Dr Syd Bailey: College chemist respected for his intellect

Dr Syd Bailey

Dr Syd Bailey

First published in News

A CHEMIST who played a key role in the formative years of an Oxford college has died aged 90.

Dr Arthur Bailey – known as Syd – was a professor of organic chemistry at St Peter’s College, who tutored almost 200 pupils during his time there.

He was the college’s first chemistry fellow and on its governing board in the early period after it had just gained full recognition by Royal Charter.

His research specialised in aromatic heterocyclic chemistry and authored a number of papers on the subject.

Heterocyclic chemistry is the study of the synthesis, properties, and applications of heterocycles, cyclic compounds with atoms of at least two different elements.

After his death his former colleague and successor Prof Mark Moloney said: “Syd was universally respected for his intellect, decency and kindness, as well as for his unfailing good humour and sense of the absurd.”

Arthur Bailey was born in Yorkshire on May 15, 1924. He was a pupil at Mexborough Grammar School, before coming to Oxford to study at Oriel College in 1942.

There he gained a first in chemistry, just after the Second World War, and went on to do a doctorate in organic chemistry, which he completed in 1948.

From 1952 he was made university demonstrator and lecturer, while also lecturing at New College, and in 1960 he lectured at Trinity College.

In 1962 he was appointed a fellow of the newly established college, which was recognised by Oxford University in 1961.

During his time there he was vice-master from 1979 to 1980, as well as tutor for undergraduate admissions from 1986 to 1989.

Dr Bailey was married to Pauline, with whom he lived with for many years in Summertown before she passed away in 2012. They did not have children. Arthur Bailey died on July 27 after a long period of illness.

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