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Preface to the online release, January 2014

By Lawrence Goldman



Highlights gallery of the January 2014 content


Welcome to the 28th update of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography which, since it was first published in September 2004, has been updated in January, May, and September of each year. The January 2014 update adds biographies of 219 people who died in 2010. Of these, the judge Alan King-Hamilton, was the earliest born (in December 1904), while Lee Alexander McQueen, fashion designer, was the latest, born in March 1969. Among the group as a whole there are seven centenarians, but the majority of those now added were born between the two World Wars. Of the 219 people who died in 2010, 49 are women. They also include 27 former contributors to the Oxford DNB and the supplements of its predecessor, the Dictionary of National Biography. We note in particular Tom Bingham, an associate editor of the Oxford DNB for the lives of twentieth-century judges, and Tony Howard, the associate editor for twentieth-century journalists, both of whom were especially helpful advisers to the dictionary. Also noteworthy are the relationships between several of the subjects now included: the actors Corin and Lynn Redgrave were siblings; Raymond Allchin, an expert in the material culture of the Indian subcontinent, and Donald Allchin, a theologian and scholar, were brothers; and Lucienne and Robin Day, respectively a textile and a furniture designer, were husband and wife.


As ever, a selection of these new articles and a list of all new subjects added to the dictionary are freely available. The complete dictionary (59,003 biographies and over 500 theme articles) is available, free, in nearly all public libraries in the UK, and college and university libraries worldwide. Most libraries (including UK public libraries) offer ‘remote access’ that enables members to log in at any time at home (or anywhere they have internet access). Full details of participating public libraries and how to gain access to the complete dictionary are available here.



Medicine and veterinary science

The January 2014 update includes a number of figures from medicine, notably the Nobel laureate and pharmacologist Sir James Whyte Black (1924-2010), who invented a range of drugs including the first successful beta-blocker, propranolol, used to treat heart conditions, and cimetidine, used to treat stomach ulcers and the first drug to achieve annual sales in excess of £1 billion. He is joined by Alex Bangham (1921-2010), a haematologist and the inventor of liposomes (originally called Banghasomes), used in drug delivery for chemotherapy, in vaccine production, and in the cosmetics industry; by Wallace Fox (1920-2010), who treated tuberculosis by short courses of chemotherapy, thereby leading to treatment at home and the closure of sanatoria worldwide; and by the neurosurgeon John Gillingham (1916-2010) who made important contributions to stereotactic surgery in the management of Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. Three of our subjects were involved in paediatrics: John Waterlow (1916-2010) was a physiologist and nutritionist who transformed the treatment of severe infant malnutrition in the developing world, saving numerous lives; Otto Wolf (1920-2010) described Edwards’ Syndrome and worked on metabolic disorders in children; and John M. Tanner (1920-2010) was an auxologist who broadened the range of human growth patterns considered ‘normal’, and whose work on variations in human growth across time and between social groups has been influential in many other disciplines. Tanner’s growth charts are now used extensively. He also criticized the over-use of growth hormones. The psychiatrists David Hazell Clark (1920-2010) and Bertram Mandelbrote (1923-2010) were pioneers of social therapy in psychiatry and the development of therapeutic communities—Clark at Fulbourn, near Cambridge, and Mandelbrote at Littlemore, near Oxford. Sir Donald Acheson (1926-2010) was the chief medical officer between 1983 and 1991 who oversaw the response to HIV/AIDS and BSE during that period and who later published an influential report into health inequalities in Britain.


The veterinary scientist Walter Plowright (1923-2010) devised a successful vaccine for rinderpest, which is only the second disease (after smallpox) to have been completely eradicated. The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation later estimated the cost of the programme at $3 million, with benefits in excess of $300 billion. Another veterinary surgeon now included, Mary Brancker (1914-2010), whose interests included zoo animals, amphibians, invertebrates, and other exotic species, was the co-founder of the Society of Women Veterinary Surgeons. As the first, and for almost forty years the only, woman president of the British Veterinary Association, her presidential year coincided with a major outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in 1967.


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Mathematics, natural sciences, and engineering

Peter Hilton (1923-2010) was a wartime code-breaker at Bletchley Park who made significant contributions to algebraic topology and homology theory. The statistician John Nelder (1924-2010) worked on generalized linear models and statistical software packages, and combined his statistical and ornithological interests by exposing the fraud of the ‘Hastings rarities’ (an unusually large set of rare birds reported in the Hastings area by the taxidermist George Bristow). Muriel Nissel (1921-2010) was the government statistician who launched the ground-breaking Social Trends series in the 1970s. They are joined by three pioneers of computer science, pre-eminently Sir Maurice Wilkes (1913-2010), often described as the father of British computing, who led the Cambridge team which built EDSAC, the world’s first operational stored-program computer. Robin Milner (1934-2010) is regarded as one of the foremost theorists of computer science and the founder of ‘informatics’, who saw computers as ‘prosthetic devices’ that extend our reach. Peter Denyer (1953-2010) developed CMOS image sensors (allowing mobile phones and other devices to act as cameras) and was the first academic to lead a Scottish spin-out company that became a public limited company.


