almost three decades at RAF Chessington, specialising in the rehabilitation of pilots; in 1958 he published a key text, The Rehabilitation of the Hand. He subsequently worked at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital at Stanmore, and became a world-renowned expert on conditions afflicting musicians; in 2002, with Ina Winspur, he published The Musician’s Hand: A Clinical Guide. He continued working until the age of 89, and was survived by two daughters and a son; his wife Lamorna and one daughter having predeceased him.
14 August 1938 – 23 February 2015
The Welsh-language novelist John Rowlands died on 23 February 2015, aged 76. Born and brought up on a small farm near Trawsfynydd, Merioneth, he was educated at the County School in Blaenau Ffestiniog, the University College of North Wales, Bangor, and Jesus College, Oxford, where he was awarded a DPhil in 1967 for a critical edition and study of the Welsh poems written in praise of the Salusburies of Llyweni. He then taught at Trinity College, Carmarthen, St David's University College, Lampeter, and the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, which he joined as a lecturer in 1975 and where he remained until his retirement in 2003, latterly as a professor. His scholarly work ranged from medieval Welsh love poetry to the contemporary Welsh novel. He also wrote seven novels himself in Welsh, which received critical if not popular acclaim. He and his wife Eluned had three children.
4 June 1945 – 21 February 2015
Daniel (Dan) Topolski, rowing coach, died on 21 February 2015, aged 69. The son of the expressionist painter Felix Topolski, he was educated at the Lycée Français in London, Westminster School, and New College, Oxford, where he read geography, graduating in 1967, and going on to take a Diploma in Social Anthropology in 1968. He rowed in the 1967 boat race (which Oxford won) and that of 1968 (which Oxford lost), and in successive world championships between 1969 and 1978, winning a gold medal as part of the Great Britain lightweight eight in 1977. He was coach of the Oxford boat race crew from 1973 to 1987, during which time they scored twelve victories, including ten successive ones between 1976 and 1985. In 1987 he faced a ‘mutiny’ by a group of American rowers five weeks before race day, but, sensationally, the Oxford crew went on to win the race without them. In 1989, with Patrick Robinson, he published his account of the ‘mutiny’, True Blue, which was made into a film in 1998. Before and after his coaching of the Oxford crew he worked in broadcasting, first as a researcher and producer and later as a presenter and commentator; he was also a freelance writer, motivational speaker, and photo-journalist. He was survived by his wife Susan and their three children.
26 January 1932 – 20 February 2015
Christopher Price, politician and university administrator, died on 20 February 2015, aged 83. Born in Leeds, he was educated at Leeds Grammar School and, after national service in the Royal Artillery, the Queen’s College, Oxford, where he read literae humaniores, and was secretary of the University Labour Club. On graduation in 1955 he went into teaching, but also remained active in Labour Party politics, and he was a conscientious and effective MP for Birmingham Perry Barr (1966-70) and Lewisham West (February 1974-1983). On losing the latter seat he became an assistant director of South Bank Polytechnic then in 1986 director of Leeds Polytechnic, overseeing its transformation into Leeds Metropolitan University, of which he was founding principal from 1992 to 1994. He also sat on a very large number of public bodies, especially related to education, and wrote on education for the New Statesman, the TES and THES, and a variety of other publications. He was survived by his wife Annie and their three children.
Sir Robert Wade-Gery
22 April 1929 – 16 February 2015
The diplomat Sir Robert Lucian Wade-Gery KCMG, KCVO, died on 16 February 2015, aged 85. The son of H.T. Wade-Gery, Wykeham Professor of Ancient History at Oxford from 1939 to 1953, he was educated at Winchester and New College, Oxford, where he read Greats, graduating in 1951. In the same year he won an All Souls prize fellowship, and his fellowship was renewed several times; he greatly valued his association with the college. Meanwhile he joined the Foreign Service in 1951 and served in Bonn, Tel Aviv, Saigon (where he came under fire during the Tet offensive), Madrid and Moscow, and also as deputy secretary of the Cabinet (and of the War Cabinet during the Falklands conflict); he ended his career as high commissioner to India from 1982 to 1987, having been knighted in 1983. Thereafter he spent twelve years as a director of Barclays Capital. He was also chairman of the governors of SOAS (1990-9), honorary treasurer of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (1991-2005), and a long-term member of the editorial board of The Round Table (1964-2015). He was survived by his wife Sally and their two children.
