Alumni remembered

We welcome obituary contributions for alumni who have died. Please contact alumnioffice@contacts.bham.ac.uk and we will update this web page.

Professor Emeritus Sidney Alan Barker, 13 April 1926 - 14 October 2018

Sidney Alan Barker (or Alan as he preferred to be known) passed away peacefully on Sunday October 14th, 2018 at the Moundsley Care Village Nursing Home, Kings Norton, Birmingham after a brief illness.

Born and raised in Lovells, Birmingham, the son of Gladys (Allen) and Philip Henry Barker, a tinsmith. He was the second eldest of four children.

Music was encouraged from an early age, with both the violin and piano being learnt. It was however at the piano that Alan excelled and from an early age he played duets with his eldest sister Olga, and on several occasions they played on Children’s Hour hosted by Uncle Mac.

Alan achieved high grades during his school years at Handsworth Grammar School and developed a special affinity for history and chemistry. In September 1944 he commenced his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry at Birmingham and went on to achieve a first class honours, followed by his PhD a few years later. He specialised in carbohydrate chemistry and the department by this time had become world renown following the achievement of Professor Haworth in synthesising vitamin C, for which he won a Nobel Prize.

Following the submission of 51 papers, Alan was awarded his Doctor of Science in 1957 and was made Professor of Carbohydrate Chemistry in 1969. During the period that followed he not only travelled worldwide but also worked closely with industry and many of the top 100 companies. He was recently recognised for 60 years membership and support of the Royal Society for Chemistry.

He retired from the University and teaching when he was 65 years but carried on with some consultancy work and it was shortly after this that his first wife Miriam Ruth Barker passed away with cancer. They had been married 42 years and had three children; two daughters and a son. He remarried shortly afterwards to Jean Clare and is survived by his widow. Later in his career and during his retirement he developed a passion for history, and after tracing the family history back to 1100 AD, he applied for and was granted a Coat of Arms. He was as sought after for his skills on lecturing in the heraldry field as in chemistry. He has donated both his chemistry research and much of his history collection to the special collections department of the University Library.

David Britton, 2 March 1933 - 29 August 2018

David died in Owen Sound on Wednesday, August 29, in his 86th year, after a struggle with dementia. He was much loved by his wife of 40 years, Eleanor DeWolf, and his daughters Anne Britton of Thornbury and Ruth (Ry Smith) of Oakville and is fondly remembered by Anne’s and Ruth’s mother, Ellen Mitchell of Toronto. He was a caring grandad to Kathryn, Steven, and Michael Osborne, and Paul, James and Laura Smith (Dave Schindler); and great-grandad to Ada Schindler. David also leaves his many DeWolf in-laws, and nieces and nephews in England, the United States and Australia.

David was born in Burton upon Trent. After military service in Egypt, David graduated from the University of Birmingham in 1956 and, armed with a degree in Hispanic Studies, answered an ad for a “bright young man” in the Accounting Department at Shell’s Montreal East Refinery. A successful 28-year career with Shell Canada followed.

David enjoyed many years of retirement, but was perhaps most happy during the years living in the country near Meaford, driving his truck and tractor, cutting trails through the woods, tending the creek where the rainbow trout spawn, and planting trees.

As David wished, there will be no visitation or service. An informal gathering for family and friends will take place at a later date.

If you are so inclined, in David’s memory, please consider gifts to the Owen Sound Regional Hospital Foundation, the Bruce Trail Conservancy (for which David was once a Trail Captain), or the Alzheimer Society. Or plant a tree! Online condolences may be made at www.greybrucecremation.com

George Charles Chalstrey Smith, 24 July 1925 - 30 March 2018

Dr. George Charles Chalstrey Smith of Delmar, NY and Laguna Woods, CA passed away March 30, 2018. He was born July 24, 1925 in Tipton, West Midlands, UK  to George Smith and Emily Doris Chalstrey Smith.

He studied Engineering at Birmingham University, the Cranfield Institute of Technology, and served in the Royal Air Force Bomber Command in the UK and India. He was preceded in death by his brother Harry of Wolverhampton, UK; brother Donald of Telford, UK and survived by his sister Pamela of Wolverhampton, UK.

Dr Smith spent a long career in aeronautics, making contributions to advanced engineering of Concorde, Saturn V, Lunar Lander, and Space Shuttle programs, as well as many other fields of Engineering endeavour. He was a member of the AIAA and a fellow of the AOIA and was recognised as a leading expert on structural dynamics and flutter.

After his early career with British Aircraft in Filton, UK, he emigrated with his family to the United States in 1966 where he was Chief Engineer of Structural Dynamics at Bell Aerospace. In 1974 he earned a doctorate in Aerospace Engineering from State University of New York at Buffalo.

In 1997 he retired from Bell and established a winter residence in Laguna Woods, CA. He enjoyed numerous activities throughout his life, including birding, soccer, golf, tennis, and contact bridge. 

He is survived by his wife, Beryl Josephine Ellwood Smith of Delmar, NY; son Matthew and wife Pamela of Phoenix AZ; son Jonathan and wife Mary of Tustin, CA; son Dr. Stephen Smith and wife Barbara Boyle of Delmar NY, and daughter-in-law Donna Smith of Tustin, CA.  He is also survived by grandchildren Elizabeth and Susannah Smith of Northbridge, CA; Byron Smith of San Francisco; Renee Smith of Tustin, CA; Abigail Smith of Northampton, MA; and Caitlin Smith of Bryn Mawr, PA.

Submitted by Dr Stephen Patrick Chalstrey Boyle Smith from New York.

Alan Abbott, 26 August 1926 - 21 May 2018

The English conductor, composer and arranger Alan Abbott has died at his home in Birmingham at the age of 91. Specialising in opera and ballet, his conducting engagements took him across the globe, including appointments in Turkey, Australia and Scandinavia. His most famous piece, Alla caccia for French horn and piano, has become a staple of the recital repertoire; he also worked on the score for Les Misérables and the ballet of The Merry Widow.

Born in Birmingham in 1926, Abbott’s initial musical training was with the pianist Joyce Chandler. His studies were interrupted by war service with the Royal Air Force, beginning in London: this enabled him to attend Sir Thomas Beecham’s 1946 Delius festival, which inspired a lifelong love of this composer. After being transferred to Canada, Abbott taught himself to read orchestral scores during the breaks between flying training sessions on Avro Ansons.

On returning to the University of Birmingham, he was awarded the gold medal and Barber Trust scholarship in the final year of his music degree. This enabled him to move to the Royal College of Music in London, where he studied orchestration with Gordon Jacob, French horn with Frank Probyn and conducting with Richard Austin. He composed Alla caccia in 1949, when one of his colleagues realised on the day before her final concert that she had overlooked the requirement to include in her programme both a piece from the twentieth century and one by a British composer. Abbott generously rose to meet this challenge on both counts.

Practical music making always held the greatest appeal for him, and although Abbott began a teacher training course at the University of Reading, his increasing commitments as a performer in London led to a conducting position with the Carl Rosa touring opera company. This was followed by a spell in the West End, conducting musicals and operetta and composing incidental music. In 1958–9, he conducted the Royal Ballet on a tour of Australia and New Zealand.

Abbott was employed for several years as a producer in the BBC Light Music Department, working with the BBC Concert Orchestra and colleagues such as Stanford Robinson and Vilem Tausky. In 1965, he accepted an invitation to become Music Director of Turkish Ballet and resident conductor at the Ankara Opera House.

Abbott moved to Australia in 1971, becoming resident conductor of Australian Ballet and, five years later later, musical director of Western Australian Opera. With the Western Australian Arts Orchestra, he made several opera recordings as well as initiating a series of performances called Opera In Concert, for which he acted as compère. Under his leadership, attendances at the Perth Concert Hall reached a remarkable 95–98% capacity each season.

