Professor John P.C. Roach, a former director of the Institute of Education and professor of education at the University of Sheffield, died in 2015 when he was 95 years old. He achieved much in his lifetime; his academic achievements beginning with passing the entrance test to win a free place at Bedford School and a scholarship to study history at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Professor Roach had a strong interest in religion and had decided to become a priest. However, when WW2 broke out, he decided to serve as a soldier and becoming ordained would have exempted him from military service. Unfortunately, Professor Roach was posted to Singapore and was captured by the Japanese. He spent three and a half years working on the Burma Railway, where several thousand other soldiers died
Professor Roach became a teacher after the war and then a research fellow at Corpus Christi. He moved to Sheffield in 1965 where he joined the University of Sheffield. He played a full role during his time at the university, where he is remembered with great affection for the encouragement he gave to students, and following his retirement.
As well as his bequest to the university, which has been used to set up a scholarship scheme from which several students have already benefitted, Professor Roach also left a legacy to Bedford School, where he attended from 1931 – 1938. Here a further scholarship scheme has been set up to help fund boys showing exceptional academic talent to attend sixth form.
Chris Shaw worked to help ensure that Professor Roach’s complex estate was administered as he wanted it to be. His godchildren and the university have thanked Chris for the two and half years that it took to carry out the necessary work.