Brian Flowers, Lord Flowers (1924-2010) was a nuclear scientist who was recruited to the wartime atomic bomb project and then to the Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Harwell; he was subsequently a leading ‘statesmen of science’ as a popular rector of Imperial College, London and vice-chancellor of the University of London. He is joined by the astronomer Brian Marsden (1937-2010), an authority on comets and asteroids who, as director of the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams, was responsible for verifying and naming new astronomical phenomena, and who led the campaign to ‘demote’ Pluto from its status as a planet. The astrophysicist Geoffrey Burbidge (1925-2010)—together with his wife Margaret, Fred Hoyle, and William Fowler—wrote one of the most influential papers in astronomy, on the ‘synthesis of elements in stars’. Burbidge was later known for his advocacy of the ‘steady state’ as opposed to the ‘big bang’ theory of the universe’s origin. The chemist Sir Charles Reece (1927-2010) spent his career at ICI, where he was a key figure in integrating the company’s scientific research with its business objectives. Dudley Williams (1937-2010) was an organic chemist whose pioneering work involving nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectrometry led to advances in numerous areas of biological chemistry; in particular by elucidating the metabolism of vitamin D he enabled life-saving treatments for patients with kidney failure, and his work on vancomycin led to the development of new classes of antibiotic. The physiologist Richard Darwin Keynes (1919-2010) worked on the ionic basis of nerve impulses, contributing to Alan Hodgkin and Andrew Huxley’s Nobel prize-winning discoveries. Later he became a noted authority on his great-grandfather, Charles Darwin. The biochemist Patricia Clarke (1919-2010) did important work on the genetics and biochemistry of bacteria, and campaigned to get more women involved in science. The mycologist Terence Ingold (1905-2010) discovered and pioneered the study of aquatic fungi. Known as the ‘grand old man of British mycology’, Ingold published more than 100 papers after his eightieth birthday. Harry Whittington (1916-2010), geologist and palaeontologist, undertook painstaking work on the exceptionally well-preserved fossils of the Burgess Shale in Canada to reveal an astonishing array of ‘weird wonders’ that laid the scientific basis for understanding the ‘Cambrian evolutionary explosion’. David Cockayne (1942-2010) played a key role in the development of electron microscopy. The experimental psychologist Richard Gregory (1923-2010) made important contributions to the scientific understanding of perception, wrote widely on optical illusions, and contributed more generally to the public understanding of science.


Among the engineers now added in the Oxford DNB are two notable car designers, Harold Beach (1913-2010), responsible for the Aston Martin among other marques, and Spen King (1925-2010), designer of the Range Rover, who also worked on gas turbine cars and was described by a colleague as being ‘as near to the textbook definition of a boffin as anybody I've ever met’. The aeronautical engineer Gordon Lewis (1924-2010) pioneered jump-jet technology. The mechanical engineer Sir Hugh Ford (1913-2010) started as an apprentice with the Great Western Railway and went on to do wide-ranging work which led to new techniques in the manufacture of plastics and metals. Sir Frederick Warner (1910-2010), a leading expert on water pollution, chemical safety, and the design of chemical plants, led the first international team to Chernobyl in the Ukraine after the nuclear power-station disaster there in 1986 and called for the establishment of a group of retired scientists to enter radiation zones.


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Scholarship and education

The philosopher Philippa Foot (1920-2010) was a leading thinker in the field of ethics and morality, whose classic paper on the ‘trolley problem’ (concerning whether it is permissible to take life in order to save more lives) gave rise to a sub-discipline of ‘trolleyology’. A philosopher of a different type, Anthony Quinton, Lord Quinton (1925-2010), was an urbane and witty scholar who chaired the BBC’s ‘Round Britain Quiz’ as well as producing highly regarded books on metaphysics and Conservative political philosophy. The art historian Rozsika Parker (1945-2010) brought feminist perspectives to the study of art history and was known especially for her history of embroidery, The Subversive Stitch (1983). Carola Hicks (1941-2010) reached a wide audience with her studies of the Bayeux tapestry and Tudor stained glass. In archaeology Raymond Allchin (1923-2010) was a leading figure in the study of the Indian subcontinent, while Honor Frost (1917-2010) was a pioneer of underwater archaeology—becoming an authority on stone anchors and pre-Roman Mediterranean ships.


Among the classicists and ancient historians now included are Sir Kenneth Dover (1920-2010), whose most famous and controversial study was of Greek homosexuality; Bernard Knox (1914-2010), a leading scholar of Greek literature who defended the study of ‘dead white males’; the Assyriologist Donald Wiseman (1918-2010), who combined pioneering work on ancient Near Eastern tablets and inscriptions with a lifelong Christian evangelism, and R. A. Markus (1924-2010), one of the leading scholars of ‘late antiquity’ of his generation. Claude Blair (1922-2010) was the pre-eminent scholar of medieval and early modern arms and armour.


Historians now included demonstrate the international range of British scholarship. Jack Pole (1922-2010) was the leading British historian of the United States of his generation, and especially of the origins of the American Revolution. His work was as admired in the US as in Britain. After a distinguished career in SOE, Basil Davidson (1914-2010) pioneered the study of pre-colonial and modern Africa, to the extent that many Africans thought him one of their own. Alan Milward (1935-2010) emphasized the calculations of national interest involved in early European integration, provocatively titling his most famous book The European Rescue of the Nation State. Fred Halliday (1946-2010), a leading scholar of international relations and of the Middle East in particular, was a noted commentator on the Iranian revolution and Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, but broke with colleagues on the left over his support for intervention to restore Kuwaiti sovereignty in 1990-1. The historian and public intellectual Tony Judt (1948-2010) produced acclaimed books on twentieth-century European history but (having served as an interpreter with Israeli forces in the Six Day War in 1967) encountered fierce opposition for his later criticisms of the Israeli state. Also included is A. T. Q. Stewart (1929-2010), one of the leading Northern Irish historians of his generation, whose books elucidated the roots and patterns of sectarian violence in the province, and Kay Jones (1922-2010) a pioneering historian of the mental health services who was nevertheless unimpressed by the growing influence of revisionist historians and the ‘anti-psychiatrist’ movement.