Returning to the United Kingdom in 1979, Abbott continued to be in demand as an arranger. He collaborated with Peter Washtell on the score for the musical Les Misérables and undertook numerous joint projects with John Lanchbery, including a ballet version of The Merry Widow and editions of the ballets of Léon Minkus. For almost two decades, Abbott was regularly engaged in Scandinavia, conducting the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, the Royal Swedish Ballet and the Royal Danish Ballet. Many of these concerts were televised. He also appeared as a guest conductor with the Paris Opera Ballet.

Abbott made a number of recordings, including two discs of piano music with the London Symphony Orchestra and the pianist Guy Saint-­‐Clair and the soundtrack for the 1995 revival of The Iron Horse silent film. Warmly regarded by all those with whom he worked, Abbott continued in his latter years to sustain the many friendships he had developed across the world. He was generous in supporting other musicians and always had a fund of stories and anecdotes from his varied career.

In 2011, Abbott was awarded a pension from the Civil List for services to music. Despite increasing ill health, he was able to continue living in his family home in south Birmingham thanks to devoted care from friends. He was predeceased by his lifetime partner, the tenor Lazarus Gerald Stern (‘Larry’), in 2016.

Lilian Nanette Wise, 24 March 1924 - 13 January 2018

My mother, Lilian Nanette Wise (nee Gregg) was an undergraduate at the University of Birmingham from 1942-1944, graduating with a Wartime Degree as her studies were interrupted by essential war work.

She was very proud of her association with the University. It was from there, during her second year, that she was recruited to Bletchley Park. I thought you may be interested in seeing her entry on the Bletchley Roll Of Honour - she is also the woman in the iconic Bletchley photo. I am immensely proud of her.

Julia Wise

Deirdre Edward, 23 June 1923 - 21 December 2017

Dr. Deirdre Edward (née Waldron) died on December 21, 2017 at Vigi Mont Royal at the age of 94.

She is missed by her brothers Kevin Waldron (Fay, deceased) and Brian Waldron (Eva), by her sons John Valentine, Jeremy (Laura), and Julian (Pamela), and by her grandchildren William, Deirdre, and Isaac, niece Annika and nephew Seamus. Deirdre is predeceased by her husband John (Jack) Edward (1999).

She was born in Detroit, Michigan on June 23, 1923 to Cyril John Waldron and Kathleen Mary Keegan. The family moved to Birmingham, England where she attended school, earning a PhD in Chemistry at the University of Birmingham Faculty of Medicine in 1954.

Deirdre married John Thomas Edward on March 21, 1953, and after a stint at Trinity College Dublin, she went with John to Canada in 1957. She commenced work at McGill University Department of Experimental Surgery in 1960 and is the author of numerous scientific papers in the field of biochemistry, having been cited as recently as last year.

Among her notable works were a number of studies on ways to inhibit the body from absorbing radioactive strontium, which was a serious health concern until the 1963 international treaty banning open air testing of nuclear weapons. Her work on strontium absorption was recognized not only in the scientific community, but also by Tensho Kotai Jingu Kyo, a religious order in Japan, whose head, known as Ogamisima, or “the great god”, hosted Deirdre for lunch. In 1963, Deirdre was recognized in Chatelaine magazine as a Woman of the Year. Despite the challenges of being an engaged mother of three at the same time as being a female academic in the 60's and 70's, Deirdre continued to work at McGill until her retirement in 1988.

She enjoyed reading and travelling and spent many summers at the family cottage in Vermont. After her retirement, she was a regular volunteer for a number of charitable organisations, including the McGill Book Fair, and was active in the parish of Ascension of Our Lord and the Canadian Association for Irish Studies.

Maurice Franks, 13 February 1927 - 4 March 2017

Maurice grew up in Langley, Worcestershire, and attended Oldbury County High School before going up to Birmingham University in 1944, aged 17, to study Chemistry. He was a keen sportsman and played football for the University.

On completing his degree, he carried out his National Service duties in the Army Education Corps, serving in Oswestry and at Buchanan Castle, Drymen, before returning to Birmingham University to qualify as a teacher. He remained in the Midlands, teaching at King’s Norton Grammar School for Boys and at Edward Shelley School, Walsall, before becoming Head of Science at Churchfields School, West Bromwich.

In 1968, a new phase of Maurice’s life began when, together with his wife Jean and young daughter Helen, he moved to Warwick to take up the headship of Oken High School for Boys, with the immediate task of managing its merger with the adjoining girls’ school to become Myton High School (later renamed Myton School), of which he remained Headmaster for 22 years.

Following his retirement in 1990, Maurice continued his involvement in education, serving as a governor within the Warwick Independent Schools Foundation. During his retirement years, Maurice was an active member of Warwick Avon Rotary Club and served as a Parish Councillor in Stratford-upon-Avon (where he and Jean had settled a few years earlier), as well as continuing to attend the Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick on a regular basis.

Maurice’s active engagement in these organisations and roles was a great source of comfort and strength to him when Jean passed away on 1 January 2001, after a short illness. In the years following her death, Maurice spent much time with Helen and her family and was an ever-loving and supportive presence during the formative years of his grandsons, Thomas and William.

After several years of declining health, Maurice passed away on Saturday 4 March 2017 at Leycester House Care Home, Warwick, where he had been looked after with great kindness and dignity. He is very sadly missed by his family and surviving friends.

Karl Lawrence 19 September 1928-2017 

Karl cared. His passions shaped his being and his image. He thought deeply and sought intellectual understanding. He was an atheist who respected religious ceremony, a republican who hoped to get a royal telegram at 100. He was a socialist, but admired politicians at every level and of every hue who were true to their ideals, clear and accountable. He was an aficionado of art, music, opera, theatre, crosswords, wine and whisky, devotions all shared with Rosaleen, his wife of 53 years, and of books, although she wasn’t so keen on living in a library. Most of all, Karl was an individual who cared that everything should be just so, and he was determined to do everything possible to make it so.

Karl grew up in Ibstock, Leicestershire, surrounded by the power of words. His parish clerk father Harry ran the family printing business. His mother Louise’s cousin Bernard Newman wrote over 100 books. Authors DH Lawrence and Mary Anne Evans (George Eliot) were distant relations. His ambition to be a journalist was explored in school vacations on the local newspaper, The Coalville Times, and in editing magazines and taking an English degree at The University of Birmingham (BSc English, circa 1949) only for illness to thwart his becoming a graduate trainee with Lord Kemsley (of Dropmore), owner of The Sunday Times. Instead, he made his mark in the book trade, initially at a wholesaler where he recommended the acquisition of Casino Royale, Ian Fleming’s first James Bond novel; it sold 18,000 hardback copies in a year.

In 1953, Karl went to the Bahamas to run The Island Bookshop. Perfect climate. Idyllic lifestyle. Then it got better. While directing See How They Run, he fell in love with the leading lady: Rosaleen Malone, a pioneer BOAC air hostess who later “looked fabulous” in Three Sisters. They married in 1965 and headed home for him to aid André Deutsch doing paperback publishing deals before managing systems, computers and operations as Granada Publishing was acquired by Collins which merged to be HarperCollins. If he couldn’t get his way with charm and persistent logic, he would ruffle feathers – including those of Robert Maxwell on a Parliamentary committee considering worldwide academic copyright. He drove the development of International Standard Book Numbers (ISBN), led UK implementation of machine readable codes, foresaw e-books, was a trustee of HarperCollins pension fund and ‘Mr Fixit’ for media moguls Sidney Bernstein and Rupert Murdoch.

Rosaleen and Karl brought baby Roisin (MSc Applied Geophysics, 1992) to the village of Taplow, Buckinghamshire in 1969. Their son Ronan arrived two years later. They have immersed themselves in the Taplow village community ever since. An incurable lung condition didn’t stop him running the church fete bookstall for years, helping create Taplow at the Millennium (A. Forsyth), providing advice and editing for Taplow Moments (N. Smales), joining the Village Preservation Society’s committee in 2003 and acting as its energetic chairman for five years from 2011.

