Elected F.R.S. 1985
Roger Needham was born in Sheffield on 9 February 1935. He was the only son of Leonard William Needham and Phyllis Mary Needham (née Baker). Leonard and Phyllis had met in the first year chemical laboratory at Birmingham University and had duly graduated in that subject. At the time of Roger's birth, Leonard was a lecturer in the Mining Department at Birmingham, having become in effect a chemical engineer. When Roger was two years old the family moved to Sheffield, where Leonard took up an appointment with a company that made mineral separation plants, in which particles of coal were separated from lighter particles of incombustible material by flotation in a dense medium of suspended barytes.