Among economists, three figures stand out. Wynne Godley (1926-2010) was famous for his critical assessments of the British economy and his withering attacks on monetarism in the 1980s, though many of his predictions proved inaccurate. Robin Matthews (1927-2010) wrote pioneering works on trade cycles and a definitive account of recent British economic history, and was also a world authority on chess problems. Angus Maddison (1926-2010) was an economic historian with an interest in the long view who estimated global economic output back to the year 1 AD, and—in an argument that placed Asia at the centre of world economic history—provided evidence that the recent ‘rise’ of the economies of east Asia was merely restoring a natural balance and the status quo ante. The geographer Richard Lawton (1925-2010) was an internationally recognized expert on urbanization, population change, and migration in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Europe. The sociologist Mildred Blaxter (1925-2010) was a key figure in the emerging field of medical sociology. Mixing academic work with public administration, William Plowden (1935-2010) was a scholar of government who had a direct impact on policy as a member of the Central Policy Review Staff in the 1970s, as director of the Royal Institute of Public Administration, and as an expert adviser to many developing countries.


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Religious lives

The January 2014 update includes several religious leaders from different faith communities. Graham Leonard (1921-2010) was a conservative bishop of London who transferred his allegiance to Roman Catholicism in protest at the ordination of women, but was disappointed when few other Anglicans followed him. Conversely, Colin Slee (1945-2010) was dean of Southwark and the most courageously outspoken liberal Anglican of his generation. Donald Allchin (1930-2010) was a different sort of Anglican again—a theologian who was fascinated by the monastic tradition and the Orthodox church, and was a key figure in the revival of interest in Celtic spirituality. Michael Goulder (1927-2010) was also a leading theologian and biblical scholar who contributed to The Myth of God Incarnate (1977) but later became an atheist. Gai Eaton (1921-2010) was one of the most prominent British Muslims, who attacked extremist interpretations of Islam, as well as atheism, secularism, and materialism.


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Finance, business, and trade unionism

In this update we include three notable bankers from the City of London. Gordon Richardson, Baron Richardson of Duntisbourne (1915-2010), was first a merchant banker (chairman of Schroders) and then governor of the Bank of England from 1983 to 1993. He reorganized the Bank and oversaw its response to the secondary banking crisis of 1973-5 but his faith in informal arrangements for banking supervision was misplaced and he presided over a period when the Bank of England lost control of monetary policy to the government. Sir Brian Pitman (1931-2010) is widely regarded as the outstanding commercial banker of his generation. As chairman of Lloyds he built up its domestic business and saw its stock market value increase from £1 billion to £20 billion, notably avoiding the costly mistakes of his contemporaries and successors. John Gillum (1928-2010) was a merchant banker at Kleinwort Benson, Samuel Montagu, and N. M. Rothschild, and a key figure in various corporate takeover battles in the 1960s and 1970s, and in the privatizations of the 1980s.


Industrialists include the Northern Irish businessman and philanthropist Sir Allen McClay (1932-2010), who built up the pharmaceuticals giant Galen from scratch to become Northern Ireland’s first billion-pound flotation in 1997, and later created another firm, Almac, after Galen decided to shed jobs in Northern Ireland. Sir Michael Angus (1930-2010) was a dynamic chairman of Unilever, Whitbread, and Boots and also president of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). As deputy chairman of British Airways he orchestrated the removal of Lord King as chairman in the wake of the ‘dirty tricks’ dispute with Richard Branson and Virgin Atlantic. Sir Trevor Holdsworth (1927-2010) turned GKN into a key player in the motor components industry and was another president of the CBI. Sir Michael Hornby (1934-2010), chairman of the stationer and bookseller W. H. Smith, expanded and diversified the firm, and was also a controversial chairman of the Royal Horticultural Society. Hector Laing, Lord Laing of Dunphail (1923-2010), was chairman of United Biscuits but was probably better known as the treasurer of the Conservative Party and a personal friend of Margaret Thatcher. He was a firm advocate of corporate social responsibility who was described by one colleague as ‘the sort of man that most people would die for 90 per cent of the time—and the other 10 per cent of the time they could kill him’.


January’s update also includes the biographies of some pioneering and colourful retailers who made their businesses, and sometimes themselves, widely known to the British consumer. Retail tycoon Joseph Ettedgui (1936-2010), founder of the Joseph womenswear label, helped establish the modern retailing environment. The entrepreneur Vladimir Raitz (1922-2010), a pioneer of the package holiday as the founder of the Horizon holiday group, started in business in 1950 with 11 paying customers flying to Corsica (attracted, perhaps, by the inclusion in the package of as much local wine as they could drink). David Quayle (1936-2010) opened a DIY ‘superstore’ with his brother-in-law Richard Block in 1968, thus laying the foundations for the ‘B&Q’ chain, which he sold to Woolworth’s in 1980 for £16.8 million. Later he also founded the Ritz Video chain (with 800 stores by 1989). The most well-known of this group is undoubtedly the turkey farmer Bernard Matthews (1930-2010) who began in 1950 with 20 turkey eggs and a single paraffin oil incubator, and by the time of his retirement had built a business with 2500 employees and an annual turnover of £335 million. Often on television extolling the virtues of his ‘bootiful’ products, Matthews was much criticized for the quality of such culinary inventions as Turkey Twizzlers, and for the poor hygiene and cramped conditions on his turkey farms. As retailing grew in its importance to the British economy it spawned new academic disciplines to study its impact, as represented in the life of marketing scientist Andrew Ehrenberg (1926-2010), who made significant contributions to the understanding of consumer behaviour and the impact of advertising. John Shepherd-Barron (1925-2010) meanwhile was one of the pioneers of cash dispensing machines, although (as our article points out) not of ATMs as such: Shepherd-Barron’s machine dispensed cash in return for vouchers, and was similar to a chocolate vending machine.