Opinions? He had a few. Disagreements? Yes, but never disrespect. The game was less persuasion than performance of principles, knowledge and indulgent eloquence. His was valuable counsel. However, of all Karl’s achievements, perhaps most important are the fond memories of his family and lifelong friends who knew “a lovely man”. Rosaleen married him because “He was the kindest man I’d ever met”. What better epitaphs could he have? Karl is survived by; Rosaleen Lawrence, his wife of 53 years. Roisin Lakings, nee Lawrence (MSc 1992 Applied Geophysics) his daughter and her family in Denver, Colorado. Ronan Lawrence, his son and his family in Wiltshire and Clark Lawrence, his son in Ventura, California.

Diana Wallace (née Sidey), 21 June 1924 – 16 February 2017

My mother, Diana Wallace, who studied for a Diploma in Social Studies at the University of Birmingham from 1943-1945, has died at the age of 92. After graduating she became a social worker, taking up her first post with the Family Welfare Association in Camberwell, one of the most severely bomb-damaged London boroughs. This was the first of many such positions: she remained active in the field in both a professional and voluntary capacity throughout the rest of her life.

Diana was born in Exeter in 1924 to architect John Sidey and his wife Florence (née Brinsmead). The youngest of a close-knit family of two brothers and four sisters, she forged many lifelong friendships at St Margaret’s School, Exeter, where she eventually became Head Girl. As a teenager she developed her Christian faith, which gave her life its foundations and values, and sustained her through the good times and the tough.

Diana was the only one of her siblings not to join the forces during the war; instead, she enrolled for the Diploma in Social Studies. During this period, she lived and worked with some of the poorest residents of the city at the Birmingham Settlement on Summer Lane, an independent agency committed to a range of projects aimed at combating poverty and social deprivation. Her memories of this period included not only the familiar student tales of late-night discussions with friends, but also vivid accounts of bombing raids on the city’s munitions factories. Diana counted her time in Birmingham as life-changing, opening her eyes to levels of social inequality and injustice that had remained out of sight to a girl of her background growing up in Exeter. Together, she and I met up in Birmingham a few years ago to visit the recently opened National Trust museum in the old back-to-back houses on Hurst Street. This was the kind of housing she had encountered in the Summer Lane area during the war, and her recollections brought the place to life for me.

After moving to London for her first job, she met Ralph Hinds, a solicitor, whom she married in 1952. After the birth of their first child, they left the smog and cramped spaces of the city for the clean air and wide beaches of Bournemouth, where Diana lived for the rest of her life. She soon began to attend St Alban’s Church, where she remained a valued member of the congregation, church committees and projects for over fifty years.  She served as Chairman of the Bournemouth Council for Voluntary Services and was the founding Chairman of James Michael House, which provided accommodation and support for vulnerable women and their children.  Professionally, she became one of the key social workers for the Wel-Care association in the Diocese of Winchester, founding its Bournemouth branch.  Her achievements were recognised by an MBE in 1993.

Diana married her second husband, retired teacher John Wallace, in 1992. Together they enjoyed an active retirement: he was a talented wood-worker, while she was an expert and highly knowledgeable gardener, tending flowers, fruit and vegetables with equal success. They travelled widely, continuing their caravanning holidays in France well into their 80s. 

Diana died peacefully in Bournemouth hospital after a short illness.  During her last weeks she received many visits from family and friends, her deep pleasure in the people who filled her life remaining to the end. She was predeceased by John by a week, and is survived by my brother Nigel and me, her stepdaughter Sue, her grandchildren Freddie, Anna and Rosamund, and great-granddaughter Isabelle.

Hilary Hinds

28 March 2017

Professor Philip Barker (4 September 1929 - 18 January 2017)

Philip Edwin Barker, 87, died peacefully on Wednesday, 18 January, 2017 at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch, following a brief illness.

He leaves his wife of 63 years, Betty, daughter Susan, and two sons, Roger and Jonathan, four grandchildren and many close friends.

Born and raised in Lozells, Birmingham, the son of Gladys (Allen) and Philip Henry Barker, a Tinsmith, Philip was the third of four children, Olga, Alan and Audrey.

In his early years, Philip would help at the local greengrocers and learnt to play the piano achieving grade VI. After finishing at Handsworth Grammar School in 1946 Philip joined the army and was attached to the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers until 1949. On leaving the army he attended Birmingham University until 1952 completing a degree in Chemical Engineering. After his degree he joined Midland Tar Company and was involved in the commissioning of a new plant for the production of important aromatic hydrocarbons derived from coal tar.

In 1956, Philip returned to Birmingham University as a lecturer in Chemical Engineering supervising PhD students and conducting his own research projects and made several trips to the USA and Europe to present his research. In 1968, Philip obtained a Doctor of Science at Birmingham University. He was the first person to achieve a DSc in the newly formed Chemical Engineering Department.

In 1970, Philip became a Professor at Aston University. Along with Professor Jefferies, the then Head of Department, he was responsible for building up a department of 300 undergraduate and post-graduate students in the new Chemical Engineering Building. Philip retired in 1995 at the age of 66.

Philip enjoyed sailing, spending time with the family, travelling and playing the piano. He particularly enjoyed visiting Wisemans Bridge in Pembrokeshire which he always remembered fondly.

Professor John Bryant (31st August 1931 - 27th November 2015)

Frederick John Bryant was born and raised in a public house in Ogmore Vale, Wales on August 31st 1931. He attended Ogmore Vale Grammar School where he was captain of the rugger team and victor ludorum. In 1949 he went to the University of Birmingham where he was awarded a BSc (Physics), a PhD (Electron Physics) and, for published work, a DSc (Space Research). He represented the University at contract bridge and enjoyed playing squash.

Between 1955 and 1957 he fulfilled his Military Service obligations at English Electric Valve Co., Chelmsford, where he published work and patents on travelling-wave tubes. As a Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Research Council, Ottawa between 1957 and 1959 he worked on the luminescence of organic crystals such as anthracene.

He returned to the U.K. to lecture at the University of Hull, where he established an internationally-recognised research group working on radiation damage of Group II-VI compounds. A 500 keV electron accelerator was modified to deliver precise energies and used to determine accurate atomic displacement energies in these compounds by observing changes in physical properties such as luminescence, thermoluminescence etc. An important result was the use of electron radiation damage to establish preferential pairing of donors and acceptors during growth of single crystals.

A positive-ion accelerator which he built allowed the study and precise modification of the luminescence and electroluminescence properties of films and single crystals, including those doped with rare earths.

In 1976 he was appointed to the first Personal Chair in Science at the University and later became Head of the Physics Department and Dean of Science. He was UK Editor of the Journal of Luminescence in the 1970s and served on the organising and programme Committees of several International Luminescence Conferences.

He was married for 55 years to Anne Hughes, who was also a University of Birmingham graduate (BA Geography and Physical Education, 1954), until her death in 2013. He is survived by his two daughters, Ceri and Judith, who practise at the Chancery Bar.

Gwyneth Denton (nee Forrest) (26th October 1931 - April 2016)

Gwyneth Denton (nee Forrest), who studied English at the University of Birmingham in the early 1950s, died in April aged 84. After Birmingham she completed a Certificate of Education at Oxford and became a school teacher, teaching English first at King Edward's Handsworth and later at Aylesbury High School in Bucks for almost 25 years.  In her teaching, she always sought to communicate to her pupils the love of learning and the joy of the academic community which she herself had experienced and appreciated so much at Birmingham. At her funeral, the following tribute was read out from one of her former pupils Emma Brocks, Guardian journalist and author:

"She was so good on poetry, and on Shakespeare. My term on Shakespeare at Oxford was utterly based on Mrs Denton's reading and teaching of King Lear, and it's still the only play I have any memory for, thanks entirely to her. She was, I remember, caustic about our affectations, something I look back on with approval and amusement. I remember one November when it was the fashion to wear white poppies instead of red for Remembrance Day, and Mrs Denton called us out on it. 'But what is it supposed to symbolize?' she said. To which, as I recall, our martyred response was, 'that the war should never have happened.' She rolled her eyes so strenuously she almost tipped over."