Dan Tunstall Pedoe
30 December 1939 – 13 February 2015
Dan Tunstall Pedoe, cardiologist, died on 13 February 2015, aged 75. Born in Southampton, the son of the mathematician Daniel Pedoe and the geographer Mary Tunstall, he was educated at Haberdashers’ Aske’s School; Dulwich College; King’s College, Cambridge (where he read medicine); and, after a spell working as a doctor in India, Wolfson College, Oxford, where he received his DPhil in 1970 for a thesis on ‘velocity distribution of blood flow in major arteries of animal and man’. He subsequently worked as a consultant cardiologist at Hackney Hospital and Barts, where he set up the London Sports Medicine Institute. A keen marathon runner himself, he was the founding medical director of the London Marathon in 1981, and helped ensure its safety for the thousands of individuals who took part in it over the next twenty years. In 2000 he edited a volume on Marathon Medicine. He was survived by three children, his wife Robin having predeceased him.
3 March 1921 – 8 February 2015
Ivan Alan Roots, historian, died on 8 February 2015, aged 93. Born in Maidstone, the son of a stoker in the Royal Navy, he was educated at Maidstone Grammar School and Balliol College, Oxford, where he read modern history and was taught by Christopher Hill, a lasting inspiration. After graduating in 1941 he joined the Royal Corps of Signals, serving in India and Burma, and taking part in the Battle of the Admin Box. On demobilisation as a captain he taught for many years at University College, Cardiff, before taking up a chair in history at Exeter University in 1967 (serving as head of history from 1977). He retired in 1986. He was especially noted for his work on Oliver Cromwell and his popular book, The Great Rebellion, 1642-1660 (1966). He was much in demand as a lecturer for the Historical Association and revitalised the Cromwell Association. He was survived by his wife, Tegwyn, and their two children.
13 September 1930 – 7 February 2015
Robert Gavron, Baron Gavron CBE, printer, public servant and philanthropist, died on 7 February 2015, aged 84. Brought up in Hampstead, the son of a patent lawyer, he was educated at Leighton Park School and, after national service, St Peter’s Hall, Oxford, where he read jurisprudence, graduating in 1953. He was called to the bar by the Middle Temple in 1955 but decided against a legal career, and in the same year joined the printing industry. In 1964 he founded the highly successful St Ives Group, of which he was chairman until 1993 (by which time it was valued at £400 million). He was also chairman of the Folio Society Ltd from 1982 and proprietor of Carcanet Press Ltd from 1983. A trustee of the National Gallery, director of the Royal Opera House, and governor of the London School of Economics, he was a generous philanthropist, and a strong supporter of Tony Blair’s ‘New Labour’, donating £500,000 to the party before the 1997 election. He was made a life peer in 1999. He was survived by his third wife, Kate, a son from his first marriage, and two daughters from his second (to Nicky Gavron, Ken Livingstone’s deputy mayor).
21 July 1925 – 5 February 2015
Augustine Ralph (Austin) Bonner, cataloguer, died on 5 February 2015, aged 89. His father, the essayist George Bonner, died when Austin was only three; George’s papers, including rare copies of Hydra, a magazine published by First World War patients at Craiglockhart Military Hospital who included Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, were later donated by Austin to Magdalen College, Oxford. Austin was educated at Eastbourne College, then followed his father to Magdalen, where he read modern history, graduating in 1950. In 1953 he joined the staff of the Bodleian Librarian to help in the revision of the Pre-1920 Catalogue, a process which had begun in the 1930s. His mastery of the arcane Bodleian cataloguing rules — described by Michael Heaney as ‘reflecting the knowledge base and world view of a nineteenth-century cleric’ — led to his becoming the chief trainer of generations of Bodleian cataloguers, and in 1972 he was made superintendent of the cataloguing section. When library automation arrived in 1986 he wanted no part in it, but in typically thorough and painstaking fashion he saw through the completion of the Pre-1920 Catalogue in 1990. His wife Edith (whom he married in 1980) predeceased him. Oxford Today reported on the discovery of George Bonner’s Hydra issues and their donation to Magdalen.