From the other side of the negotiating table we include the lives of two significant trade unionists of the 1970s. Jimmy Reid (1932-2010) led the successful work-in at the Upper Clyde Shipyard in 1971-2 in defiance of Edward Heath’s Conservative administration which wanted to close it down, but his attitudes softened and he was later critical of Arthur Scargill’s leadership during the miners’ strike of 1984-5. Jayaben Desai (1933-2010) was the leader of the ultimately unsuccessful Grunwick strike from 1976 to 1978 in a factory where photographs were developed and printed at cut price. The strike attracted media attention and the support of many politicians and celebrities. Desai famously told her manager, ‘What you are running here is not a factory, it is a zoo. There are many types of animals in a zoo. Some are monkeys who dance to your tune, others are lions who can bite your head off. We are those lions, Mr Manager’.


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Political lives

Among those who joined the picket lines at the Grunwick factory was the leading political figure included in this update, Michael Foot (1913-2010). Foot was a scion of a famous west-country political dynasty, though the Foots were traditionally Liberals rather than socialists. He came to prominence as a journalist and as the author of Guilty Men, an indictment of the foreign policies of Stanley Baldwin, Neville Chamberlain, and their governments which was published in the summer of 1940. Foot was a man of contradictions: a firebrand left-wing orator and editor of Tribune, and yet a sensitive writer on history and literature. He was one of the ablest parliamentarians of his generation but disastrous as a Labour party leader in the early 1980s, ‘unable to cope with internal challenge—perhaps because he was too nice a man’ in the words of our article. He was the most pleasant of companions and yet a PR nightmare. In 1983 Foot led the Labour party to its worst election result since 1918, its manifesto described by Gerald Kaufman as ‘the longest suicide note in history’. Albert Booth (1928-2010), a traditional ‘Old Labour’ politician, was secretary of state for Employment in the same cabinet as Foot under the prime minister James Callaghan in the late 1970s, but he lost the safe seat of Barrow-in-Furness (whose principal employer was Vickers) in 1983 as a result of his commitment to CND. Ken Coates (1930-2010) was another socialist committed to nuclear disarmament, a tireless left-wing author and activist in the forefront of campaigns for workers’ control, who served as Labour MEP for Nottingham from 1989 to 1999, but was expelled from the party in 1998.


Three figures whose careers were spent in local government are indicative of Labour’s problems and divisions at this level of politics. Andrew Cunningham (1910-2010) was a trade unionist, a local government politician, and a Labour ‘baron’ in Durham whose involvement in the Poulson scandal in the north-east in the early 1970s led to his downfall. Frances Morrell (1937-2010) was a hard-left adviser to Tony Benn in the 1970s and the controversial leader of the Inner London Education Authority from 1983 to 1987, who later became a noted Europhile. Meanwhile, Andrew McIntosh, Lord McIntosh of Haringey (1933-2010), was the Labour leader of the Greater London Council who, after winning the GLC election in May 1981, was ousted immediately by Ken Livingstone but went on to a frontbench career in the Lords that lasted more than 25 years.


The other side of the House is represented by Dame Angela Rumbold (1932-2010) a forthright Conservative who served as education minister, was a key figure in the Thatcherite ‘No Turning Back’ group, and was later a strong Eurosceptic. Nicholas Lyell, Lord Lyell of Markyate (1938-2010), was solicitor-general under Thatcher and attorney-general under John Major, and was criticized by the Scott Report for his role in the Matrix Churchill affair. Peter Walker, Lord Walker of Worcester (1932-2010), was a self-made millionaire and ‘One Nation Conservative’ who nevertheless served as a minister throughout Thatcher’s administration. Relatively uncontroversial in cabinet, his method of purchasing companies in order to strip them of their most valuable assets was widely condemned in the 1970s. Winston Churchill (1940-2010), a Conservative MP with a colourful personal life, infuriated the party leadership with his right-wing views and the general public for profiting enormously from the sale of his grandfather’s papers. Sir Robin Maxwell-Hyslop (1931-2010) was a principled and independent-minded Conservative backbencher, an authority on parliamentary procedure, and ‘an archetypal member of the awkward squad’.


This update also includes the biography of Sir Cyril Smith (1928-2010), the prominent Liberal MP for Rochdale, known for his bulk and for plain speaking; regarded as one of the ‘characters’ in politics in the 1970s and 1980s, Smith’s reputation suffered a devastating blow after his death following revelations of child abuse. Billy Wolfe (1924-2010) was a left-of-centre leader of the Scottish National Party from 1969 to 1979 who helped transform it into a credible political force. Frank Crichlow (1932-2010) was the owner of the Mangrove Restaurant in Notting Hill and a key figure in the black community there. Anthony Wright (Antony Grey) (1927-2010) was a gay rights campaigner who was secretary of the Homosexual Law Reform Society and who was described by Lord Arran (who promoted the Sexual Offences Act 1967 in the Lords) as having done ‘more than any single man to bring this social problem to the notice of the public’. Edna Healey (1918-2010), a noted author and biographer in later life, was much more than just a leading politician’s wife. We also include the biography of Colin Tennant, third Baron Glenconner (1926-2010), one-time laird of Mustique and confidant of Princess Margaret who spent much of her time on the Caribbean island.


