Graham Pearson obituary


My cousin Graham Pearson, who has died aged 88, was a analysis chemist after which a senior civil servant within the Ministry of Defence, serving from 1984 till 1995 as director basic of what’s now the Defence Science and Know-how Laboratory at Porton Down in Wiltshire.

Arising from a rising curiosity in arms management, which led him whereas nonetheless in publish to work on verification strategies to implement the Organic Weapons Conference, in 1996 he joined Bradford College’s Division of Peace Research as an honorary visiting analysis fellow in worldwide safety. His expertise as an organiser, analyser and author, helped by his boundless power and genial persona, concerned him in quite a few conferences designed to strengthen the BWC, together with in Geneva throughout Pugwash conferences on science and world affairs. He printed extensively within the discipline of chemical and organic weapons. Subsequently a visiting professor, he was made a DUniv of Bradford in 2018.

He was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire, the one little one of Reg Pearson, a textile producer, and his spouse, Alice (nee Maclachlan). Graham was born virtually utterly deaf, however he determinedly overcame this incapacity, partly by way of a mastery of lip-reading. He was educated at Woodhouse Grove faculty and the College of St Andrews, the place he learn chemistry, staying on for his doctorate.

It was there, whereas taking part in badminton, that he met his future spouse, Susan Benn, a contemporary languages scholar. They married in 1960, departing instantly for the US, the place Graham had been awarded a analysis fellowship on the College of Rochester. Of their ’56 Chevrolet station wagon they launched into an 11,000-mile tenting journey earlier than returning house in 1962.

Graham then joined the scientific civil service. Positioned initially with the MoD’s Rocket Propulsion Institution, he continued to specialise on this space of defence analysis and improvement. A spotlight was his three-year posting, in the identical capability, to the British embassy in Washington (1969-72), for which Susan and their two small sons accompanied him.

Shifting into administration, from 1980 to 1983 he was deputy director of the Analysis Improvement Institution at Fort Halstead, close to Sevenoaks in Kent. Throughout his remaining publish, at Porton Down, he was appointed CB in 1990.

Following a transfer from Wiltshire to Chipping Campden within the Cotswolds in 2001, Graham introduced the identical power and dedication to his 20 years of voluntary work on the Nationwide Belief backyard at Hidcote Manor. Not content material with being a backyard information, he set about uncovering Hidcote’s historical past and the lifetime of its founder, Lawrence Johnston, travelling extensively to work on archival sources. Two books resulted, together with the profusely illustrated Hidcote: The Backyard and Lawrence Johnston (2007).

Graham is survived by Susan, his sons, Gavin and Douglas, and 5 grandchildren.


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