Flying, and an enthusiasm for aviation, motivated John Clarke’s early career choices: he flew Fairey Fireflys in the Fleet Air Arm, worked in the Gas Turbine Division of Armstrong Siddeley Motors, and studied aeronautical engineering at Queen Mary College, where he graduated with first-class honours. He stayed on there to do a PhD, and then worked at English Electric, before moving to Cranfield in 1958. John Clarke’s many important publications, mainly in the general area of chemically reacting flows, cover a wide range of topics including flames, ignition processes, shock waves and detonations, the dynamics and physics of burning gases and internal ballistics, to name but a few. In all of his contributions to his subject it is perhaps too easy to overlook the individual. He had a delightful sense of humour, wore his distinctions lightly and was a most generous and friendly man.
- © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society