28 December 1930 - 19 July 2017
Les was born in Plymouth where he attended Sutton High School and in 1948 won a scholarship to University College, London. He graduated with first class honours in chemistry in 1951 and subsequently completed his PhD on Nitrosation Mechanisms with Hughes and Ingold.
After national service in the education arm of the Royal Air Force, Les returned to University College in 1956 for a post-doctoral fellowship with Nyholm studying complexes of molecular oxygen at metal centres.
At the Battersea College of Advanced Technology and later at the University of Surrey he rapidly created a successful research group which was noted for studies on air sensitive complexes of uranium, vanadium, manganese, iron, cobalt and chromium. Inter alia, his group investigated ferromagnetic halides of chromium(II) and metal complexes with Schiff bases which carry dioxygen and nitric oxide with some showing spin crossover at low temperatures.
For this work Les was promoted to professor and awarded a DSc by the University of London in 1975. He retired in 1996 credited with almost 150 publications.
As a teacher Les was highly regarded by both undergraduate and post-graduate students. Les was a fine scientist and a valued colleague who will be sorely missed.