John Brown

Peter Brown visiting the new School of Geography and the Environment in March 2015

John Brown

Talking to a young alumnus at the School's Herbertson Lunch in September 2015


Peter was born in 1931 and was one of the many men students at Oxford in the 1950s who had done National Service, in his case with the Royal Engineers, before coming up to Oxford in 1952 to read Geography.

Peter was a very successful and popular President of the Herbertson Society in Michaelmas term 1954. He co-organised a well-received black tie dinner in Trinity term 1955 and personally designed a Society tie, with golden compasses on an Oxford blue background. The narrow end of his own tie was given to The Bear pub on Blue Boar Street in exchange for a pint of beer, and is still on display there along with countless others from clubs and societies.

He participated in the field trip to the Chartreuse in 1954 and took most of the photographs.

After graduating, Peter pursued a successful career in food manufacturing, and he always found geography a useful adjunct:

"At least I knew where North and South are, and the effects of climate and geology on the production of wheat, one of the world's leading cereals! Shaftesbury's small water-powered flour mill today buys hard wheat from Ukraine, something unheard of in the 1950s as was today's prevalence of gluten-related food intolerances", he wrote in a letter to the School in September 2015.

He remained an enthusiastic geographer all his life, visiting India, China, Russia, Egypt and Zanzibar, and travelling extensively throughout South Africa some 30 times. He was a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Peter visited the School in March 2015 and again in September for our annual Herbertson Lunch. We will remember him very fondly.


1955 Herbertson Society Annual Dinner

Peter Brown (circled) at the Herbertson Society's Annual Dinner in Trinity term 1955

Menu card of The Herbertson Society's Annual Dinner in Trinity term 1955Menu card of The Herbertson Society's Annual Dinner in Trinity term 1955

Menu card of The Herbertson Society's Annual Dinner in Trinity term 1955