Sir Martin Gilbert
25 October 1936 – 3 February 2015
Sir Martin Gilbert CBE, PC, historian, died on 3 February 2015, aged 78. Born in London, the son of a Hatton Garden jeweller, he was educated at Highgate School and, after national service, New College, Oxford, where he read modern history, graduating in 1960. He began postgraduate research at St Antony’s College but never finished his DPhil, though he was awarded an honorary DLitt by the University in 1999. In 1962 he became a fellow of Merton College, maintaining that connection as an honorary fellow from 1994. Meanwhile, from 1962 to 1968 he was a research assistant to Randolph Churchill, working on the official biography of Randolph’s father, Sir Winston Churchill; after Randolph’s death he saw the project to completion (in eight volumes) in 1988. He also published widely on twentieth-century European history, the history of Zionism and Israel, and the Holocaust; and compiled a large number of historical atlases. He was knighted in 1995 and (a member of the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq War) was made a privy councillor in 2009. He was survived by his third wife, Esther Goldberg, a daughter from his first marriage, and two sons from his second.
Sir Douglas Hague
20 October 1926 – 1 February 2015
Sir Douglas Chalmers Hague, CBE, economist, died on 1 February 2015, aged 88. Born in Leeds, he was educated at Moseley Grammar School, King Edward VI High School in Birmingham, and the University of Birmingham, where he read economics. Immediately on graduation in 1946 he joined the faculty of commerce there. He subsequently moved to University College, London (1947-57), Sheffield University (1957-63), Manchester University (1963-5), and Manchester Business School (1965-81), as professor of managerial economics. He was a member of the Prices Commission from 1973 to 1978 and (having first met and advised Margaret Thatcher in 1967, and being a keen free marketeer) was a consultant to the No 10 Policy Unit from 1979 to 1983. He was made a CBE in 1978 and knighted in 1982. From 1983 to 1987 he chaired the Economic and Social Research Council, and from 1983 to 2005 he was an associate fellow of Templeton College (subsequently Green Templeton College), and thereafter an emeritus fellow. At Oxford he created the Oxford Strategic Leadership Programme. He wrote or co-wrote numerous books and articles, including (with Christine Holmes) Oxford Entrepreneurs (2006). He was survived by his second wife, Janet, and the two daughters of his first marriage.
5 March 1947 – 1 February 2015
Michael Aidan Mason, journalist and gay rights campaigner, died on 1 February 2015, aged 67. The son of Kenneth Mason, a Fleet Street journalist and publisher of nautical and maritime books, he was educated at Lancing College and St Edmund Hall, Oxford, where he read jurisprudence. On graduation he worked for IBM and became involved in the Gay Liberation Front before becoming news editor of Gay News, and then in 1981 co-founder and editor of Capital Gay. The paper survived a fire-bombing in 1987 but finally folded in 1995, after which Mason worked as a legal secretary for a firm specialising in lesbian and gay immigration cases, and then as a publisher with the family firm, Kenneth Mason Publishers. He had long-term relationships with Carl Hill and David White.
26 June 1925 – 1 February 2015
Paul Lewis Wright, lawyer, died on 1 February 2015, aged 89. Born in Enid, Oklahoma, he was educated at Enid High and Phillips University before war service with the US Marines. He then studied at Harvard University, and as a Knox fellow at Trinity College, Oxford, where in 1953 he took a BLitt for a thesis on the influence of Jesuits on English common law. After further study at Harvard Law School he began practice with the law firm of Maguire and Cole, in Stamford, Connecticut. He worked for the Eisenhower administration in Washington, then moved to Dallas, Texas, where he worked first for the firm of Jackson Walker and then for the firm of Ray Trotti Hemphill. He was active in the Texas Bar Association and the Presbyterian Church. He was survived by his wife, Alison, two sons and a daughter.
