Derry Wynn Jones ('DWJ') was born in Hull, the only child of a bank clerk, Wynn Mackintosh Jones, on 8 February, 1928. After a year at Endyke lane East School, he attended Bricknell Avenue (then) Infants and Junior School from 1934 as the family moved from a rented house to a nearly new semi. A Governor's scholarship took DWJ to Hymers College, Hull, 1938-1945, of which 1939-40 was spent evacuated with the school at Pocklington. Despite the bombing (there was a brick garden shelter), the house was undamaged, apart from some aircraft cannon shells acquired in March, 1945. Two weeks later, DWJ's mother, Freda Olive (nee Goodwin) died, having been ill for two years.
From 1945 to 1948, DWJ read Hons Gen Sci I (ie Chemistry and Physics) at Manchester University, where he was resident in Hulme Hall of Residence. Graduating with a II(1), DWJ then researched (supervisor GA Jeffrey, although he was in the USA half the time) in X-ray crystal-structure analysis in E G Cox's Chemistry Department from 1948 at Leeds (PhD, 1953), and lived for two years in the YMCA residential hostel and then in Lyddon Hall. During a period on cellulose structure research at the British Rayon Research Association Laboratories, first at Barton and then at Heald Green, Manchester, DWJ met an economist colleague, Dorothy Leech, mainly through walking and camping; they were married in Newcastle on 28 September, 1957. Back in Cox's Dept as a Fellow, research with JAS Smith was now in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy, 1957-61.
In 1960, DWJ was appointed Senior Lecturer (CAT) in Chemistry and Chemical Technology at the Bradford Institute of Technology, which in 1965 became the University of Bradford. In 1961, the couple moved from an attic flat near Leeds University to a new detached house in Harden, Bingley, which would remain the family home for nearly sixty years and where their first child, Stephen, arrived in 1961, followed by Jacqueline in 1964.
Successively, high-resolution NMR spectrometers were acquired at Bradford from Fairey, Varian and Jeol, and financial support obtained from Cancer Research, WIRA, BSC(Chemicals) and the SRC. X-ray and neutron-diffraction and NMR research was undertaken, considerable use being made of external facilities at Harwell, Aldermaston, Grenoble, Riso, Leeds, Runcorn, etc. The materials studied included polypeptides and wool proteins, polycyclic hydrocarbon carcinogens, extracts of coals and coal tars, inorganic crystal hydrates, organophosphorous compounds, and pharmaceuticals. Over 80 conference presentations were made and over 180 research papers published in a variety of journals embracing textiles, pharmacy, colour chemistry, spectroscopy, crystallography, and the main branches of chemistry (DSc, 1981). From Lecturer, DWJ was promoted to Senior Lecturer, Reader and eventually to a Personal Chair in Applied Structural Chemistry at Bradford. DWJ edited several books and wrote or co-wrote many book chapters and review articles. He traveled widely, many times to North America, had a link with Poznan, Poland, throughout the 1990's, and made lecture tours of India and China(2) in the 1980s.
During much of his career, DWJ undertook committee and other work for the Royal Society of Chemistry and its precursors, especially for the Central Yorks Section and the NE Region of the Education Division; he had two spells on RSC Council and one on Education Division Council. This RSC activity has continued after formal retirement from Bradford in 1985. Since then, he has written many book reviews and essay reviews for Contemp Phys, Cryst Rev, Chem World, and several Institute of Physics and crystallographic newsletters, mostly of biographies of 20th century scientists. Counting these, his total of review articles, book reviews, etc published is over 150.
DWJ enjoyed singing in choral groups, and, when younger and fitter, mountain walking. Travel continued to appeal throughout (although the caravan had to be sold, reluctantly, a year or so ago) and a recent interest was water-colour painting.
DWJ helped the Senior Common Room Play-reading Group last for over 180 informal meetings. For over 30 years, until 1982, DWJ was a member of a technical branch of the Reserve Army (TA, AER, and again TA), attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, which involved many attachments in Germany and the UK. For several years in the 1980s, he was also Scientific Adviser (ie nuclear, chemical and biological) to the Local Authority, which, aside from exercise evenings in basements, involved attendance at several courses at Oxford, the York Emergency Planning College, and elsewhere.
A loving husband to Dorothy (1929-2016) Father to Stephen and Jacqueline, Grandfather to Lee, John, Anthony and David and Great Grandfather to Laurie, friend and colleague to many and at aged 89, DWJ passed away, peacefully in his sleep, on 10th November, 2017: he touched the lives of many and will be sadly missed by all.