Professor John Hudson

19-12-2007

Professor John Hudson

 

Some of the (older) staff in the Horticultural Department may remember the above who was an eminent horticulturalist with a long career in horticulture which, included being Dean of the Agriculture and Horticulture Faculty at the University of Nottingham, Director of Long Ashton Fruit Research Station, and also Professor of Horticultural Science at the University of Bristol. He died recently at the age of 97. He was a member of the horticultural staff here, joining the College in 1936 He lived with his wife in a cottage in Wales Farm Lane.  Sid Beard, who was a student at the time and still lives locally’ remembers him and the student nickname of ‘buds and shoots Hudson

What is perhaps different about him from other previous members of staff was that he was awarded two George medals for bravery during the war making him probably one of our most ‘decorated’ members of staff and  he was at the time one of the countries top experts in bomb disposal..

He joined the Army, soon after the outbreak of war in 1939 and was part of the British Expeditionary Force to France.  He was evacuated from the beaches at Dunkirk in the summer of 1940 and coincidentally another ex student remembers seeing him standing waist deep in the water for hours, guiding his men on to the rescue boats.

He was then assigned to the Bomb Disposal Unit. He received his first George Medal for removing the first of a new type of anti-handling fuse from a large bomb in London the fuse of which was designed to go off when moved.  Despite his attempts to make it safe in situ he was unsuccessful and he decided to remove the fuse from the bomb. It took him 3 hrs during which time he had to constantly telephone to record what he was doing in case he got it wrong and the bomb went off, so that people knew what not to do.

 His second George Medal was awarded after defusing the first flying bomb to have landed intact. This was close to Haywards Heath.  The flying bomb had three fuses the third of which was totally unknown. It took him several days to make all three fuses safe.

After the war he returned to Horticulture.

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