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Obituary: Mr R E Hemmings

Ray Hemmings died on January 31, aged 79. He joined the University in September 1963 as a Lecturer in Education at the School of Education, and was promoted to a Senior Lectureship in September 1973. He retired in September 1982, but continued to work at the University as an Associate Teacher until September 1983.

Ray was a member of staff at the School of Education during the key years of the development of the Leicestershire Plan. This was a buoyant time for teachers’ professional groups and he was known nationally for his editorial work in the Association of Teachers of Mathematics and on the Leapfrogs Mathematics publications and associated television series. He was also known as the author of Fifty Years of Freedom – the story of Summerhill School and A S Neill. Ray had taught maths in that school, and later in Buckinghamshire and in Devon before coming to Leicester where he eventually headed Section B of the PGCE course.

He was a man of great diversity of accomplishment – in writing, teaching, lecturing, as an artist – but self-effacing to a fault. A mathematics scholar at Trinity College Cambridge, he became an RAF navigator in World War II, winning the DFC for successfully bringing damaged planes back home. He reflected ruefully on this when later he became very active in the Campaign against the Arms Trade. He was keenly interested in history too, and his last book – a study of the period that led into parliamentary reform of the 1830s - was published as recently as 2000.

Ray Hemmings is survived by his wife Delia, daughter Debby and son Tom, and by grandchildren Katy and William. Anyone wishing to make a donation in his memory may do so by marking it as such and sending it to Campaign against the Arms Trade, 11 Goodwin Street, London N4 3HQ.

Dr Clive Sutton
March 2002

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Last updated: 15 March 2002 17:00
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