Obituaries - L

Obituaries - L

Peter Ladefoged

Peter Ladefoged, Professor Emeritus of Phonetics at the University of California at Los Angeles was born in Surrey to a family of Danish extraction. He was educated at Haileybury School, Cambridge University (1943-44) and, after war service in the Royal Sussex Regiment, he completed a PhD at Edinburgh University under the supervision of David Abercrombie on the nature of vowel quality. Read more about Peter Ladefoged

Hector Laing (Lord Laing of Dunphail)

If Hector Laing sought to emulate his grandfather, it will be seen that he did so. Educated at Loretto, after a spell at Jesus College, Cambridge, he was commissioned, serving with the Armoured 3rd Battalion Scots Guards. He was mentioned in dispatches and awarded the American Bronze Star. Read more about Lord Laing of Dunphail

Eric Duncan Grant Langmuir

Eric Duncan Grant Langmuir was born in Glasgow May 3rd 1931, the second son of Dr James Langmuir OBE. He died on September 18,2005, aged 74 and richly fulfilled, at his unique and uniquely hospitable home with its wonderful views of the Cairngorms. He died peacefully, surrounded by family, and still able to join in an impromptu ceilidh in his bedroom on the final day. Read more about Eric Langmuir

Michael Stuart Laverack

Mike Laverack was born in Croydon on 19th March 1931. He spent 31 years of his working life at the Gatty Marine Laboratory of the University of St Andrews, where he established an international reputation for his studies on the neurobiology of marine animals. In 1991 he was fortunate enough to gain a prestigious five-year research fellowship from the Australian Research Council. He therefore resigned his professorship at St Andrews and went to pursue his wide-ranging interests on the neurobiology of crustacea,taking delight in the many unfamiliar and unusual genera available to him in the southern hemisphere. Mike was tragically killed on 28th July 1993 during a visit to Heron Island Marine Biological Station on the Great Barrier Reef. This was a double tragedy since his wife, Maureen, was accompanying him on this trip and also perished. He leaves a daughter and two sons. His sudden and untimely death is a tragic loss for Marine Biology and leaves a sense of vacuum in his many friends and acquaintances. Read more about Michael Stuart Laverack

Derrick Norman Lawley

Derrick Lawley, one of our most senior Fellows, died on 27 February 2012.  An outstanding mathematician, with over 60 papers to his name, he was a pioneer in various difficult aspects of multivariate statistical inference.
His engineer father had an inventive streak, and Derrick’s talents showed early. Years at Charterhouse led to an Open Scholarship to Clare College Cambridge, and First-class graduation in 1937. Read more about Derrick Lawley

Thomas Russell Maclaren Lawrie

Russell Lawrie was born at Sillyearn, Grange, Banffshire, on 30th May 1913. He spent most of his early years in Fife, where his father was a schoolmaster at several locations and he himself was thus educated at various schools, latterly at Buckhaven Secondary,where he was Dux Medallist in 1931. From there he gained a Taylour Thomson Bursary to St Andrews University, graduating BSc in 1935 with a First Class Honours in Geology, also being Class Medallist for that year. He had an active extra-curricular life and was a founder member of the University Mountaineering Club, Captain of the Hockey team 1935-36 and a Hockey Blue. In 1937 he took part in a University scientific expedition to NW Iceland, a trip which not only provided valuable experience for his later work in Skye, but stimulated his lifelong interest in the pastime of bird watching, an activity in which he became expert.Read more about Thomas Lawrie

Walter Ledermann

Walter Ledermann passed away peacefully on 22 May 2009 in London less than two years short of his 100th birthday. He was born into a Jewish family in Berlin on 18 March 1911, the second of four children. His father, William Ledermann, was a medical doctor and his mother, Charlotte née Apt, was the daughter of a wealthy metal merchant. He entered the Köllnisches Gymnasium in Berlin in 1917, progressing to the Leibniz Gymnasium in the same city in 1920. There he learnt classics, studying Latin for nine years and Greek for six years. The school also taught French but, as was usual at this time, not much science. Read more about Walter Ledermann