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Government, diplomacy, and the armed forces

Those whose careers were spent in public service include three notable civil servants. Sir Peter Baldwin (1922-2010) was first permanent secretary of the Department of Transport, 1976-82, later a transport historian, a campaigner for better transport for the disabled, stalwart of the Motorway Archive Trust, and the contributor of several Oxford DNB entries. Sir Kenneth Clucas (1921-2010) was permanent secretary of the Department of Trade in the early years of Margaret Thatcher’s government and a thoughtful advocate of civil service reform. Sir Idwal Pugh (1918-2010) was ombudsman from 1976 to 1979, in which role he produced a series of hard-hitting reports on Whitehall and the National Health Service. Sir Robert Mark (1917-2010) was the reforming commissioner of the Metropolitan Police from 1972 to 1977 who rooted out corruption and made it his ambition to ‘arrest more criminals than we employ’.


The update also includes five distinguished diplomats. Sir Peter Ramsbotham (1919-2010) was the British ambassador to Washington unceremoniously dumped in favour of the prime minister’s son-in-law, Peter Jay, in 1977. Sir Donald Maitland (1922-2010) was a leading Arabist who later became Edward Heath’s press spokesman, Britain’s permanent representative to the EEC, and (to some surprise) permanent secretary of the Department of Energy from 1979 to 1982. Sir Percy Cradock (1923-2010), ambassador to Beijing in the 1980s, helped negotiate the return of Hong Kong to China. Sir Robin McLaren (1934-2010), was also ambassador to Beijing at a time when the extension of voting rights in Hong Kong by its last governor, Chris Patten, led to chilly relations between Britain and China. Sir Marrack Goulding (1936-2010) had a high-flying career with the British diplomatic service before becoming a senior official at the UN from 1986 to 1997, where he transformed the UN’s peacekeeping operations. He ended his career as warden of St Antony’s College, Oxford.


Among those included from the armed services we include two quite different aviators. Air Chief Marshal Sir Thomas Prickett (1913-2010) was a Second World War bomber pilot who planned air operations at Suez in 1956 and played polo with King Hussein of Jordan. By contrast, Squadron Leader Mahinder Singh Pujji (1918-2010) was a Sikh RAF fighter pilot who served in all three major theatres of the Second World War, and was later a key figure in the campaign for recognition of the Indian and colonial contribution to Britain’s victory in the conflict. Also included in the January update are two naval officers who both entered the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, aged 13. Vice-Admiral Sir Lancelot Bell Davies (1926-2010) saw action against the German battleship Scharnhorst in 1943, and was later commandant of the NATO Defence College in Rome, while Vice-Admiral Sir Louis Le Bailly (1915-2010), a naval engineer, served on cruisers during the Second World War, produced a hard-hitting report on naval training, and ended his career as director-general of naval intelligence. Captain John Moore (1921-2010) was a submariner who devised a number of techniques to improve the covert landing and recovery of special forces, and who was later an acerbic and opinionated editor of Jane’s Fighting Ships.


The special operations and security services are represented by two women: Eileen Nearne (1921-2010) was a wartime SOE agent in France who was captured and tortured by the Gestapo, and never fully recovered from the ordeal, and Daphne Park, Baroness Park of Monmouth (1921-2010) was an intelligence officer who displayed ingenuity and bravery in a series of difficult postings during the Cold War and was later principal of Somerville College, Oxford.


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Legal lives

Our coverage of legal lives in this update takes in many different elements of the profession. Pride of place must go to Tom Bingham, Lord Bingham of Cornhill (1933-2010), a judge widely regarded as possessing the finest legal mind of his generation, who filled all the highest judicial offices (including as senior law lord) and paved the way for the creation of the Supreme Court. He is joined by three very different and controversial members of the judiciary. James Pickles (1925-2010) was a judge who frequently clashed with his superiors and who was described by Lord Hailsham, a former lord chancellor, as ‘a sort of anti-Judge who does all the things that a Judge ought not to do’. Pickles was later a columnist for The Sun and the Daily Sport. Alan King-Hamilton (1904-2010) was an outspoken Old Bailey judge who presided over the trial of Gay News editor Denis Lemon for blasphemy in 1977 and who called for the return of corporal punishment. Sir Cecil Clothier (1919-2010) was another judge who ruffled feathers, in his case as the first chairman of the Police Complaints Authority. They are joined by two legal academics. Sir Ian Brownlie (1932-2010) was a leading international lawyer and an authority on human rights; he represented Nicaragua against the US at the International Court of Justice but on the ‘cab rank principle’ also represented Yugoslavia against NATO. J. A. G. Griffith (1918-2010) was a radical legal scholar whose books questioned the independence and prejudices of judges. Cyril Glasser (1942-2010) was a solicitor who acted as adviser to Bishop Abel Muzorewa during the later stages of the process that led to majority rule in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe and the election of its first democratic government. He was also a key advocate for legal aid, and later built a substantial practice largely in the music industry.


