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John Isaacson (CR 1955-94)

Born in South London, John was educated at Eltham College during the Second World War. At school, he was good at science and experimented with chemicals at home where he learned to develop and print his own photographs.

He entered the Royal Army Educational Corps for National Service. Not until he was de-mobbed could he study Natural Sciences at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. On leaving Cambridge in 1954 he was appointed to teach at Marlborough College.He became House Tutor to Cotton House and then Housemaster first of A2 then C2 House.

John was totally committed to the College, andhis reputation as a science teacher was outstanding. As one former pupil wrote “I remember JHI as a fount of knowledge on all things chemistry. A man with a passion for his subject which he did his best to pass on to us. He showed great patience towards those less gifted in his field.”

On Wednesday afternoons he refereed rugby and was in charge of outdoor events, which included planting a large number of saplings now known as Isaacson’s Copse.

He committed 40 years to teaching at the College and retired in 1994. Thereafter he remained fully involved in the Marlborough community: at various times Chairman of Crosby and Lawrence, Chairman of the Marlborough Theatre Club, and supporting the Marlborough and District Housing Association.

John never married. He travelled widely during his holidays. A very keen photographer, he had an enormous collection of slides, all labelled. From the balcony of his house in Marlborough, he enjoyed views over the College and surrounding hills. He entertained colleagues, friends, and family there.

The tribute from Michael Dain (CR 1951-88), a former colleague, describing him as “A man of outstanding integrity”, summed him up perfectly.