John Graham Ramsay
I first encountered John Ramsay in November 1961 as a member of the interview panel for applicants to the Geology ARCS/BSc course at Imperial College. My recollections of the interview are that it centred on the writings of George Orwell and history of the Spanish Civil War. This was my introduction to John’s eclectic interests and breadth of intellect.
In 1963-64, with Gilbert Wilson, John taught the, for its time, innovative second year structural geology course module, which involved a wonderful minor/major fold structure mapping exercise of the Rhoscolyn fold complex, Anglesey.
I encountered John again as one of the leaders of the BP western Alps, student tour during the summer of 1964. With Robert Shackleton, he organised and supervised our field mapping project, focussing on structures in the Helvetic nappe complex south of Chamonix. We could not have wished for a more enthusiastic or inspiring mentor for the kind of field work which has left me with a lifelong interest in Alpine tectonics.
I encountered John again in Sardinia, as supervisor of a fellow research student Doug Dunnet in our overlapping field areas – location of the elegant banded slate fold which adorns John’s seminal textbook.
After we became colleagues at Imperial John remained interested in my enthusiasm for ore deposits and remote sensing and was always a stimulating source of comment and discussion.
During the 70s, John organised memorable social events in keeping with the style and atmosphere of the time, at his house in Ladbroke Grove in West London.
We maintained an exchange of Christmas greetings until the end . I will miss John as a friend and inspiration from the first day of my nearly 60 years as a geologist.
My condolences go to his family in the recollection of a life well lived by a great man.