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Social service and philanthropy

Philanthropists, social workers, and social entrepreneurs include Sir Harold Haywood (1923-2010), a key figure in the youth clubs movement who arbitrated between gangs of ‘mods’ and ‘rockers’ during their violent confrontations in Brighton in 1964. Later Haywood was director of the Royal Jubilee Trust and the Prince’s Trust (famously taking Prince Charles on a ‘plain clothes’ tour of Centrepoint in London in 1985), and a key figure behind the creation of the Multi-Faith Centre in Derby. Raymond Clarke (1925-2010) was an influential charity worker and social reformer with the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, the Personal Social Services Council, and the National Council of Voluntary Child Care Organisations. Lady Anne Tree (1927-2010) was the founder of Fine Cell Work, enabling prisoners to earn money through fine needlework; she was a firm believer in the therapeutic qualities of craftsmanship. Among philanthropists we include Mortimer Sackler (1916-2010), an Anglophile American pharmaceuticals entrepreneur who made money with the drugs MS Contin and OxyContin, and whose bequests benefited a wide range of British universities, museums, and art galleries. Also added is the biography of Leonard Wolfson, Lord Wolfson (1927-2010), who succeeded his father as chairman of Great Universal Stores but was happier running the Wolfson Foundation, which disbursed funds amounting to £600 million under his stewardship.


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Journalism, broadcasting, and food

Tony Howard (1934-2010), the left-leaning editor of the New Statesman in the 1970s, broadcaster, and obituaries editor of The Times, was one of the most astute and fluent political commentators of his generation. He is joined in the Oxford DNB by Alan Watkins (1933-2010), another independent-minded political journalist and columnist for 50 years who invented such phrases as ‘young fogey’ and ‘chattering classes’. Christopher Cviic (1930-2010) was a Croatian-born journalist and a leading commentator on the Balkans during the period of their instability in the 1990s. Among broadcasters associated with the BBC we include Brian Hanrahan (1949-2010), the much-admired BBC foreign correspondent best known for his coverage of the Falklands War and the Tiananmen Square massacre; Mary Malcolm (1918-2010), one of the first female announcers on the BBC, frequently called on to ad lib while technical faults were fixed, provide continuity, and wish viewers goodnight at closedown; Margaret Dale (1922-2010), a former dancer who brought ballet to television screens as a BBC television director between 1955 and 1976; and the radio arts broadcaster Judith Bumpus (1939-2010) who specialized in intimate portraits of great twentieth-century artists including Picasso, Hockney, and Francis Bacon. Stephen Hearst (1919-2010), was a refugee from Austria and an innovative television executive who brought Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation (1969) and Alistair Cooke’s America (1972) to the BBC and then ran Radio 3 from 1972 to 1978. Two notable commercial television executives are also included. David Hennessy, Lord Windlesham (1932-2010), was a liberal Conservative politician who was briefly leader of the House of Lords under Edward Heath, and pursued a parallel career in broadcasting as managing director of Grampian Television and later ATV. He clashed with the Thatcher administration over his report on the Thames TV programme Death on the Rock (1988). George Townshend, seventh Marquess Townshend (1916-2010), was not only a Norfolk landowner but also founding chairman of Anglia Television. The Welsh-language broadcaster Owen Edwards (1933-2010) was, from 1981 to 1989, the first chief executive of S4C.


Claire Rayner (1931-2010) was a trained nurse and widely-known ‘agony aunt’ for Woman’s Own and The Sun who published more than 100 books and was involved in numerous healthcare organizations and charities. Les Gibbard (1945-2010), the New Zealand-born Guardian political cartoonist, caused a political storm with his cartoon on the sinking of the Belgrano in 1982. Mary Evans (1936-2010), the founder of the Mary Evans Picture Library, supplied historical images to all forms of publication. Egon Ronay (1915-2010) was a Hungarian-born food critic who may well have done more to improve the quality of British food, restaurants, and hotels than any other person. Ronay was the founder of the series of eponymous restaurant guides, a scourge of British motorway, airport, and pub catering, and a tireless self-promoter. He would surely have approved of the inclusion in the Oxford DNB of Rose Gray (1939-2010), co-founder with Ruth Rogers of the River Café in London, once described as the best Italian restaurant in the world, and where Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, television chefs, began their careers, and of Shanta Pathak (1927-2010), co-founder with her husband Laxmishanker of the Patak’s spice empire, which has helped to revolutionize modern British eating habits and culinary practices.


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Literature and languages

Our list of popular and admired writers is headed by Beryl Bainbridge (1932-2010). She was briefly an actress (on stage and in Coronation Street) but is better known as a novelist whose dark and spare early works drew on her childhood and early adulthood, and who later turned to history for material in such books as Master Georgie (the Crimea), The Birthday Boys (Scott’s expedition to the Antarctic) and According to Queeney (Dr Johnson). Five times shortlisted for the Booker Prize, she received a posthumous special award in 2011. Alan Sillitoe (1928-2010) was the Nottingham-born author whose novels Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1958) and Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner (1959), both of them made into successful films, placed him firmly among the ‘Angry Young Men’ of his generation. The playwright, novelist, and screenwriter Alan Plater (1935-2010) was best known for his work for television, including scriptwriting for Z Cars and Softly, Softly, numerous short plays, and adaptations such as A Very British Coup (1988). Dick Francis (1920-2010) was famous as a jockey who in 1956 was in first place and within sight of the finishing line of the Grand National, riding the Queen Mother’s horse Devon Loch, when his mount collapsed under him. Later he became an enormously successful author of crime fiction. Elizabeth Jenkins (1905-2010) was a novelist and also a biographer best known for the semi-autobiographical The Tortoise and the Hare (1954) whose later biographical subjects included Lady Caroline Lamb, Jane Austen, and Elizabeth I.


