David Woodcock BSc, MSc, PhD, DSc (Dunelm), DSc (Bristol), CChem, FRSC, died on 16 October 2016 in his 102nd year. He had been a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (and predecessor bodies) for 74 years, holding two DSc degrees and an honorary DSc, surely a unique achievement.
During WW2 David was based at Sheffield University's Armament Research Department where he did much research and became an adviser to the British Government. After the war he joined the prestigious Long Ashton Research Station (The Cider Institute), a part of Bristol University, and he became its Principal Scientific Officer. His research record was phenomenal, writing a large number of scientific papers on fruit and arable crops. He was a major contributor to many symposia in the field of Pesticide Chemistry, being invited to many countries, including the USA where he spent a great deal of time at the University of Berkeley in California.
In his leisure hours David was a keen swimmer, even breaking the ice in his own outdoor pool in winter months. He enjoyed rugby football and by his presence and financially supported his local amateur club at Yatton in Somerset. He loved both travel and reading and was an enthusiastic bee keeper and gardener. He became a connoisseur of wines, made by both professionals and amateurs, having his own vine in his large garden. Above all he was a truly family man and revelled in having his family members around him, never forgetting a birthday.
David Woodcock joined the Royal Institute of Chemistry in 1942 and the Bristol & District Section Committee in 1950, becoming its Secretary in 1953 and 1954. He was elected a Council Member in 1958 and served on the Institutions Committee from 1960. He was deeply involved in the Society's Benevolent Fund and remained committed to its activities nationally and locally until shortly before his 100th birthday. In 1992 he was presented with a Silver Medal by Professor Rees, RSC President at that time, and with a Long Service Plate in 1999. The RSC Benevolent Fund presented him with a Commemorative Plate in 1994 and a Long Service plate in 2000. Dr Woodcock's 60 years in membership of the RSC was marked by yet another certificate from the RSC in 2002. At his 100th birthday party in 2015 David Woodcock proudly displayed his medals and certificates together with photographs of many of them being presented to him by RSC personnel over the years. At that party, held at Yatton Rugby Club, and enjoyed by his children, grand-children and great grandchildren, friends and former work colleagues from the University of Bristol, Dr Woodcock was presented with a commemorative certificate, signed by RSC President Dominic Tildesley and by Chief Executive Robert Parker, and with an inscribed beechwood bowl from the RSC Bristol and District Section.
David's contribution to the RSC and to chemistry internationally, nationally and locally was outstanding and the profession owes him a great deal. Our condolences are extended to his family who can be assured that he will be sadly missed by us all.
Colin R Chapman CSci, CChem, FRSC.