Obituary: Ray Hudson

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The Independent Online
Francis Raymond Hudson, nuclear and medical physicist: born Liverpool 3 January 1939; died Liverpool 7 July 1993.

A GOOD MANY of the actions of the Gulf war were recorded in newspapers like the Independent but there were brave actions that escaped even their notice. Among those I would place the escape of Ray Hudson with a handful of his fellow countrymen from Kuwait. He held a key post there as chairman of medical physics at the Cancer Control Centre when the Iraqis entered the country. Through determination and presence of mind he escaped in a vehicle through the desert, and arrived safely in Saudi Arabia. From Bahrain he flew back to England.

After the end of the Gulf war he returned to Kuwait to resume his work, but it was not to be for long. The disease that he knew so well had entrenched itself and he had to leave Kuwait a second time to face an operation and to bear a long and trying illness with the courage that he exemplified when he first left the country.

Ray Hudson was the son of a general practitioner in Liverpool. Educated at St Francis Xavier and Liverpool University, he was posted for his first job to Windscale in Cumbria. He decided after a few years to change from nuclear physics to medical physics and gained a doctorate at Bradford University. He was appointed to the Mount Vernon hospital in north London, then for a short period at Rochester Hospital, and finally to the Cancer Control Centre in Kuwait.

Hudson wrote a substantial number of scholarly articles, and was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Physics. Outside physics, he had a passion for motor cars. He was an expert driver, which proved a decided advantage in his escape from Kuwait.