Robert Ferguson Legget

Robert Legget, distinguished civil engineer, geologist, author and historian, died on 17th April 1994 in Ottawa, Canada at the age of 89. He was born in Liverpool, on 29th September 1904, the son of Scottish parents, was educated at the Merchant Taylor's School, Great Crosby, and graduated from the University of Liverpool in 1925 with a First Class Honours BEng degree in Civil Engineering followed by a Master of Engineering degree in 1927. From 1925 to 1929 he was an Assistant Engineer with consulting civil engineers, Meik and Buchanan, later Sir William Halcrow and Partners and was engaged on the design of hydro power plants in Scotland, Greece, Italy and Finland, his principal involvement being with the Lochaber hydro power scheme which included what was then the longest tunnel in the world. Read more about Robert Leggett

John Mark Anthony Lenihan

John Lenihan, who died on 27 December 1993, was distinguished for energy, ability and humanity. His career was devoted to the applications of physics in the public interest, not only in his major field of clinical physics but through scientific and technical education and the history of science and technology. He was born in Carlisle on 23 June 1918 and brought up in Newcastle where he attended Heaton Secondary school and Armstrong College, then a college subordinate to the University of Durham. On graduation in 1938 he was appointed a demonstrator at Armstrong and began the study of ripples on liquid jets. Commissioned in the Royal Corps of Signals in 1940, he was seconded back to Newcastle to lecture, primarily in electronics - in which he instructed Wittgenstein. Work in acoustics led to his MSc in 1941. He continued work on pulse measurement of the speed of sound in the sparse time available until he moved to a lectureship at the University of Glasgow in 1945. I first met him then to begin our lasting friendship as he succeeded me in the wardenship of MacBrayne Hall. The Bute Hall at Glasgow provided nearly open-air and, nearly, wind-free conditions for the completion of his acoustic measurements, and he graduated PhD in 1949, a year after moving to the post of Physicist in the Western Infirmary. Read more about John Lenihan

Frank Leslie

Professor Frank Leslie, FRS, of the Department of Mathematics, University of Strathclyde, died on 15 June 2000 from complications following a hip replacement operation. He was born in Dundee on 8 March 1935 and he was educated at Harris Academy and Queen’s College, Dundee, where he gained a First Class Honours in Mathematics in 1957. He completed his PhD in 1961 at the University of Manchester while he held a post as Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Mathematics. Read more about Frank Leslie

Sir Robert (Lang) Lickley

Robert Lickley was an aeronautical engineer of very high repute in both the British and American industries. Born in Dundee on 19 January 1912, he attended Dundee High School, graduating from Edinburgh University before proceeding to Imperial College London whence in 1933 he joined the Hawker Aircraft design office at Kingston-on –Thames. He was thus one of the early migrants from Scotland – and Wales – to the growing aircraft industry mainly based in southern England, which offered technical and intellectual opportunities to bright young engineering graduates. Read more about Sir Robert Lickley

Albert Long

Albert Long, palaeobotanist, naturalist and teacher, was born on 28 January 1915 in Inskip, near Preston, Lancashire; he died on 13 March 1999 aged 84. He was the son of the Baptist pastor of Inskip and went to school at Todmorden. When a schoolboy, he was shot in the left foot but, with the aid of a medical boot, he went on to walk more miles than most in his search for fossils. “Education is no good if it makes people greedy or selfish or unjust. It should cure these evils. All the certificates in the world therefore cannot be compared to a kind Spirit.” So said Albert Long when he left Berwickshire High School in Duns in 1966 after teaching science there for 21 years. In that year he gained a DSc from Manchester University, and in the following year, an honorary LLD from Glasgow University. Read more about Albert Long

Reginald Douglas Lord

Reginald D Lord, formerly Reader in Mathematics in the University of Strathclyde, died peacefully at his home at Cwm Coy, Newcastle Emlyn on 6 July 1998, in his ninetieth year. He had lived there since his retirement in 1971, indulging his passion for gardening and creating what is now a remarkable local feature - 4½ acres of “flowering trees and shrubs in a wild and woodland setting”, the Gerddi Penralltffynnon Gardens. For the last five years, as he grew frail, he was cared for by his daughter Jane, who helped him with the development and sculpting of the garden. Read more about Reginald Lord

