Professor Neil Campbell, PhD DSc FRSE; born August 29, 1903, died July 24, 1996

NEIL Campbell was born in Edinburgh in 1903. At George Watson's College, early academic achievement was matched by distinction on the running track and rugby field - themes which were to continue at university and in later life.

After graduating with honour in chemistry at Edinburgh University in 1926 he chose to pursue an academic career there. Following spells at Tubingen and Duke universities, he progressed from lecturer to reader as he gained recognition as a distinguished organic chemist.

He was honoured with a DSc, became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and the University of Edinburgh subsequently awarded him a personal chair.

Distinguished though his academic career was, this was only a part of the man. Neil gave service to many varied committees both in the University of Edinburgh and in Heriot Watt University, serving on the courts of both institutions. He had a special concern for those matters that affected student affairs, both union and sporting interests.

At university he gained a blue in athletics and played rugby for Watsonians. Later, as was so typical with Neil, he gave back in full measure to both sports, acting as a top-grade timekeeper and refereeing more than 600 rugby matches. In both capacities he gave freely of his time and was equally at home refereeing a public schools rugby match as one in the Borders - and as much appreciated in either location.

His service as a timekeeper was available to all, no matter the standing of the event. He made a major contribution to the organisational aspects of athletics and was president of the SAAA and its representative on the British Athletics Board.

It was not only sport that gained from his interest. As a student he had run a scout group in the Canongate and later was a co-founder of the Craigmillar Boys Club; activities that marked his interest in those in deprived areas. He continued to give service to the organisation of the boys club movement and for this was awarded the OBE.

He also found time to hold, among many others, the offices of president of the Watsonian Club and the eldership in his church. Such breadth and depth of service could only be achieved by the active support of his wife Marjory, herself a chemist and a sportswoman of note.

In May of this year he turned out to make the inaugural presentation of the award named after him for the outstanding athlete in Heriot Watt University.

Neil was indeed a man of many parts; a distinguished academic whose sound common sense was appreciated and respected equally in university courts, Border rugby fields, and the tense arenas of international athletics.

But Neil was much more than this. All who knew him appreciated his warmth, charm, and genuine interest in others. It is at least as much for these qualities as for his outstanding achievements that he will be remembered.

In his last entry in his university CV, Neil himself wrote ``a wonderful half-century of unbelievable happiness''. That happiness radiated to all who knew him.

He died on July 24, five days after his wife's death. He is survived by his two sons and their families.