The exigencies of family life meant that Gwyneth never became a star on the world stage. She was, however, a star on her own smaller stage, as was evidenced by the fact that even 20 years after her retirement former pupils would frequently approach her in the street and thank her for unlocking for them the delights of Graham Greene, Hardy, and Shakespeare.

She met her husband, David Denton, while studying at Birmingham. He was also at the university, studying French. They seem to have started a tradition of attending the University of Birmingham in the family: their daughter subsequently studied there in the late 70s and early 80s, and their grandson graduated from Birmingham in 2015.

Stanley (‘Stan’) William Amos (7 December 1915 - 16 June 2015) 

Stan graduated in Physics in 1936. He had been amongst the first intake of pupils at Holly Lodge Grammar School in Smethwick; his Chemistry master, Dr Dale, had seen ability in him and encouraged him to apply for a scholarship.

Having taken a teaching qualification as well as his degree, he accepted a teaching post at the DockyardSchool in Plymouth. In 1939 he married Kathleen Kimpton, whom he had met while at Holly Lodge. After Plymouth Dockyard was heavily bombed during the Second World War, he sought a change of career.

In his youth he had been captivated by the new technology of broadcasting and his hobby was constructing radio receivers. He applied to the BBC who offered him a post in its Engineering Training Department which utilised both his teaching experience and his knowledge of radio technology.

He worked first at Wood Norton (near Evesham), then at Caversham receiving station, later at Maida Vale and then Harewood House in London, before returning to Wood Norton from which he retired in 1972. He had become Head of the BBC’s Technical Publications Department and represented the BBC on some international committees.

Apart from his BBC work, Stan was a prolific writer, regularly contributing articles to the Wireless World. He also wrote many books on electronics and radio topics and edited or contributed to many others.

He attended the meeting at the Institution of Electrical Engineers in the 1950s at which Professor Shockley first introduced transistors to the UK and famously threw a handful of the first examples into the audience, resulting in a Rugby scrum of engineers eager to acquire an example! Stan did not get one, but recognition that this was future of electronics led him to write Principles of Transistor Circuits, first published in 1959. Arguably the first textbook of semiconductor electronics, 60 years later it is still in print, now in the hands of another author.

In retirement he lived in Broadway, Worcestershire, and served as Treasurer for Broadway Probus of which he was a founder member and Evesham Retired Teachers. He passed away peacefully in June 2015, a few months short of his 100th birthday.

Dr Frank Thomas Pearce (2 July 1920 - 7 March 2015)

Birmingham born and bred, Frank volunteered for the RAF at the outbreak of WW2 when he was 19. He served his tour of duty overseas in North Africa and Italy. After the war ended, he remained a member of the RAF Association for the rest of his life.

He returned to Bournville to study Management Science at the University of Birmingham,  from 1946-49, during which time he was very active socially in the Guild of Undergraduates and was their treasurer. After graduating he was awarded an honorary life membership of the Guild. He went on to complete his PhD in Finance in 1952 and visited South Africa on a Vice-Chancellor's award where he met his future wife.

Whilst working in management consultant posts in various companies in the West Midlands he maintained a constant association with the University. He was an occasional lecturer, was elected President of the Guild of Graduates in 1963, became a life member of 'Court' and served on the University Council until well into his 70s. He was a life Governor of the University.

His two daughters went on to study at the University. A proud father, resplendent in his colourful doctorate robes, he officiated at both their graduations. He lived in Birminham all his life and was immensely proud of the University and his connection with it.

Dr Alec Smith (19th January 1927 - 15th August 2014)

Alec was a graduate of Birmingham University (BSc. Zoology and Comparative Physiology, First Class Honours (1948) and DSc. (1965)) and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (Ph.D. Tropical Medicine (1950)). He joined the Colonial Medical Research Service and worked as a medical entomologist in Tanganyika (1950-1973). This included 13 years in Arusha at the Tropical Pesticides Research Institute, being appointed director in 1967.

In 1973, Alec joined the World Health Organisation and, after leaving Arusha, worked on malaria control projects in South Africa (1973-1976) and West Africa (1973-1980). He was then assigned to Geneva headquarters, where he remained until 1986 when he retired.

In 1982, he was awarded the Ademola Medal, jointly with Dr Robert Kaiser, by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine for “Outstanding Achievements in Health in the Tropics”.

In 1993, Alec published his memoirs entitled “Insect Man – A Fight Against Malaria in Africa”.

Alec enjoyed a happy 28 year retirement in Bexhill-On-Sea, Sussex. He is greatly missed by Irene, his wife of 60 years, his daughters Linda and Diana, and his grandchildren Allison, Elizabeth and Claire. 

Dr A. Trevor Churchman (13th March 1926-6th August 2014)

(BSc Metallurgy, 1946; PhD, 1949)

Trevor Churchman was born on 13th March 1926 in Birmingham, his father Arthur (MSc Biochemistry, 1921) also a Birmingham graduate.

Trevor was educated at King Edwards School, Birmingham. He went into the Science 6th form being influenced by Commander Langley, his chemistry master, who by coincidence had been Trevor’s father’s Commanding Officer in Naval research in WW1. Trevor’s sights had been set on Dartmouth and a career in the Navy.

Trevor won a state scholarship and moved onto Birmingham to read Metallurgy. There Professor Alan Cottrell (later Sir Alan) became his mentor and friend. He was also one of Hugh’s (eldest son) Godfather. Trevor took a 1st class Hons. Degree, then a PhD and was Research Fellow at the University for 2 years.

In 1950 he married June (BSc Mathematics, 1948). He joined Associated Electrical Industries (AEI) Research laboratory at Aldermaston Court. The Research Director was Dr. Edward Alibone who encouraged and befriended his young protégé. There Trevor started to unravel the structures and mechanical properties of Titanium and Rhenium. He ‘grew’ the first titanium single crystals; the report and discussion of which became the first of his papers published by the Royal Society. Developmental work at Cambridge by a husband and wife team followed.

Sir Alan asked Trevor to be one of this interdisciplinary research team out of Harwell (solving the problems of radiation damage in steel vessels) to help prepare and design experiments he felt needed to be done and so Trevor was seconded to Harwell from AEI. After some exciting developments, the cause of the problems was identified and Sir Alan produced the theoretical reasoning behind the phenomena.

Trevor was invited to join the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) as Head of Materials Division of the newly proposed Berkley Nuclear laboratories in Gloucestershire. Their task was to make civil nuclear energy economic.

Trevor became the Director of new research facility Electricity Council Research Centre (ECRC), having the task of looking at the wider and wiser uses of electricity.

Privatisation of power generation and distribution of electricity supply sounded the end of the visionary research centre in its original form; replaced by perceived monetary inducements and profit, but by then Trevor had retired at 62 for a Consultancy role having seen the Centre through 21+ years.

The move to ECRC meant a move to Wales for the family. Worship at St.Asaph Cathedral became the centre of Trevor’s spiritual life and both June and Trevor were involved there. Trevor was a member of the Governing Body of the Church in Wales for 15 years.

He was tremendous support to June (who died in 2009) in her work in Guiding and the National Lottery Charities Board.

He was a generous and loving father, father-in-law, grandfather and great-grandfather and a generous supporter of the work of the Churches.

Died 6th August 2014

He will be much missed.