Donald Low

Donald A. Low, who died in 2001, was one of the ‘quiet men’ of 20th century Scottish literary scholarship and one particularly noted now for his work on Robert Burns. A modest individual, gentle and respectful of others, Low was a man who also celebrated the rebel and the rebellious. He had a keen sense of humour, a passion for music and sport and a real love of the land. Having spent most of his early summer holidays on family farms in Angus, it is perhaps unsurprising that Low, as a literature undergraduate, would develop a natural interest in the ploughman poet of Ayrshire. But the magnetism of Burns was all the more powerful to him because his teachers at St Andrews University pushed Burns to one side, failing to see him as a key figure in the literary history of the long 18th century. The young Low recognised how unacceptable this was. He believed that Burns’s contribution was as visionary as that of William Blake, whose writing received a great deal more attention. And when he came back to St Andrews to take up his first teaching post in the 1970s, after completing a doctorate at Pembroke College, Cambridge, Burns became part of the undergraduate course. Read more about Donald Low

David Nicol Lowe

David Lowe was born on 9 September 1909, and died on 10 August 1999. He was the son of a tenter, and one of a family of ten raised in a four-room dwelling in Arbroath. Intending to enter the Ministry, he went from Arbroath High School to St Andrews University in 1928 with a Kitchener Scholarship (his father had been on active service in the Black Watch throughout the First World War). There he read first for an MA, and in turn this general degree kindled an interest in science which led on to a BSc with First Class Honours in Botany, having won several class medals on the way. While at University he was founding President of the Mountaineering Club, a Hockey Blue, and became President of both the Union and the Students’ Representative Council. Read more about David Lowe

Sir Cyril Lucas

Dr Lucas, as he always preferred, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1939. He was a scientist who knew how to work for government by working with administrative civil servants. In particular, his partnership with John Aglen at the Scottish Office during the 1950s and 60s was productive by reason of the trust and respect in which each held the other. Lucas was Director of Fisheries Research for Scotland from 1948 to 1970 and was based at the Marine Laboratory, Aberdeen. He delegated day-to-day responsibilities to Section Leaders, but no publication emanated from his laboratories that had not been scrutinised by his critical eye. His comments always improved the text and his criticisms saved many of us a statement, calculation or indeed entire paper that we would have later regretted. In the main his staff held him in awe, not because of fear but out of respect for his intellect, ability and integrity. Read more about Cyril Lucas

George Innes Lumsden

Innes Lumsden, former Director of the British Geological Survey died in Oxford on Tuesday 4 September 2012 aged 86 after a prolonged illness. Innes was born on 27 June, 1926 in Peterculter, Aberdeenshire, the only child of George Lumsden MM, a policeman, and his wife Margaret. His primary education was at schools in Ballater and Torphins and progressed to secondary education at Banchory Academy, where he became School Captain and achieved prizes in Science, Mathematics and History. Influenced by the Headmaster, Archibald Gullett, he took up a State Scholarship in Pure Physics at Aberdeen University, though he had also gained entry to the Meteorological Office as a trainee. He completed a BSc degree in Physics in 1947, but, influenced by the teaching of Professor T C Phemister and Dr T S Westoll he fell under the spell of Geology, won the Lyon Prize in Geology in 1947 and graduated with First Class Honours in Geology in 1949. Vacation employment with the Directorate of Opencast Coal Production convinced Innes that he wanted to be involved in the field of applied geology and so he turned down an invitation from Professor T N George to lecture at Glasgow University to take up an appointment as a geologist in the Geological Survey of Great Britain on 12 September 1949 and was posted to Edinburgh. Read more about Innes Lumsden

William Hepburn Russell Lumsden

Scotland has a proud history of nurturing distinguished contributors to our understanding of disease in the tropics. Among these must be numbered Russell Lumsden, medical entomologist, virologist and parasitologist, but above all a man with boundless enthusiasm for the entire natural world. Russell became a keen naturalist while still at school. Born in Forfar on 27 March, 1914, he moved with his family to Darlington in 1919 when his father became Schools’ Medical Officer for Durham County. He was educated at the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School there, but in 1931 he was awarded a Carnegie Scholarship to read Zoology at Glasgow University under Sir John Graham Kerr. Russell took part in successive student expeditions to Canna in the Inner Hebrides and wrote detailed reports on the entomology of these and on various projects in marine biology. His dedication to natural history is splendidly illustrated by a paper in The Entomologist’s Monthly Magazine, recounting how, while sunning himself on a jetty at Lake Windermere after swimming, he found an old nail and kept a tally of the different prey of pond skaters by making scratches on the woodwork. Read more about William Lumsden


Follow Us: