Obituary: Sir Barry Cross

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The Independent Online
OTHERS have written about the scientific and public achievements of Barry Cross, writes Geoffrey MP Myers (further to the obituaries by Professor Dennis W. Lincoln and Peter Denton, 12 May). I first knew him at Reigate Grammar School, where he was School Captain, in 1943.

He was the middle of three brothers, the eldest of whom was killed in the war. He already showed the characteristics of humanity and leadership which were to mark his career. He secured the suspension of physical punishment throughout the school: in the words of Sir William Henderson, the Secretary of the Agricultural Research Council, 'He persuaded the headmaster to stop beating the boys.' He was almost typecast as the reforming young headmaster in our school play, Ian Hay's Housemaster.

I met Cross again when he became Director of the Babraham Institute, and I was in an administrative capacity at the ARC. It was a period of change and reform, not all of which was welcome to him. But often I would find that the very changes we sought, in staff appraisal and reporting for example, were being done by him in his characteristic and personal way. His rough handling by the press over animal experiments was unjust. He had been the first student president of the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare. His views were not the product of callousness, but of carefully considered judgement.

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