Richard von Weizsäcker
15 April 1920 – 31 January 2015
Richard von Weizsäcker, President of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1984 to 1994, died on 31 January 2015, aged 94. Born in Stuttgart, the son of a diplomat, he was educated in Basle, Oslo, Copenhagen, and Berlin, before matriculating at Balliol College, Oxford, in 1937, where he studied modern history; he did not complete an Oxford degree, but became an honorary fellow of Balliol in 1986. Meanwhile in 1938 he was conscripted into an infantry regiment, with which he served on the Eastern Front. After the war he trained as a lawyer (and defended his father at the Nuremberg trials: the latter was sentenced to seven years in prison but later pardoned) and then pursued parallel careers in business and politics. He was a member of the Bundestag from 1969 to 1981 and mayor of West Berlin from 1981 to 1984. As President of the FRG he encouraged a policy of dialogue and trust-building with Germany’s eastern neighbours both before and after the collapse of communism, and was a crucial figure in reassuring them following the reunification of Germany; he also spoke frequently of Germany’s need to atone for the past. After leaving office he was much in demand for public service roles. He was survived by his wife Marianne and three of their four children.
2 January 1923 – 28 January 2015
Francis Alan Roscoe Bennion, barrister, died on 28 January 2015, aged 92. Born in Wallasey, the Wirral, he was brought up in Harrow, where he attended the John Lyon School. He left at the age of sixteen and worked as a bank clerk before war service as a pilot in the RAF. On demobilisation he applied successfully for a place at Balliol College, Oxford, where he read jurisprudence, winning the Gibbs Scholarship in 1948 and graduating in 1949. He was called to the bar by the Middle Temple in 1951, and from 1951 to 1953 was tutor in law at St Edmund Hall. Subsequently he combined practice as a barrister, working in the Parliamentary Counsel office (of which he was head, 1973-5), writing legal textbooks, and lecturing, including at Oxford. He also published a volume of poetry, in 2002. He was survived by his second wife, Mary, and the three daughters of his first marriage.
6 January 1921 – 27 January 2015
The journalist Ian Campbell McDougall died on 27 January 2015, aged 94. Born in Wakefield, the son of John McDougall, a renowned tuberculosis specialist (and Scottish rugby international), he was educated at Uppingham School and Magdalen College, Oxford, where he began reading modern languages and was president of the University’s French Society. In 1941 he was called up and joined the Intelligence Corps, serving in North Africa and Italy. On demobilisation he took up journalism; in 1947-8 he worked for Agence France-Presse in Paris, and then joined the BBC, remaining with the corporation even after his official retirement in 1981, for 27 of those years as a foreign correspondent. From 1981 to 1988 he remained on a BBC contract as editor and presenter of Radio 3’s Six Continents, and from 1990 he was a part-time tutor and lecturer at Oxford University’s Department for Continuing Education. He published twelve books: four volumes of autobiography, seven novels under the pen name William Fennerton, and another under his own name. He was survived by his wife, Elizabeth, and their two daughters, their son having predeceased him.
24 February 1939 – 27 January 2015
The physicist Roger Arthur Cowley FRS, FRSE, FRSC, died on 27 January 2015, aged 75. The son of a surveyor, he was educated at Brentwood School and Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he read Natural Sciences. After graduating in 1960 he took his PhD there and from 1962 to 1964 was a fellow of Trinity Hall. He then spent six years at Chalk River in Canada, maintaining his connections there after returning to the UK as Professor of Physics at the University of Edinburgh in 1970. From 1988 to 2007 he was Dr Lee’s Professor of Experimental Philosophy at Oxford and a fellow of Wadham College, becoming an emeritus professor and emeritus fellow on retirement. He published more than 350 articles and a book, Structural Phase Transitions (1981). His work focused in particular on the theory of how atoms vibrate in crystals. He was elected an FRS in 1978, at the early age of 39. A keen tennis player and expert punter, he was survived by his wife Sheila and their two children.
30 December 1925 – 25 January 2015
The Rev John Alfred Thurmer, theologian and author, died on 25 January 2015, aged 89. Brought up in Witham, Essex, he did his national service in Palestine before reading modern history at Oriel College, Oxford, graduating in 1950. He then undertook ordination training at Lincoln Theological College. After serving a curacy in Ilford he was chaplain and lecturer at Salisbury Theological College (1955-64), chaplain at the University of Exeter (1964-73), and canon residentiary and chancellor of Exeter Cathedral (1973-91). He wrote a history of Exeter Cathedral, and two books on Dorothy L Sayers, A Detection of the Trinity (1984) and Reluctant Evangelist (1996). He was unmarried.
