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In memory of John Horsler

Message from Mark Newton, Head of Department:

It was with great sadness that we learned that our friend and colleague John Horsler had passed away on Saturday 2nd October after a long illness that he bore with great fortitude. His optimism was infectious.

John joined the University in 2016, and I can say without risk of contradiction that all in Physics were very lucky to have him looking after us.

John was a very special colleague who completely transformed the attitude of many staff within the Department to Health and Safety. His willingness to work alongside people and help them comply with the legislation made what many previously saw as a chore become an enjoyable experience, greatly enhanced by John’s own sense of humour.

While absolutely following the maxim that there is nothing worth doing that cannot be done safely, John took a pragmatic approach which showed a real understanding of what it was that people were trying to do, in often extremely non-standard activities which have driven other Health and Safety staff to distraction. Although not officially a member of Physics, John was totally accepted as an integral member of the Department and, I hope, he regarded it as a natural home over the past five years.

John was very clear that all students and staff are responsible to one another for their personal safety and for the safety of the others. He was responsible for greatly improving the way Physics formulated and implemented our safety policy, and we must ensure that we build on his impressive legacy.

He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.

Thanksgiving service

There will be a service of thanksgiving for John's life on 15th October at 15.15 at Coventry Methodist Central Hall (Warwick Lane CV1 2HA) to which everyone is welcome.

The family has asked that everyone attending wears a face covering (unless exempt) and respects social distancing. There will limited space in the hall after the service and the family ask that staff attending from the university make their own arrangements for refreshments afterwards.


If you would like to make a donation in memory of John, the family have suggested one of these three charities:

TEARFUND - a Christian charity which partners with churches in more than 50 of the world’s poorest countries. They tackle poverty and injustice through sustainable development, by responding to disasters and challenging injustice. They believe an end to extreme poverty is possible.

Hope into Action:Coventry - Hope into Action is a registered charity whose unique purpose is to enable churches to house the homeless. They provide not just shelter and housing know-how but also friendship. Together with over 50 churches they provide direct support to people whom others have often given up on. John was very eager for his own church to become actively involved in one of Hope into Action's projects.

Macmillan - John and Lynne have received so much valuable support from Macmillan since his diagnosis, via the Macmillan nurses in the Oncology unit at the hospital and through their website, information leaflets and helpline. They would highly recommend their wonderful helpline to anyone who has been affected by cancer. 

For anyone who is affected by this news, there is help and support available via the EAP or Wellbeing support services