Obituaries 2003-13


Alan Vickers - Physics 1966 - 72

passed away on 5 November 2013.

Alan Vickers QEC College Photograph 1968Alan joined the Physics department run by Professor Burge as an undergraduate in October 1966 after being the first student at his school in Ipswich to get A level Physics.

He graduated in the summer of 1969 and was awarded the accolade of the best Physics degree in the whole of the University of London. This was testament to his hard work, dedication and intellect. Shortly after term finished he married his long time fiancée, Tina, who returned with him to London while he embarked on a PhD in UV Spectroscopy. He completed this 3 years later and decided to take a job with the MoD at Colchester so that he could bring up a family in Ipswich close to family and friends.

Alan was always calm and capable as is so often the case with someone with a strong intellect. He was always prepared to help others and made lifelong friends at QEC. Like many of us his appearance was influenced by the big social changes of the Sixties. A blow up from the 1968 college group photo is attached.

For the last years of his life Alan suffered from Alzheimer’s.  At his humanist funeral his unique abilities were celebrated by some heart felt eulogies.

By David Fry (Physics Dept. 1966 - 1969)

Dr. Marek Walach
Ann Wood writes :
Last night I heard that an alumnus of QEC, Dr Marek Walach, dieDr Marek Walach - tea in Holland Park 11 June 2006d last Thursday evening (23 Feb 2012) following a heart attack.

I’ve known him almost exactly 38 years since he came to QEC for his interview for a place to do Microbiology – his older sister was one of my best pals in my hostel (she was at Imperial).  Anyway he was 55.  Way too young and way too soon.  He was at QEC from 1975-78 then went to UCL to do a PhD, then came back to QEC as a postdoc for several years thru’ the 1980s working for Prof Pirt in the basement fermenter suite in the Atkins building.

Some of you may remember he came on the 2006 Sunday reunion walk in Kensington – from the Windsor Castle to the tea house in Holland Park! I’ve attached a photo of him and his wife Sibel Roller-Walach at our final stop having tea/coffee.   He’d taken early retirement about 18 months ago, and Sibel also took early retirement (from Thames Valley Univ) last August – so their yearned-for retirement life was cut very short.

Christopher Frank Thurston (29/6/1944 – 18/7/2008).
The news of Chris’ death brought both sadness and relief at his final escape from the illness that has dogged him since his heart attack just over eight years ago. For a full obituary written by the Chair of the QEC Association, Ann Wood, please click here.

Joan Hunter Dunn, the doctor's daughter from Hampshire who was the muse for Sir John Betjeman's greatest love poem, has died 18 April 2008 in London aged 92.

Joan Hunter Dunn, KCHSS, muse to Sir Joh BetjemanShe was born on October 13 1915. After obtaining a diploma at King's College of Household and Social Science, she joined the catering department at London University before the war. She was the inspiration for Joan Hunter Dunn, the English rose from the Home Counties whom the poet courted on the tennis court and fell in love with in his celebrated poem, A Subaltern's Love Song.

The opening lines of the poem, published in the war, established her for posterity.

Miss J. Hunter Dunn, Miss J. Hunter Dunn,
Furnish'd and burnish'd by Aldershot sun.

There are obituaries available from the following web sites :, and

Dr James B Heale (Jim) has died (18 Feb 2008) following a massive stroke. He was a lecturer at QEC and subsequently King's College following the merger in 1985, in the Division of Biosphere Sciences and then Life Sciences. His subject was Plant Pathology and he was very well known in the area. He supervised many PhD students especially overseas ones.  He retired on health grounds following a stroke in about 1999-2000.

James Richard Lusty, academic and administrator, born March 27 1951; died February 4 2008. Click here for an obituary copied from The Guardian.

Professor Sir Howard Dalton, who died on Saturday 12 January 2008 aged 63, rose from humble beginnings to become a hugely influential microbiologist with particular expertise in the fields of global warming, bio-fuels and animal disease, such as foot-and-mouth and avian flu.

Prof Howard Dalton giving the talk at the QEC Annual Reunion 2003Ann Wood, our Chair, knew him well and says “I am still in shock. I had known him for over 30yrs as a brilliant colleague, a good neighbour, a good laugh, a great friend and the only knight of the realm who would give me a bear hug whenever we met. He had done so much to bring science and scientists into politics and decision-making for the benefit of everyone.  I don't think he had an enemy in any sphere. What a loss.”

Prof. Dalton gave the talk at our 2003 Annual Reunion, when he was Chief Scientific Advisor to Defra. A full obituary appeared in The Daily Telegraph, which is repeated in full here.

David Anthony (Fred). Suddenly at his home in London on the 3rd January 2008 aged 66 years..—Dearly loved son of Frank and Eileen (both deceased) and dear brother and uncle to Jan, Martyn and family. He will be greatly missed by family and friends. Funeral service at St Richards Church, Ham, on Tuesday 22nd January at 11.30 a.m. followed by private committal at Mortlake Crematorium. Family flowers only please. Donations if desired to Kirklees Badger Protection Group of 9 School Lane, Kirkheaton, Huddersfield, HD5 0JS or Hastings Badger Protection Society of 304 Bexhhill Road, St Leonards on Sea, TN38 8AL (from The Telegraph, 15 Jan 2008)

Dr Armitage lectured at QEC in Chemistry from the 1970s until he retired from Kings just a few years ago. Whilst looking for details of Fred on the Internet I came across the following website from someone who was clearly a very good friend of Fred Armitage.

A memorial service is to be held in the Kings College Chapel for Fred on Tuesday 13 May 2008 at 5.30pm, to be followed by a reception in Chapters.

David L Yudlevich, former Head of Physiology 1974 - 1985, passed away in London in May 2006. A full obituary can be found here.

Dr David Lovatt (1954-2005) a former undergraduate in Microbiology (1973-76) died on Saturday May 28th 2005.  He went on to the Dept of Environmental Sciences at the University of Warwick where he obtained a PhD under the supervision of Howard Slater.  He leaves a wife Rowena, and two teenage children, Tim and Jessica. He was well known by Ann Wood who knew him at both QEC and Warwick.

We received sad news of the death of John Vaughan, who died on 17th May 2005.

John was Emeritus Professor of Food Sciences at King's College, London, where he worked on the seed anatomy of oil plants. He had a long association with Kew, particularly the Library and the Centre for Economic Botany. He lived in Petersham and was a fJohn Vaughanrequent visitor to Kew, most recently in connection with a planned third edition his New Oxford Book of Food Plants.

The photograph shows John, in the centre, at the 2004 Reunion with his wife Rita. The man on the left is John Garlick (who was the accountant at QEC for over 40 years).
A full obituary, kindly provided by John’s son Anthony, can be found here.

Joan de Salis, Zoology, 1961

Michael O’Wise, Science, 1984

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