This update includes three notable writers of children’s fiction. Eva Ibbotson (1925-2010) was a refugee from Nazism who went on to write acclaimed children’s books including Which Witch? (1979) and The Secret of Platform 13 (1994). Elisabeth Beresford (1926-2010) is best known for creating the Wombles of Wimbledon Common, and William Mayne (1928-2010) was the highly regarded author of more than 100 children’s books whose career and reputation were ruined by a conviction for child abuse. We also include the poets Peter Porter (1929-2010) and Edwin Morgan (1920-2010). Porter, born in Australia, won many admirers for the range of his subject-matter and the elegiac quality of his verse, and Morgan was popular for his playfulness and inventiveness, and was declared ‘national poet of Scotland’ by the Scottish parliament in 2004. Sir Iain Noble, third baronet (1935-2010), a financier whose passion for the Gaelic language led him to found the Gaelic college, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, on Skye, is included in this update. So too is Hywel Teifi Edwards (1934-2010), a leading scholar of nineteenth-century Welsh language and literature, and historian of the Eisteddfod.


Among critics pride of place goes to Sir Frank Kermode (1919-2010), the leading literary critic of his generation, who sought to bridge the gap between academics and the general reader and who was at home in all periods of English literature since the Renaissance. Stephen Wall (1931-2010), literary critic and Oxford academic, was a longstanding editor of Essays in Criticism. Experts in foreign literatures include the French scholar (and champion fencer) Dorothy Knowles (1906-2010), an authority on nineteenth- and twentieth-century French theatre; the BBC script editor and translator Barbara Bray (1924-2010), who brought the work of Samuel Beckett and others to English-speaking audiences; the Hispanist Anthony Close (1937-2010), a world-renowned expert on Cervantes; Arthur Hatto (1910-2010) a German scholar whose interest in archaic poetry led him to learn and then translate from the Kirghiz, Ostyak, and Mohave languages; and the Hong Kong-born Chinese scholar Din Cheuk Lau (1921-2010), who taught at SOAS in London and produced Penguin translations of classic Chinese texts as well as influential monographs on aspects of Chinese literature and language.


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Theatre, cinema, and entertainment

Notable figures from the theatre who died in 2010 include Corin Redgrave (1939-2010) and his sister Lynn Redgrave (1943-2010). Corin was an actor hugely admired by his peers who for many years set aside his career to engage in militant left-wing politics (but was perhaps best known for his sensitive portrayals of establishment figures). Meanwhile Lynn was a talented comic actress and star of Georgy Girl (1966) who moved to the US to escape the shadow of her famous family. Ian Carmichael (1920-2010) was best known for his portrayals of bumbling toffs such as Bertie Wooster and the detective Lord Peter Wimsey. He starred with Peter Sellers in the Boulting brothers’ film satire on British industrial relations, I’m All Right, Jack (1959). Cy Grant (1919-2010) was one of the first black actors to appear regularly on British television, combining calypso versions of the news on BBC’s Tonight (1957-60) with a raft of more serious roles.


Among film actors, we include Sir Norman Wisdom (1915-2010), the enormously popular slapstick comedian in the Charlie Chaplin mould, a hapless innocent in his screen roles who became a national hero in Albania. Jean Simmons (1929-2010) was a film star whose early promise in such films as Great Expectations (1946) and Hamlet (1948) was never fulfilled, but who kept working until the age of eighty. She is joined by two less elevated film actresses: Pamela Green (1929-2010) was a 1950s pin-up best known for her role in Peeping Tom (1959) and in various ‘naughtie nudies’, and Ingrid Pitt (1937-2010), a survivor of a Nazi concentration camp, who found fame as the Hammer studio’s ‘Queen of Horror’.


The wide range of directors and producers includes Wendy Toye (1917-2010), a talented dancer and choreographer who went on to direct ballets, musicals, operas, plays, and films. The Scottish actor, director, and broadcaster Tom Fleming (1927-2010) was an actor and director with the RSC and the Scottish Theatre Company, but was best known to the British public for his radio and television commentaries for state occasions. Also included is the theatre director Peter Cheeseman (1932-2010), a pioneer of theatre-in-the-round who preferred to work in the Potteries (first in Stoke and then in Newcastle-under-Lyme) than in London; and Clive Donner (1926-2010), the film director responsible for two of the stand-out films of the Swinging Sixties, What’s New Pussycat? (1965) and Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush (1968). Lionel Jeffries (1926-2010) was a much admired and successful theatre and film actor specializing in eccentrics (such as Grandpa Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) who is best known for adapting and directing The Railway Children (1970). Ronald Neame (1911-2010) was a cinematographer, producer, and director of more than 70 films in a 50-year career, including Oliver Twist (1948), Tunes of Glory (1960), The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969), and The Poseidon Adventure (1972). Finally, ventriloquist Ray Alan (1930-2010) was a frequent entertainer on television in the 1960s and 1970s, most famous for his pairing with the snobbish and drink-sodden character, Lord Charles.


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Art, design, and architecture

Among fashion designers, the most notable new addition to the Oxford DNB is Lee Alexander McQueen (1969-2010), who was one of the most radical and innovative fashion designers of the age: the ‘enfant terrible’ of fashion, known for his tailoring skills, outlandish designs, and frequently provocative catwalk shows, he also created the fashion for ‘bumster’ trousers. Catherine Walker (1945-2010) was the French-born fashion designer who helped make Diana, princess of Wales, a fashion icon. Lucienne Day (1917-2010) was a textile designer whose vibrant patterns brightened up many British homes in the 1950s. Her husband, the furniture designer Robin Day (1915-2010), was one of the key figures in post-war British design; over 50 million of his stackable polypropylene chairs were produced in his lifetime. Day’s design was manufactured and marketed by Hille, the family furniture firm transformed into a leader of contemporary design by the entrepreneur Rosamind Julius (1923-2010) and her husband Leslie. The potter and ceramic artist Gillian Lowndes (1936-2010) was best known for her radical and innovative use of new materials. The fashion photographer Brian Duffy (1933-2010) was a key figure in the Sixties who became almost as famous as his celebrity subjects. Among architects, Sir Roger Walters (1917-2020) was the architect to the GLC who oversaw the redevelopment of Covent Garden and commissioned the Thames Barrier, and Oliver Cox (1920-2010) was known for his colourful designs for Hertfordshire primary schools, and later for his pioneering low-cost developments in Jamaica.


