Douglas Albert Gregory, 1933-2021
17 November 2021
Douglas Gregory, a former Visiting Fellow in the Department of Mechanical Engineering (1993 to 2003), passed away in the early hours of 30 September. Sophie Chester-Glyn, a PhD student in Law at Bristol and Douglas' step-daughter, offers a remembrance.
Originally from the market town of West Bromwich in the West Midlands and the son of an engineer and a loving housewife, Doug (Greg or DAG as some will know him) was one of five children. He took a keen interest in science from a young age and won a state scholarship to attend the local grammar school. It was here that his talents and intellect were spotted, and his teachers encouraged him to apply to go to university, the first of his family.
His love of science often saw him use his parents' garage to create chemical experiments, causing many mini-explosions in the process! Following the positive encouragement from teachers at his school, he left the family home to go to the University of Bristol to study physics in the early 1950s where he created friends and memories in the city he would eventually call his home.
During his career, he enjoyed success at British Aerospace and later became a Research Fellow at the University. During the 1970s and '80s he published various works which were inspired by his time at Bristol, including works on basic physical principles of defocused speckle photography, which was one of his most cited works. Other publications included those on the 'Analysis of Topological Information from Defocused Speckle Photographs', laser speckle photography and speckle geometries. He spent many years preparing to do a 'write-up' which, although never published, kept him occupied during his days as Visiting Fellow at Bristol’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and for many years afterwards.
After ending his Fellowship at Bristol in 2003, Douglas led a full and fulfilled social life, mixing reading with a number of activities which helped him relax and enjoy his retirement. These included playing cricket, leading a skittles team which played regularly at BAWA, swimming almost daily in the sea at Clevedon, sailing in the River Avon and the Kennet and Avon Canal on his boat the Rachel II and many more tranquil and invigorating activities.
Douglas Gregory died on 30 September after being diagnosed with the rare cancer mesothelioma earlier this year. He challenged the effects of the cancer for as long as he could, still managing to swim in the sea at Clevedon, with the help of his friends, only a few months before his passing. Friends and family will celebrate his life during a Humanistic ceremony in Clevedon, a place that he loved and where he enjoyed many happy memories.