14 April 1916 – 20 January 2015
Lawrence Hogben DSC, naval officer, meteorologist and businessman, died on 20 January 2015, aged 98. Born in Thames, on the North Island of New Zealand, the son of a lawyer, he was educated at Auckland Grammar School and Auckland University before winning a Rhodes Scholarship to study mathematics at New College, Oxford. On the outbreak of the Second World War he joined the Royal Navy, in which his skills as a mathematician were put to good use as a meteorologist, serving on ships in the Mediterranean, Atlantic and Arctic, and becoming instructor lieutenant-commander. In the run-up to D-Day he was one of a handful of meteorologists advising General Eisenhower on the timing on the invasion (which, on their advice, was postponed from 5 to 6 June 1944). After the war he worked for the Rank Organisation and ICI, eventually becoming head of public affairs for Europe. In retirement he lived with his wife Eileen in Drôme, in the foothills of the Alps in France, and became a French citizen. Eileen and their two children survived him.
2 September 1932 – 19 January 2015
John Ellis Wall, librarian, died on 19 January 2015, aged 82. He was educated at Latymer Upper School and Trinity College, Cambridge. After brief spells in the Central Asian Research Centre in London and the Foreign Office, he joined the Bodleian in 1960. He was made head of the Slavonic and East European Section on its creation in 1964, remaining until his retirement in 1999. With John Simmons he planned and stocked the Slavonic Reading Room in the Bodleian, making it the largest such open-shelf reference collection in this field. His astute cultivation of relations with Soviet and East European libraries led to a large number of exchange agreements whereby they supplied the Bodleian with hard-to-obtain works from their countries in exchange for Oxford University Press publications. Injuries from a serious accident in 1970 meant he had to relinquish the headship of his section but he continued to develop the Polish, Czechoslovak and Romanian collections, and often brought back substantial amounts of samizdat literature from his trips to those countries, notably including the earliest documents from the Solidarność (Solidarity) movement. He never married but enjoyed music and fine dining, and daily mass at the Oxford Oratory.
21 March 1922 – 19 January 2015
Theodore Lionel (Theo) Zinn, schoolmaster, died on 19 January 2015, aged 92. Born in London, of Russian Jewish parents, he was educated at Charterhouse and New College, Oxford, where he initially read philosophy, politics and economics. His Oxford education was interrupted by war service with the Intelligence Corps, deciphering Japanese messages. On demobilisation he returned to New College but switched to Greats, graduating in 1949. He joined the teaching staff of Westminster School in 1950 and remained there until his retirement, enthusing generations of students through his own passion for the classics. In 1954 he revived the tradition of putting on plays in Latin. In 2006 he received the unusual distinction for a schoolmaster of a volume of essays in his honour, Theo Doron (‘A Gift to Theo’). He himself wrote several Latin textbooks. He lived latterly in Godalming. He never married.
1 June 1925 – 18 January 2015
Joan Sinar, archivist, died on 18 January 2015, aged 89. Born in Leigh, Lancashire, she was educated at Leigh Girls’ Grammar School and Somerville College, Oxford, where she was a contemporary of (and lent her silk petticoats to) Margaret Roberts, the future Margaret Thatcher. She graduated in Modern History in 1946, going on to take an MA at Manchester University, on medieval church history. In 1948 she became assistant archivist in the new Staffordshire Record Office. Four years later she became the first county archivist for Devon. In 1962 she moved to Matlock to set up the county archives for Derbyshire; she remained there until 1988, building a substantial collection of family and business papers. In retirement she founded the Derbyshire Historic Gardens Trust before moving to Wiltshire, southern Spain, and finally Northern Ireland. She was survived by her husband John Ferguson, whom she met in retirement and married in 2002.
27 March 1925 – 12 January 2015
John Oliver Bayley CBE, FBA, Warton Professor of English Literature and fellow of St Catherine’s College, Oxford, 1974-92, died on 12 January 2015, aged 89. Born in Lahore, the son of a businessman, he was educated at Eton and, after war service in the Grenadier Guards, at New College, Oxford, where he read English, graduating in 1950 and taking both the Chancellor’s English Essay Prize and the Newdigate Prize the same year. He taught at Magdalen and St Antony’s colleges before becoming a fellow and tutor in English at New College from 1975 until his election to the Warton chair. Famously dishevelled and eccentric, he was a prolific and provocative reviewer, an inspiring tutor, and author of a series of penetrating literary studies, his subjects ranging from Shakespeare to Tolstoy and Pushkin. To the wider public he was better known as the husband of Iris Murdoch, and for his three memoirs of his life with her, the first of which, Iris (1998), published the year before her death, was turned into a film. He was elected an FBA in 1990. He was survived by his second wife, Audhild (Audi).
