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Dr Harold Reading (1924-2019)

It was sadness that I report the death of our Emeritus Fellow, Dr Harold Reading, who passed away on 13 October at the age of 95.

Educated at University College, Oxford, and the University of Durham, Harold Reading arrived at St Peter’s in 1970 as a Senior Research Fellow and Lecturer in Geology. He was subsequently appointed Tutor and Fellow in Geology in 1977, a post he held until his retirement in May 1991.

For geologists, Harold Reading's name is most intimately linked with the study of sedimentary facies, and with his classic textbook Sedimentary Environments and Facies. This book, thoroughly revised for a third edition in 1996, was a milestone in the interpretation of depositional environments by facies analysis.

For nineteen years he served the International Association of Sedimentologists (IAS) as Publications Secretary, General Secretary and President, seeing its membership increase five-fold, and extending its influence away from Western Europe to the wider world. In 1999, he was its International lecturer, giving courses in Jordan, India and Pakistan, as well as many countries of Eastern Europe.

For his contributions to geology, Dr Reading was recognised with The Geological Society’s Coke Medal in 2001.

Harold was also renowned as a teacher, and played a key role in the supervision and early formation of a number of leading earth scientists, among them Professor Joe Cartwright, current Senior Research Fellow at St Peter’s and Shell Professor of Earth Sciences. A Special Publication published in his honour in 1995 was written entirely by his research students and their students.

Harold is most warmly remembered by his students and colleagues.

A funeral will be held at 15.00 on 29 October at St Peter’s Church, First Turn, Upper Wolvercote. A memorial service will be held in the college chapel in early 2020.

We send our condolences to Harold's family.

Professor Judith Buchanan
Master, St Peter's College

Dr Harold Reading