Articles | Volume 25, issue 2
01 Nov 2006
 | 01 Nov 2006

Professor John W. Neale (1926–2006)

Alan Lord

Abstract. John Neale was born in Burton-on-Trent where his father was concerned with the grocery business and, appropriately to the town, his grandfather was a cooper in the brewing industry. After leaving school he spent two terms at Manchester University, passing the First Year examinations and, in 1943, volunteered for wartime service in the Royal Navy. One year later he was commissioned an officer and served in the hazardous but vital role of minesweeping. With discharge from the navy in 1947 he rejoined Manchester University to follow a BSc General degree in Geology and Geography with subsidiary Zoology, graduating in 1949. It was during this time that he met his future wife, Patti, who was a fellow undergraduate. Upon graduation he was appointed as Assistant Lecturer in the small Sub-department (later a full Department) of Geology of the University of Hull, which was to be his scientific home for the rest of his professional life. John Neale and his senior colleague Lewis Penny, who also joined in 1949, were the only members of staff and for some years taught the full spectrum of Geology between them. John Neale’s diaries record how they had intensive discussions about developing their sub-department and building the teaching collections. The department grew in numbers of students and staff and won a reputation for sound teaching and, in time, for research. It is therefore easy to understand how saddened John Neale was when, following a reorganization of Earth Science departments in British universities, the department he had . . .