27 December 1916 – 8 January 2015
John Clifford Duckworth, physicist and public servant, died on 8 January 2015, aged 98. Born in London, the son of a scientist and businessman, he was educated at King’s College School, Wimbledon, and Wadham College, Oxford, where after mathematical Moderations he read physics, graduating in 1938. During the Second Wold War he worked for the Telecommunications Research Establishment on radar, and then at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Chalk River, Canada. He joined the staff of Harwell in 1947, then Ferranti in 1950, working on the Bloodhound surface-to-air missile, before spending five years in senior positions in the Central Electricity Generating Board, overseeing the construction and commissioning of nuclear power stations. From 1959 to 1970 he was managing director of the National Research Development Corporation. For a further thirteen years he was chairman or director of various public companies, and he was closely involved for many years with the Science Museum in London, whose advisory council he chaired from 1972 to 1984. He was survived by three sons, his wife Dorothy having predeceased him.
1 August 1924 – 7 January 2015
Irvine Stuart Lees Loudon, physician and medical historian, died on 7 January 2015, aged 90. Born in Cardiff, the son of a doctor, he was educated at the Cathedral School in Llandaff, Dauntsey’s School in Wiltshire, and the Queen’s College, Oxford, where his studies were interrupted by war service in the RAF. Returning to Oxford, he took his degree in physiology in 1948 and, after qualifying, served as a general practitioner in Wantage, where, as a specialist in obstetrics, he delivered more than two thousand babies. He wrote prolifically, especially on maternal mortality, and later on medical history. His book Death in Childbirth: An International Study of Maternal Care and Maternal Mortality, 1800-1950 (1992), was widely cited both by medical historians and by policy-makers. He was made an honorary fellow of Green College in 1999. An accomplished artist, his etchings were exhibited at Bankside Gallery, London, and elsewhere. He was survived by his wife Jean (whom he married in 1948) and four of their five children.
2 April 1924 – 3 January 2015
Ivor Reginald Guild CBE, FRSE, solicitor and genealogist, died on 3 January 2015, aged 90. The son of a stockbroker with family connections in Dundee in the jute industry and the publishers D C Thomson, he was educated at Rugby School and (rejected for military service because of childhood rheumatic fever) New College, Oxford, where he took classical Moderations in 1944 before switching to jurisprudence, graduating in 1946. After qualifying as a solicitor he joined the Edinburgh firm of Shepherd and Wedderburn, becoming a partner in 1951 and senior partner from 1984 until his retirement in 1994. A pillar of the Scottish Episcopal Church, he was chancellor of the Diocese of Edinburgh from 1985 to 1995, and was a discerning but very private philanthropist. A lifelong bachelor, he lived for 57 years at the New Club in Princes Street.
29 Nov 1929 – 3 January 2015
Terence Osborn Ranger FBA, Rhodes Professor of Race Relations and fellow of St Antony’s College, Oxford, 1987-97, died on 3 January 2015, aged 85. Born in South Norwood, London, where his father ran a chromium plating company, he was educated at Highgate School and the Queen’s College, Oxford, where he read Modern History, graduating in 1952. In 1959 he took a DPhil for a thesis on Richard Boyle, first Earl of Cork. His interest in African history was sparked by his experience in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia, at the University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, from 1957 until his deportation from the country for his vocal opposition to the white settler regime in 1963. He subsequently taught at the University College of Dar es Salaam, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Manchester before returning to Oxford. He was the author of a series of groundbreaking and highly regarded books on popular culture and resistance in southern and eastern Africa; and his social history of Bulawayo appeared to great acclaim in 2010. He was elected an FBA in 1988. He was survived by his wife Shelagh and their two daughters. Oxford Today published a memoir of Terry Ranger by his successor as Rhodes Professor of Race Relations.
Dr Alex May, who compiled these obituaries, is Research Editor at the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.