The College is sad to report the death of one of our longest-serving Fellows: John Hubert Brunton who died last week.

John was born in 1934 and graduated in Engineering with a BSc Birmingham University, before undertaking his PhD at Gonville and Caius College. In the early 1960s he worked in Surface Physics and the Physics and Chemistry of Solids at the Cavendish Laboratory, before transferring to a lectureship in the Engineering Department, where he taught Materials. He published several papers in the ‘Phil Trans’ Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society).

He joined the College in 1963 and was a Title A (Teaching) Fellow until his retirement in 1999, when he was elected to an Emeritus Fellowship. For 36 years, therefore, every Churchill engineer benefited from John’s supervisions in Materials, from which it can be seen that he played an invaluable role in our educational provision for Engineers. 

He was a long-serving Tutor and also an Admissions Tutor in the 1980s and 1990s. (It proved helpful for disarming anxious Sixth Form applicants at the time that none of the College’s three admissions tutors held Oxbridge undergraduate degrees, having been undergraduates at Birmingham, St Andrew’s, and Sussex – John and his colleagues would chorus that getting into Oxbridge isn’t everything!). Additionally, he was valued in the Department as an able administrator and a safe pair of hands in dealing with student or staff concerns, for example as Secretary of the Faculty Board.

He was a kind and thoughtful member of the College community and will be sadly missed by many. The College flag was flown at half mast on February 3rd in his memory.