Dr James Hugh Gordon (25 February 1927- 14 August 2014)

Although born in England, Jim Gordon’s early years were spent in India, Burma and China where his father Captain Bryan Gordon (RIN) held a naval commission.   After prep school in England he joined King Williams College on the Isle of Man, and later graduated in Aeronautical Engineering at Loughborough College, Leicestershire in 1948.  He then joined AVRoe and worked in aerodynamic research in wind tunnels.  This specialist area of research saw him contributing significantly to the design and development of the remarkable range of advanced aircraft that were emerging from the dynamic aircraft industry of the 1950’s and 1960’s – working later with Handley Page Ltd, Armstrong-Whitworth and Rolls Royce Derby.   

The reluctance of the government in the mid 1960’s to continue backing aircraft production, so inherently costly, as fundamentally it was involved in pushing forward the frontiers of knowledge, led to the collapse of the national aerospace industry.  Research teams were disbanded and many highly skilled engineers went overseas, however, Jim Gordon decided to re-direct his engineering skills into production engineering and joined the University of Birmingham in 1965.  He completed a Masters Degree in Engineering Production and then joined the University’s lecturing staff; in 1975 he was awarded a PhD for his research into Project Management, then emerging as an important production technique.  In 1976-77 he became Visiting Professor at the University of North Carolina at Raleigh and subsequently lectured throughout the USA.  Later he served as External Examiner at University of Cranfield (1994-98) and at University of Wales Aberystwyth (1999-2003).

Alongside his responsibilities in the University of Birmingham, as Director of Postgraduate Courses in the Department for Engineering Production, in 1969 Jim Gordon served with BSI (British Standards Institution). Here helped to set up, and chaired, the BSI Committee on Project Management MS/2, responsible for the Standard BS 6079-1,2,3.  Subsequent to the success of this initiative, in 1989 he was invited to join the ISO (International Organisation for Standardization) and became Convenor of the ISO/TC 176/SC2 Working Group, charged with producing an International Standard Guideline to Quality in Project Management.  This was published in 1997 as the Standard ISO 10006;revised and retitled Quality Management in Projects, published in 2003.  In recognition of his international contribution to standards in Project Management he was invited to be the Principal Guest Speaker at the ProMAC Conference in 2010, in Tokyo.

A long-term collaborative association with Professor Keith Lockyer of Bradford University lead to the publication of Critical Path Analysisand Project Management and Project Network Techniques, now in its seventh edition and  translated into Russian and Japanese. This classic text is recognised internationally as covering, with great clarity, the concepts and principles of project management, together with a range of detailed planning techniques.  

Jim Gordon was one of a small group of six professionals involved in the emerging technique of Project Management who, in 1972, decided there was a need to set up an Association for Project Management, in which to share and develop skills amongst practitioners.  It is now recognised as an accredited force in the world of project management with an individual membership of over 20,000 and corporate membership of over 500.  Jim Gordon was a pivotal member of APM and was actively involved with the Board of Management until 2003.  

Dr James Hugh Gordon was one of a rather rare genus of natural engineers.  In lecturing to his students he would summarise the life of an engineer as basically ‘problem solving’ by employing thought to devise and apply practical solutions.  Away from the academic world, boardrooms and international conferences, he liked nothing better than being in his workshop, operating a lathe and “making things”.  Always a car enthusiast, he re-built several classic models which he enjoyed driving until recently.

Brian Priestman (10 February 1927 - 18 April 2014)

Brian founded, and was Principal Conductor of, the Opera da Camera and the Orchestra da Camera in Birmingham, and was Music Director of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon (1960-63).

He was Music Director of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra (1964-68), Music Director of the Handel Society of New York (1966-70), Resident Conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (1968-70), Music Director of the Denver Symphony Orchestra (1970-78), Principle Conductor of the New Zealand National Orchestra (1973-76), Music Director of the Florida Philharmonic (1977-1980), Principal Conductor of the Cape Town Symphony (1980-86), and Principal Guest Conductor of the Malmo Symphony Orchestra (1988-90).

He founded the New York Handel Opera Society and appeared frequently at the Mostly Mozart concerts there, as well as the Aspen Music Festival and the Grant Park, Chicago, Festival.

Brian was Dean of the Faculty of Music and Professor at the University of Cape Town (1980-86) and Artist-in-Residence at the University of Kansas (1992-2002) and, for three years, was Music Director of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada (1967-69).

Priestman has written articles in music periodicals and encyclopaedias, including the New Grove Encyclopaedia, Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, Encyclopaedia Britannica, and Music and Letters. He lived in France.

Dr Phyllis Evelyn Pease (25 March 1931 - 1 April 2014)

 BSc Bacteriology 1953; PhD Bacteriology 1956; DSc Medical Microbiology 1966

Dr Phyllis Pease devoted most of her working life to research in the Department of Medical Microbiology. Arriving in Birmingham as an eager undergraduate, she retired as senior lecturer, having published and contributed to over 70 papers on bacteriology and published her first book 'L-Forms, Episomes and Autoimmune Disease' (1965).

In 1993 she took semi-retirement and ventured from her beloved Birmingham to the foothills of the French Pyrenees. She continued her work in microbiology, forming new collaborations with colleagues at the University of Toulouse and the Pasteur Institute in Paris. Alongside her consultancy work, she collected her life's work on auto-immune disease in her last book 'Aids, Cancer and Arthritis - a New Perspective' (2006).

Phyllis never lost her love of show horses, and her prize-winning Haflinger, Inca, moved to France with her. She settled in well abroad, making many new friends and riding at the local stables, but as a microbiologist, she never quite reconciled with the local standards of bathroom hygiene. She also kept a jar of English mint sauce in her handbag, having been unable to persuade the local restaurateur that this was a suitable accompaniment to French lamb!

Following her partner's death in 2008 she found life on her own increasingly difficult, and after a brief attempt to settle back in England, she settled in a very nice French retirement home with stunning views of the mountains. She passed away quietly, having asked the nurse to bring her the morning papers; an academic to the last.

She is survived by her niece and family, and by her partner's children. Her ashes will be scattered at a private ceremony in the family graveyard in Nottingham.

Professor Kenneth Gilbert Stephens

BSc Chemistry 1952, PhD Physics 1956

Ken Stephens joined the Department of Electrical and Control Engineering of Battersea College of Technology (CAT) as a lecturer only months before it became the University of Surrey and the department's name became Electronic and Electrical Engineering. Ken spent the rest of his career at the University of Surrey, becoming dean of the Faculty of Engineering, a post that he held for 10 years before retiring in 1996.

He was very successful in these roles and led the department and faculty over a period of significant growth whereby engineering became a major strenght of the university. It was his leadership and vision that established the department as a major strenght both within the University and nationally, with major research strengths in ion implantation and satellite engineering.

Ken graduated from the University of Birmingham with a BSc in physics and a PhD in nuclear physics. He then spent several years in industry working on various aspects of the design and instrumentation of reactors, initially working for Associated Electrical Industries on the MERLIN 5 MW Reactor project and then Pye Labs in Cambridge on the design of the 100 KW PYE-AMF educator reactor. It was his excellence in industry that led him to be recruited to a lectureship at Battersea CAT in 1966 by Prof D R Chick, and a year later he was promoted to a readership, recognising his scientific excellence.

He established the Surrey University Ion Implantation Centre, which has continued to be funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) - formerly the Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) - from 1971 to the present and is now an internationally leading research centre and a major national facility. This research centre has developed an excellent international reputation that has led to a number of key international scientists collaborating with Ken and his colleagues, specifically professors Brian Sealy and Peter Hemment. Ken was a key member of various international conference committees, including the International Committee of Ion Implantation Technology since 1978.

After an initial visit to the US, Ken visited Japan with professors Chick and Lovering, which resulted in Hideki Matsumura, now an eminent professor, coming to Surrey. He became a close collaborator and lifelong friend, as did many other colleagues from Japan. Ken also visited China and Eastern Europe, funded by the British Council, forging professional links with many other institutions that still continue today.

He was a frequent visitor to colleagues in the US, China, Japan and Europe. His leadership of the department and the Ion Beam Centre has established the University of Surrey as the UK centre and a major international centre for ion implantation and its applications.
The centre has developed a number of applications involving electronic and optical devices, archaeology and biomedicine in collaboration with key industrial and academic research laboratories. In recognition of Ken's contributions to the development of ion implantation and the leadership of the department, the laboratory, newly refurbished in 2004, was named the Ken Stephens Laboratory.

Arising out of Ken's research excellence, he was a member of a number of SERC committees, including the Engineering and Nuclear Structure Board and the Alvey Committee for Very Large Scale Integration. He was also a keen and active member of the Institute of Physics, being chairman of the Atomic Collisions Group.

Under his leadership as head of the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, the department increased significantly the number of taught students and considerably grew and widened its research activities. Of particular note is his recognition of the importance of satellite engineering and the vision of Martin Sweeting for the development of low-cost satellite technology. Ken's support for, and recognition of, the importance of satellite engineering led to him being appointed one of the first directors of Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, the spin-out company of the department that has built, launched and controlled satellites for a number of international organisations. This activity has become a major asset for the university and has contributed significantly to the international reputation of the university.

As a result of Ken's vision and leadership, the department developed into one of the top departments in the country, with excellent Research Assessment Exercise ratings. Ken's achievements laid the foundation for the recent award of a Regius Professorship in Electronic Engineering to Surrey by Her Majesty the Queen. This is the first ever Regius Chair in Electronic Engineering in the country. He continued his association with the university after his retirement as dean, engaging in consultancy work including monitoring probationary lecturers.

Ken contributed to the local community as a governor of the Royal Grammar School, Guildford, in 1977. He became chairman of the Academic Committee before becoming chairman of governors until he retired from the Board of Governors in 2004, having served in that capacity for eight years. His influence on the development of the school was recognised for his contributions to the curriculum, especially the introduction of electronics and technology, and for leading the continued development of the school in this increasingly competitive world.

Ken was a very sociable person who was well known for his election night parties. He felt that all staff were important and he was very keen for tutors to the undergraduate students to know their students well, and supported staff student social events. Cricket was one of his passions. He was a keen cricket player and a member of the renowned MCC for more than 20 years, a keen and active member of Blackheath Cricket Club since 1970, and was captain of the University of Surrey Cricket Club in the 1970s.

Ken was a very popular member of staff and somebody who would always see the best in people and be keen to support staff in the development of their research and their careers.

He is sorely missed by his family, friends in Guildford, the University of surrey and the international ion implantation community. He is survived by a son and daughter and by his widow Carolynn.

Remembered by Prof Bernard L Weiss (Emeritus Professor Electronics at the University of Sussex)

3 May 1931 - 26 June 2013

Elfriede Therese Dubois (née Pichler)

Elfriede Therese Dubois (BA French, 1943) died on 24 October 2013, at the age of 97. 

She first studied at the University of Birmingham from 1941 to 1943, graduating in 1943 in the Honours School of French with a first class degree. Her maiden name was Pichler.

She was subsequently awarded an MA in 1945 for her thesis on Leon Bloy. She shared the Constance Naden Medal prize for the best M.A. of the year. 

Elfiede came to Birmingham University thanks to a group of Quakers who pooled money, in order to pay for all the costs for my mother attending university. Furthermore she was a Jewish refugee from Vienna, who came to the UK in 1939. She had been expelled from Vienna University in 1938, because she was Jewish, having completed three years of a four year degree in French and Classics. Her tutor was Miss Jane Milne, who became a lifelong friend and an inspiration as a teacher. She lived at Woodbrooke in her first year and received much help from the Quakers throughout, including lodgings during the holidays and opportunities for holiday work. 

Elfriede went on to teach at Newcastle University from 1948 to 1978, being awarded a personal readership in 1973. She mainly taught and researched in 17th century French literature, though she also worked on 19th and 20th French literature.

She completed her degree in Vienna in 1952. She was awarded a doctorate from the University of Paris in 1970. 

Elfriede last visited Birmingham University for the Alumni Reunion of the French Department on 6 May 2000.

My mother remained deeply grateful throughout her life for the opportunity that Birmingham University gave her to resume her student studies and allow her to subsequently work as university teacher, which she greatly cherished.

Dominique (her son)

Dr Edward Harry Wiseman (14 November 1934-13 September 2013)

(BSc Chemistry 1956, PhD 1959)

Edward "Ted" Harry Wiseman, 78, died peacefully on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, at Crescent Point, Niantic.

Ted was born Nov. 14, 1934, and married Jean Pigott on Aug. 10, 1957 in Portsmouth England. After graduating from Birmingham University, UK with his Ph.D in organic chemistry, he spent a year at Ohio State University. Ted joined Pfizer Central Research in Groton in 1961 and retired in 1998.

At Pfizer his career started as a chemist and then moved into biochemistry, then pharmacology. He later became director of pharmacology and then participated in merging all the Pfizer research sites in Sandwich, UK, Amboise, France, and Nagoya, Japan. Ted and his team of researchers discovered and developed Feldene, Pfizer's first billion dollar product.

He became executive director and was responsible for enlarging the Groton campus and providing security and fire services, health services, and providing construction and maintenance of some one million square feet of new laboratories and support elements.

After retiring in 1998, Ted spent four years as a consultant for Pfizer. Once his consultant days were over, he spent the majority of his time with Jean traveling, spending time with family, collecting stamps and gardening.

Ted in his early days enjoyed playing soccer and refereeing. For 10 years, he was in a barbershop chorus and sang most of the comic baritone roles in Gilbert and Sullivan operettas with the East Lyme Arts Council.

Ted is survived by his wife, Jean; and four sons, Karl Wiseman and wife, Mitzi, of Houston, Texas, Paul Wiseman and wife, Tracy, Neil Wiseman and wife, Debbie, and David Wiseman and wife, Kari, all of Waterford.

"Papa" as his grandchildren called him, loved spending time with Jordan, Taylor; Victoria, Jake; Taylor, Ryan, Derek, Nicola; Adyson and Brady.

There will be a "Celebration of Life" held from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17, at the Thomas L. Neilan & Sons Funeral Home, 48 Grand St., Niantic. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18, at St. John's Episcopal Church, 400 Main St., Niantic.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the following organizations:Alzheimer's Association CT Chapter, 2075 Silas Deane Hwy., Rocky Hill, CT 06067, Vitas Hospice Services, 628 Hebron Ave., Glastonbury, CT or donate online www.vitas.com/community/Donate.

Condolence messages may be left on Mr. Wiseman's memorial page at www.neilanfuneralhome.com.

Ann Bennett (28 June 1926- 4 May 2013)

(BA, French Language & Literature, 1947)

She was incredibly proud of her time at the University of Birmingham and continued to enjoy receiving updates from the University over the years.

Sir Kenneth Murray (30 December 1930-7 April 2013)

(BSc Chemistry, 1956; PhD Chemistry, 1959;  DSc Honorary Degree, 1995)

Sir Kenneth Murray was one of the most prominent scientists in the United Kingdom, a pioneer in scientific innovation. His contribution to science has and continues to save many lives worldwide, having developed the first vaccine against viral hepatitis B.
Ken was born in Yorkshire 30 December 1930, bought up in the West Midlands by his father a miner turned school caretaker. Leaving school at 16 to become a laboratory technician, he then studied part-time gaining a first class chemistry degree from the University of Birmingham, going onto further study, obtaining a PhD in microbiology in ().

It was in Birmingham where he met wife Noreen Parker, then studying a PhD in Microbial Genetics, they married in 1958. Kenneth and Noreen would go on to be close scientific collaborators. Noreen passed away in 2011.

Ken returned to the UK in 1964 after researching at Stanford University, America. He worked at the Medical Research Council laboratory of molecular biology until 1967 when he joined the University of Edinburgh in what was the only department of molecular biology in the country. He and his colleagues went on to make the University a world leader in Molecular biology. Ken was head of biology in Edinburgh from 1976-1984 and Biogen Professor of Molecular Biology from 1984 to his retirement in 1988.

It was in 1978 that Ken and colleagues created the vaccine that was effective in treating hepatitis.

Ken’s scientific interests lay in methods for sequencing, or deciphering, strands of DNA code. He developed methods based on new ideas, to isolate specific genes, and so began genetic engineering.

Along with colleagues, he developed recombinant DNA technology, or gene cloning. This represented a revolution for scientists in terms of understanding how cells work, how genetics work and how the development of organisms is controlled and how it can go wrong.

Ken used these ideas as he looked create a vaccine for the liver disease, hepatitis B. He found a way to identify the hepatitis B virus and then produced a man-made vaccine. With genetic engineering being a completely new technology, much of the research was done under secure conditions. 

Soon after he was involved in the establishment of Biogen, which commercially developed the vaccine for use. The vaccine is now used around the world.

Murray used income from the commercialisation of the vaccine to found the Darwin Trust in 1983. The trust has supported the education of many young scientists, and helped to fund research and improved facilities at the University of Edinburgh. Following his retirement Murray dedicated himself increasingly to the trust’s efforts.

He was knighted in 1993.

More recently the Noreen and Kenneth Murray Library was built at the King’s Buildings Science Campus at the University of Edinburgh, recognising the couple’s distinguished careers and their commitment to the advancement of science and engineering.

Dr Malcolm Herbert Stroud (17 May 1920-15 March 2013)

I first met Malcolm (MBChB, 1945) in a small group of Freshmen outside the Great Hall of Birmingham University, within moments I noticed his steady gaze and quiet demeanour, we talked a little.  Later at the medical School, we shared confidences about school and home life.  I was sure I had found a new friend.  Malcolm went on to complete his qualification.  M.B.ChB., in 1945 and later M.R.C.S., F.R.C.P.  He was appointed as house surgeon at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (B'ham) and thence to Kidderminster in February 1946.  Soon Malcolm was called into the Army to serve his period of National Service.  Army life completed he joined Dudley Road Hospital, Birmingham.  Further studies rewarded him with F.R.C.S. in 1952.  Malcolm became first assistant to the Professor of E.N.T. Studies,  University of London 1953-'55 and, later appointed Consultant Surgeon to Dudley Road Group of Hospitals, Birmingham.  At about this time Malcolm identified opportunities for advancement in the United States.  He was offered and accepted a position at Washington University school of medicine in st.Louis, Missouri, to  commence on July 1, 1965 as assistant Professor.  in July 1972 he was appointed Professor, Malcolm's bright and questioning mind took him deeply into the field of Otolaryngology, now supported by facilities which a few years ago were just a dream.  With the feasibility of improved treatment in a number of procedures, Malcolm produced several papers which were published and benefitted the profession as a whole,

Malcolm's abiding concern was, will it work?  His self effacing demeanour endeared him to all who knew him - a big ego had no place in his make up.  He had a great sense of humour, it was just below the surface, one could generate a belly laugh at any time in his company.  A friend I shall sorely miss, who's lost expertise will be felt both sides of the Atlantic.

Our deepest sympathy goes to Malcolm's lovely wife Barbara and their children Jane, Nigel and Honor. 

Peter Goodwin

David J Arnold 17 May (1960-10 January 2013)

David (BSc Minerals Engineering, 1981)  spent most of his career in South Africa with Anglo American Corporation, De Beers, Impala Platinum, Bateman and Hatch. David was a respected metallurgist and led numerous successful projects during the course of his career. David was an outstanding sportsman and played cricket, soccer and rugby with great skill. David represented the University at rugby. He was also an avid Manchester City fan.

David is survived by his wife Bonny, his children Mel, Roxanne and Leane as well as his parents and family back in Manchester.

This obituary was provided by his former classmates from the School of Minerals Engineering in the memory of a great metallurgist, sportsman and friend.

Dr Stanley Faulkner Barton (30 December 1927 - 8 October 2012)

Stanley Barton died quietly October 8, 2012 with his family by his side in Casa de la Luz Hospice, Tucson, Arizona after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease.  A former long time resident of Westport, Stan was born in Halesowen, Worcestershire, England on December 30, 1927, son of the late Lazarus Barton and Alice Faulkner Barton.    He graduated from Halesowen Grammar School and the University of Birmingham with a PhD in Chemical Engineering.  He and his late wife, Marion, emigrated to Canada in 1953, where he worked for the Canadian Defense Establishment in Halifax, Nova Scotia developing coatings for Canadian Navy vessels.   After a move to Ottawa, Ontario, he was employed by Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati, Ohio, at their Miami Valley Laboratory as a food chemist,  and he completed his career with ITT and ITT Rayonier in the Natural Resources and Forest Products divisions both in New York City and Stamford, CT.   He and his wife retired to Tucson, Arizona in 1991.

Stan’s passion was music, and he reassembled and installed a 1927 Wurlitzer pipe organ from the Ward Avenue Theater in the Bronx, NY, in his basement in Westport, entertaining family and friends over the years.   He was a former member of the Connecticut Valley Theater Organ Society. 

Stan is survived by his daughter and son-in-law of Middlebury, CT, Carolyn Barton Scholl and Robert P. Scholl, also former Westport residents, as well as his niece, Rita M. Harrold, of Wayne, New Jersey, and four step-grandchildren and their families.  He was predeceased by his wife of 56 years, Marion Brittain Barton, and their daughter, Andrea.

Laurence Walter Keates (18th Jan 1929 - 27th May 2011)

Laurence Keates, who was born in 1929, read Spanish at the University of Birmingham, from where he graduated in 1952, having obtained a Distinction for the spoken language element of his degree programme.  Whilst at Birmingham, he also took an optional course in Portuguese and, after graduation, left for Portugal where, for two years, he immersed himself in intensive study of the language and literature of that country.  Awarded a Portuguese government scholarship at the University of Lisbon during his second year, he also began work on an MA thesis on the major 16th-century Portuguese playwright and poet, Gil Vicente.  In 1955, he took up a post at Queen’s College, Guyana (at that time still known as British Guiana), where he taught French, Spanish and Portuguese to ‘A’ and ‘S’ level.  He remained at the College until 1958, becoming head of the Modern Languages Faculty in his final year.  During this period he also appeared regularly on Radio Demerara, the country’s oldest radio station, presenting talks and book reviews and chairing discussion groups for the British Council.

Returning to Lisbon, Laurence Keates spent two years as an English Assistant at the University.  He was awarded his MA by Birmingham in 1959.  He came to Leeds as Assistant Lecturer in 1961. He was promoted to Lecturer in the following year and to Senior Lecturer in 1972.   From the outset, Laurence Keates was prominently involved in enlarging the scope and reach of Portuguese studies within the University; one significant fruit of this was the introduction at the end of the 1960s of new two-subject degree schemes, combining Portuguese with one other subject (hitherto, Portuguese had been offered as part of the BA in General Studies and as an ancillary subject).  The increasing popularity of Portuguese owed much to his character, temperament and enthusiasm.  Teaching in a very friendly and human way, he enthused his students – his Head of Department once wrote that students of Portuguese at Leeds radiated a real excitement about their subject.  He also regularly taught Spanish within the department.  The annual Portuguese Weeks which he organised throughout the 1970s and 1980s, and which included films, exhibitions and lectures, gave a wider audience an insight into the riches of Portuguese culture.  In very large measure as a result of his endeavours and achievements, Leeds became the largest and most active centre for Luso-Brazilian studies outside King’s College, London.  This status was borne out in the decision to make Leeds the venue for the second Congress of the International Association of Lusitanists in 1987.  Reflecting his international standing, Laurence Keates was a vice-president of the Association.

Laurence Keates published a number of articles on Portuguese literary figures and texts.  With financial support from the Portuguese Instituto de Alta Cultura, his MA thesis was published as The Court Theatre of Gil Vicentein 1962; later, he produced a Portuguese translation of this work: O teatro de Gil Vicente na Corte(1988).  He also wrote several articles, including the main article on ‘Portugal’, in the Cambridge Guide to World Theatre(1988).  His textbooks include a very well-received limited edition First Course in Portuguese

Laurence Keates was a remarkable educator who encouraged his students to think beyond set questions and investigate in detail the many different aspects of global Portuguese language and culture.  He was possessed of a dry, gentle wit and delivered anecdotes with a distinct twinkle in his eye and a quiet chuckle.  He was always available for consultation and willingly shared with his students his extraordinarily wide range of knowledge.

Although he retired from his University post in 1989, Laurence Keates continued regularly to attend and support departmental events in both Portuguese and Spanish for many years afterwards.

Laurence Keates is survived by his wife, Sita, daughters, Clare and Antonia, son, Gawain, and six grandchildren.  Another daughter, Berenice, died in 2001.

Peter Norman (26 July 1923 - 12th Feb 2012)

In 1942, when Peter (BSc Physics, 1944) a first year student of maths and physics, received his callup papers he hoped to go into the RAF.  However, the interviewing officer remarked that he looked very young and sent him back to Birmingham.  He completed a wartime (two year) degree in 1943 and was directed, not into the armed forces, but to the Signals Research and Development Establishment in Christchurch.  He was still there in 1945 when he contracted polio and spent several months in hospital.  Left with a weakened leg but otherwise reasonably fit, he was eventually able to return to Birmingham to complete his honours degree in 1948.

Accepted on a graduate scheme by Standard Telephones and Cables (later Nortel), he remained with them until retirement in 1985.  In 1968 a device he and a colleague had developed won for the firm a Queen's Award for technological innovation.  He earned the respect of his colleagues for his expertise, quite hard work, encouragement of juniors and, when necessary, plain speaking.

Outside work his activities included politics, gardening and bee keeping.  After retirement he added other hobbies including amateur radio, astronomy and computers, together with his lifelong interest in music and reading - usually science fiction.

In 1996 he began to suffer the late effects of polio (PPS, or post polio syndrome), bringing increased muscle weakness.  He took to a mobility scooter, and remained cheerful and occupied.  He suffered a stroke earlier this year, and gradually declined over the next few weeks.

Myrtle Day Matthews, (nee Leggett) (27 Oct 1920- 8 Nov 2011)

(BA, History, 1942; Dip, Education, 1943)

Myrtle Leggett lived as a child in Portsmouth. She did very well at school, going to the local grammar school in Portsmouth.

Despite her good academic success, it was never good enough for her Mother who wanted her to be better, even though her own academic achievements were not great. Myrtle enjoyed some sports, tennis, netball and long jump, where she became Portsmouth junior champion. She hated cricket!

She went to Birmingham University during the war on a part scholarship to read history and it was here she blossomed and made more life long friends. Doris Rolley, of the same vintage is the only one left of this close knit friendship.

Despite the difficulties that the war caused it was said that the exam results were among the best achieved. Myrtle was told by her History tutor that she should have got a first had she worked a little harder, to which she replied “but I had fun!”

She told the story that most nights they had to sleep in air raid shelters. The German bombing was particularly heavy one night and she and her friends nervously chattered. A voice was heard above the bombing from a man “I say you girls could you keep the noise down some of us are trying to sleep!”

She attempted to be part of a fire watch team and the fireman laughed as the girls tried to control a hose.

She represented her university at netball and after gaining her degree stayed a further one year to train as a teacher.

During this time she became engaged to one of the boys at University.

She started a teaching job in Crewe and in 1946 she went home for half term and to bury her beloved Grandmother and was expecting a miserable time. Here she met Teddy. They had a whirlwind romance (she had broken off her previous engagement) and married in May 46. Teddy was economical with the truth about his work and his family, and Myrtle said if I had met your family first I would never have married you! To which he replied I know that’s why we got married so quickly!

Teddy had a career in the diplomatic service and they were posted to Bucharest, then Klagenfurt where her daughter, Anne Louise was born in 1951, her son Christopher was born in 55 with her returning to Portsmouth to have him, then returning to Klagenfurt. Later they were posted to Munich. Along with spells back in the Uk, they were in Berlin during the wall going up. Christopher as a very young boy thought it was great with all the tank movements going on. Myrtle had at last bought a Bendix washing machine which was huge. They wanted to evacuate all, but my she refused to leave her washing machine. The army typically suggested giving her a pram to wheel it! It must have weighed 150 lbs!

The family then went to Kuwait which Myrtle called “a living hell” it was very restrictive for women, but fortunately Myrtle made great friends with the ambassador’s wife and so kept busy.

They returned to Caterham in 1966 and moved from a bungalow in Elgin Crescent to Whyteleafe Rd,. Unfortunately her husband became ill with cancer and died in1970.

After the service the family followed the hearse to the burial site. The hearse speed up and it became a Benny Hill type moment with them trotting behind! Myrtle commented that we should win a medal which lightened the occasion for us, especially for her son, a bewildered 15 year old.

At the time of her husband’s death she was working part time at Whyteleafe School, but needed a full time job, as her husband said he would never leave her a wealthy widow, which was true! She gained a full time job at Wallington High school for girls and eventually became Head of History.

Here she again made lifetime friends who have commented how she told lively stories always with humour but never malicious. In fact a colleague teacher Pauline recounts the story of Myrtle and her in the garden while her husband Roger was gardening with his shirt off. Myrtle quickly commented “A Poor woman’s Chippendale” She loved her time at Wallington particularly teaching the 6th formers. She went on many trips with them always protecting and demanding high standards from “My girls”.

After she retired often former pupils would meet her in the street and tell her how much her positive influence helped them in their future lives. This brought great comfort to her. She also was active in the school theatre performing soliloquies. She went on to volunteer for Save the Children and the Miller centre, knitted numerous squares to make blankets and enjoyed helping the community.

She was a most generous and kind woman who did not have a mean bone in her body. She was very intelligent, a Mensa member (score 155), but never belittled people with less. All that encountered her had their lives enriched by her compassion and ready wit. She was once asked many years ago why was it that men as they got older became bad tempered and crotchety. She replied “That’s because they were like it when they were younger!”

She looked after both her Mother and Mother in law, travelling often to see them, but never complained about these extra demands on her time.She helped with all her grand children enriching all their lives.

Her son moved to Phoenix Arizona in 2009. For the remainder of the time she spent as much of her life with them, making 9 trips, only inhibited with the short length of medical cover she could acquire for each trip.

She formed a very close 7 year relationship with Amy, Christopher’s American wife, which was more than daughter in law to mother in law. to maximize her time with us. She loved Arizona and the climate and would sit in the garden and comment on the blue sky, with not a cloud in the sky. She would receite a poem (that we are so grateful for Doris Rolley her university friend, for being a non computer search engine to tell us where to find it.)

It is by Robert Southey and called After Blenheim.

Here is the first verse.

It was a summer evening
Old Kasper’s work was done
And before his cottage door,
Was sitting in the sun
And by him sported on the Green,
His little grandchild Wilhemine.

She would then say that’s the only time she had heard that name.

At the time she left Birmingham she had been asked to study further but she declined as it would have put too much of a financial burden on her parents. Just as well, as Myrtle had a very interesting and varied life. She lived in various European countries during the height of the “Cold War” and was often left alone for periods with her children.

She was resilient and resourceful and sited that her time at Birmingham during the war years formed the corner stone for her life both academically and socially. It was in fact the springboard for her fulfilled life and the hardships suffered during the war years, rather than make her bitter, lead to being a true humanitarian, passing on her values as a parent, a well loved teacher and a true friend to many.

Christopher Matthews (son) 25th November 2011