Dr John Blatchly,MBE, MA, HonLittD, FSA and Honorary Wolsey Professor of History passed away last week (3 September 2015) after a short illness.
John joined UCS as a Senior Visiting Fellow in 2011 bringing with him experience from both a career in academic leadership and a lifetime devoted to scholarship and civic duty. He was a passionate and active supporter of UCS from its inception and made a significant contribution to the teaching and research activity within the Department of Arts and Humanities in particular.
In 2014 John was appointed as the institutions first Wolsey Professor of History in further recognition of his widening contribution. This was an appointment of particular significance for John, who, in recent years had devoted considerable energy to raising awareness of Ipswichs most illustrious son, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey.
In 2009 he led a successful campaign to restore the five medieval bells at St Lawrence Church, Dial Street, Ipswich, the same bells that Thomas Wolsey would have heard as a boy in Ipswich, and now the oldest circle of working bells in the world.
In 2011, John oversaw the culmination of another successful fundraising effort as David Annands statue of Wolsey was unveiled in Curson Place, Ipswich.
Alongside these achievements, a public lecture series for the dissemination of the latest research on Wolseys life, work and times was established as an annual event at UCS by John and the History team. He fervently believed in the value and power of education; it was his understanding of Wolseys thwarted educational aspirations for Ipswich that partly informed his support for UCS. For John, the establishment of the university in Ipswich in some measure fulfilled Wolseys ambitions for the town.
To read more about Dr Blatchly please click here