The OD Issue 2 - page 25

2012 · issue 2
obituaries
Obituaries
Sir William Hawthorne
(OD 1926)
For many who knew him as the Master
of Churchill College, Cambridge, Sir
William Hawthorne was “the man
who made cheese rolls come out from
behind his ears”, a reference to his
sleight of hand conjuring. To his fellow
engineers, however, William Hawthorne
was a pioneer both in the study and
application of thermodynamics.
After the Dragon, William
Hawthorne was educated at
Westminster School, before winning
an exhibition to Trinity College,
Cambridge, where he read Mechanical
Sciences. From 1935 he studied
chemical engineering at Massachusetts
Institute of Technology (MIT). His work
in America was integral to his wartime
experiences building jet engines, which
culminated in an aircraft powered by
his design being demonstrated before
Winston Churchill in 1943. His design
was then used to destroy V1s.
After the war, Hawthorne returned to
MIT as an Associate Professor and later
became the first George Westinghouse
Professor of Mechanical Engineering,
at the age of only 35. In 1951 he was
appointed Cambridge University’s first
Hopkinson and ICI Chair in Applied
Thermodynamics and developed new
teaching methods while working on
the efficiency and performance of
turbomachinery.
The oil crisis of 1956 led Hawthorne
to develop an idea for flexible tubes
to be used as oil barges. These vessels,
christened Dracones, although never
used as bulk oil carriers, were later
developed to clean up oil spills.
He was elected a Fellow of the Royal
Society in 1955 and knighted in 1970.
He married his wife Barbara Runkle
in 1939. She died in 1992, and he is
survived by their son and two daughters.
Brian Jones
(OD 1937)
Brian Jones was born in North Oxford in
1924. His whole life was rooted firmly in
Oxford and its surrounding country. The
fourth of six boys, and the last surviving
child amongst seven children, he and all
his brothers attended the Dragon, his
father’s old school. During his time at
the Dragon he excelled particularly in
sports; it is believed that one or two of his
sporting records still stand, unbroken until
the point when the conversion to metric
distances froze them in time.
Brian went on to St. Edward’s School,
Oxford, and afterwards joined the
Royal Navy and went straight to war.
Midshipman Brian Jones served on
battleships in the Home Fleet and then
trained to command tank landing craft.
It was one of these that he brought into
Gold Beach at dawn on June 6th 1944.
He remained in the navy until 1947 then
made an excursion to Cambridge to
read Estate Management and further his
sporting achievements which included
playing in the 1949 Varsity rugby match.
His professional life was spent in the
family firm as a Land Agent and Surveyor,
working in the countryside which he loved
as much as the sea.
Brian married Madeleine in 1949.
They built their home in Oxford and lived
there for 50 years. They celebrated their
Diamond Wedding in 2009.
His later years were profoundly affected
by a major stroke in 1994 which left him
with the inability to speak. The unfailing
support of his wife Madeleine was a huge
help to him and, in spite of his condition,
he was fully involved in family life, and
watched his grandson’s all-conquering
Dragon rugby team from the same
touchline from which his own father
had watched him. His wife Madeleine,
daughter Penny and his son, Dragon
School Chairman of Governors Chris
Jones, survive him.
His Honour Judge
Ian Starforth Hill QC
(OD 1935)
Ian Hill started at the Dragon, at the
‘Baby School’, in 1928 and by the time
he left in 1935 was Head of House and
Captain of Cricket. At Shrewsbury,
where he went as a scholar, he also
distinguished himself as head of his
House and as a praeposter. Ian then
went up to Oxford as an Exhibitioner
to Brasenose College but his university
career was interrupted by World War
II. Having joined his father’s regiment,
the 4/11 Sikhs in Bangalore, he served
in campaigns in the Middle East, North
Africa and Italy, and was Mentioned
in Despatches. After a brief spell in the
Colonial Service in Nigeria he returned
to complete his law degree and was
called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn. He
joined the Western Circuit and was
appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1969;
his long career in the law included
positions as Crown Court Recorder, as
a Circuit judge and finally as resident
judge at Winchester. In retirement he
was Chairman of Trustees of Hampshire
Victim Support and was an active
supporter of the local Cheshire Home.
Ian died just short of his ninetieth
birthday on 8th July 2011 and is
survived by his wife Wendy, his son, and
two daughters. Both his brothers, his
son, two grandsons and a nephew were
also Dragons.
With thanks to Ian’s brother Graham
Hill (OD 1940).
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