Ivor Etherington

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Prof Ivor Malcolm Haddon Etherington FRSE (born 8 February 1908, Lewisham, England; died 1 January [1] 1994) was a mathematician who worked initially on general relativity, but later moved into genetics where he introduced genetic algebras.


He was born in Lewisham in London the son of Bruce Etherington and his wife Annie Margaret, both of whom were Baptist missionaries normally based in Ceylon. His father had died in Ceylon, leaving his mother and two older siblings to return to Britain alone. His mother remarried in 1913 to Edwin Duncombe de Russet, a Baptist minister, but Ivor retained his original name. In 1921 the growing family moved out of London to Thorpe Bay on the Essex coast, where his father then founded the Thorpe Bay School for Boys. In 1922 Ivor was sent back to London to be educated at Mill Hill School.[2] He was later educated at Oxford University and continued as a postgraduate at Edinburgh University where he received his doctorate, later becoming a Professor of Mathematics at the same university.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1934. His proposers were Sir Edmund Whittaker, Herbert Westren Turnbull, Edward Thomas Copson and David Gibb. He won the society's Keith Medal for 1955-57.[3]

During the Second World War they aided 32 refugees from Germany, giving many shelter in their own home.[4]

On his retirement in 1974,[citation needed] Ivor moved with his wife to Easdale on the Scottish west coast, where the family had always had a holiday home.[citation needed]

He died on New Years Day 1994[citation needed].


He married Elizabeth (Betty) Goulding in 1934. They had two daughters, Donia and Judy. When Betty died in 1982, Donia came to care for her father.[citation needed]

See also[edit]