Douglas William Sutton - obituary CChem MRSC
March 1930 – April 2021
It is with great sadness that the family of Douglas (Doug) Sutton announce that he passed away peacefully after a long illness on 27 April 2021 at Heol Don Care Home in Cardiff. He was 91yrs old.
Doug was born in Canterbury and was extremely proud to call himself ‘A Man of Kent’. He lived with his parents and older sister and developed a love of cricket there. He attended Northampton College of Advanced Technology, London and Battersea College of Technology.
Doug undertook his National Service with the RAF as a wireless operator and gained his Corporal stripes within his 18 months service. On completion of his service in 1951, he was employed by the Ministry of Supply as an Experimental Officer working on classified projects. The MoS then divided into the UK Atomic Energy Authority and Doug went to work for the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment in Aldermaston. It is here that he spent his entire professional career becoming a valued Principle Scientific Officer.
He specialised in inorganic analysis regarding metallurgical samples of less common nature which required him to develop new methods of analysis and adapting existing methods to get the job done at the time. He later worked on Surface Chemistry, Thermo-Chemistry and analysis of gas mixtures.
His role took him around the world as Research Scientist working for the MoD and collaborating with allied partners some of whom became life long friends. He also lectured abroad and published papers with regards to his highly specialised role and projects.
An early reference written for Doug’s application to RIC in 1960 described him as "a quiet, modest man, well liked by his colleagues". It was also remarked upon that he was conscientious and worked well without the need for supervision.
Doug became a Graduate Member of the Royal Institute of Chemistry in 1959 and was then transferred to Chartered Chemist (CChem MRSC) when he was admitted as an Associate Member in 1960. He was an active member and became an Honorary Representative and Honorary Secretary to the Thames Valley Local Section until he retired in 1993. 1998 saw him awarded The Long Service Award plate with Armorial Bearings of which, he was immensely proud. In 2009 he was given the Long Service Award for 50 years’ service to the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Doug is survived by his loving wife of 66 years – Audrey, whom he met whilst working at AWRE. She remembers fondly attending dinners and talks at Oxford University as part of the Thames Valley Chem. Soc. section. He is also greatly missed by his 4 children; Elizabeth, Philippa, Gail and David and his 9 grandchildren and brand new Great grandson who will come to learn of his qualities and tales of love and support as he grows.
Apart from the legacy Doug’s professional activities have left behind, most importantly his personal legacy lives on in his children and grandchildren through his sound personal qualities of trustworthiness, being responsibly minded and conscientious and lest we forget - being happy and loving.
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