Tuesday, April 24 2018

Published on June 15 2017. News
Professor trampled saving his dog
Brian Bellhouse

Professor trampled saving his dog

News has reached us of the death of Brian Bellhouse, aged 81. He was out walking on Monday morning June 12 with a friend across one of his own fields near Hastings where normally docile Sussex cattle were grazing. On this occasion, he was attacked and trampled upon, without warning.

Brian Bellhouse at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering

His friend called the Kent Air Ambulance helicopter which arrived just before 11am, but paramedics were unable to resuscitate him. Our sympathy is with his family.

Bellhouse, a retired Oxford don and emeritus professor at Magdalen College, Oxford lived in Winchelsea. He became an overnight millionaire in 1997 after inventing a device for needle-free injections.

He had strong associations with Rye all his life. His father at one time owned the garage immediately by Monkbretton Bridge, New Road, Rye. Brian attended Rye Grammar School and won a place at Oxford University. He was a patron of the Rye Studio School.

The funeral will be for family members only and a memorial service is being planned, but is likely to be held in Oxford at a later date.

His sister writes:

Brian was born in Winchelsea with Nurse Flanagan in attendance and delighted his parents from that day onwards.

His early schooling was at Playden primary school where the headmistress Mrs. Bideaux recognised his talent for singing and proposed him for Westminster Abbey whose choir was being re-formed after the war. He thrived there, accumulating a vast musical and choral knowledge, leaving the position of Senior Chorister when his voice broke. Rye Grammar School became his scholastic home, excelling on the football field and cricket pitch as well as in Mathematics. He often spoke of his indebtedness to his teachers, particularly ‘Gus’ Allnutt. After becoming head boy, he left RGS for National Service, first with the Marines and then with the Royal Sussex regiment.

Having been awarded a scholarship to Oxford, he took his undergraduate place at Magdalen. In 1958, whilst studying for his first degree, he married Elisabeth Goldie, whose family have been closely associated with Winchelsea for three generations. She supported the couple by teaching and has supported him and their growing family unstintingly ever since.

His academic achievements are a matter of public record but do not indicate how much he enjoyed teaching undergraduates or how much enthusiasm he could engender in them. Suffice it to say that, at his 80th birthday celebration dinner at Magdalen last year, ex-students and colleagues from around the world thronged to do him honour. He, in his usual self-effacing way, expected a mere handful of people to turn up!

Brian’s own enthusiasms included football and cricket, both of which he played for his college until he realised time was catching up with him when a fellow player shouted to him: “Pass the ball, Sir!” On retirement, he, my husband and I enjoyed many sailing cruises together. Our longest being a double crossing of the Atlantic, completed in 2004. We bought a beautiful yacht together and settled into the roles of skipper (Peter), cook (me) and whisky pourer (Brian) during our summer cruises in the west of England, France and the Balearic islands. ‘’

He lost his life whilst protecting his beloved Labrador from an uncharacteristic stampede by a herd of his own cattle. His entire family is shocked and grief-stricken at this sudden end to his life.


Photos: courtesy of family and Daily Express

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  1. Derek Simpson (over from N.Z.) says:

    So sorry to hear of Brian’s death. My condolences to the family.

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