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Music

Sir Charles Mackerras (1925-2010), the Australian-born composer, conductor, and musicologist, heads our list of classical musicians and conductors. Known for his wide repertoire, he also championed the work of Janáček. He is joined by a group of admired and well-known singers led by Dame Joan Sutherland (1926-2010), the great Australian soprano known simply as ‘La Stupenda’. Anthony Rolfe Johnson (1940-2010) was a farmer whose talent for singing led to an international career as a tenor best known for his interpretations of Bach and Britten. Philip Langridge (1939-2010) was an operatic tenor also known for his performances of works by Britten, and for emphasizing the theatrical dimension of opera. John Reed (1916-2010) was the principal comic baritone with the D’Oyly Carte for more than twenty years, renowned for his mastery of Gilbert and Sullivan’s ‘patter’ roles. And Kenneth McKellar (1927-2010) was a Scottish lyric tenor who turned from classical roles to Scottish popular and folk songs. He was a key figure in the White Heather Club (1959-68), regularly ushering in the new year on BBC television.


The most notable figure from pop music included here was better known as a promoter than a performer. Malcolm McLaren (1946-2010) was the businessman and impresario who opened a King’s Road boutique with his then partner Vivienne Westwood, and then, from 1976, masterminded the rise of the punk band, the Sex Pistols. Only later did he enjoy some limited success as a recording artist himself. Charlie Gillett (1942-2010) was a highly regarded music writer and broadcaster who wrote a seminal book on the history of rock’n’roll but was best known for introducing ‘world’ music to Western audiences. Mick Green (1944-2010) was an influential rock’n’roll guitarist with Johnny Kidd and the Pirates who influenced punk musicians, and later played with Paul McCartney, Van Morrison, and Brian Ferry. Two notable figures from the British jazz scene join this group. Sir Johnny Dankworth (1927-2010) was a jazz musician who enjoyed a sixty-year career as saxophonist, band leader, and composer (including of film music), often appearing with his wife Dame Cleo Laine. Harry Beckett (1923-2010) was a Barbadian-born jazz trumpeter and flugelhorn player who played with Charles Mingus and later the Jazz Warriors. Geoffrey Burgon (1941-2010) was a talented composer best known for his television and film scores, including Monty Python and Brideshead Revisited.


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Sporting lives

The largest personality among the sporting figures now added to the Dictionary was undoubtedly the footballer, Malcolm Allison (1927-2010), known as ‘Big Mal’. Allison made 238 appearances for West Ham United between 1951 and 1957, though he was most successful as team coach for Manchester City in the late 1960s. He was famed for his fedora, panache, and outspoken manner. He is closely followed by the snooker player Alex Higgins (1949-2010), known as ‘Hurricane Higgins’ for the speed with which he took his shots, who won two snooker world titles but succumbed to drink and his inner demons. Cricketer Sir Alec Bedser (1918-2010) was a complete contrast to these two. A master of seam bowling (who once clean-bowled Don Bradman for a duck), he played for Surrey and England in the 1940s and 1950s. In retirement Bedser became an England cricket selector in which role he was less successful, notably when he and his fellow selectors declined to pick Basil d’Oliveira for the 1968-9 tour of South Africa. Bedser was an old-school cricketer who looked with dismay on the antics of a younger generation. We include two rowers and a yachtsman in this update. Bert Bushnell (1921-2010) won a rowing gold at the 1948 Olympics with Dickie Burnell, and Andy Holmes (1959-2010) was a rower who won Olympic golds in 1984 and 1988, the latter with Steve Redgrave. Reg White (1935-2010) was a boat-builder and yachtsman who helped develop the popular Tornado catamaran, and won a gold medal at the 1976 Olympics. Greville Starkey (1939-2010) was a leading jockey who rode almost 2000 winners in a career on the flat lasting 33 years. Percy Sekine (1920-2010) was a key figure in the popularization of judo in Britain. Also included are two figures from Rugby Union. Jim Greenwood (1928-2010) was a Scottish rugby player and coach whose books, notably Total Rugby (1978), helped transform the modern game. Bill McLaren (1923-2010) was a Scottish schoolmaster who became the BBC’s ‘voice of rugby’ but turned down a full-time post since ‘A day oot' a Hawick's a day wasted’: viewers and listeners were all the better for the enthusiasm and interest he brought as a part-timer to his famous commentaries. Another household voice and face who did much to popularize and dignify the sport with which he was most associated was Harry Carpenter (1925-2010), the BBC boxing commentator. Carpenter commentated on most of the great fights in the 1960s and 1970s, including those of Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali, the world heavyweight champion, and later he formed a famous friendship with the British fighter, Frank Bruno. The life of Arnold Beckett (1920-2010), a pharmacologist who played a key role in the campaign against ‘doping’, reminds us of some of the less admirable realities of modern sport.


Our next online update

Our next online update, which will be published on Thursday 29 May 2014, will continue to extend the Oxford DNB’s coverage of men and women active from the middle ages to the late-twentieth century. May’s update includes a special focus on early modern nuns in continental exile and the makers of the British film industry.


Lawrence Goldman, editor


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> New online update, January 2014

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