Elected: 1979
Discipline: Cell and Molecular Biology
Professor Charles Arthur Fewson OBE FRSE
Charles Fewson was born on September 8 1937 in the West Riding of Yorkshire. He was proud of his Yorkshire heritage and could trace his ancestry back to the 17th century. His family had been tenant farmers for generations and he was brought up on Stud Farm near Aldbrough, East Yorkshire, where his father was tenant farmer. Life was not easy on the farm. Mains water was installed a few months after the Fewson family moved there but bathing was in a tin tub in the kitchen until a bathroom with a gas geyser was installed around 1947. Light was provided by paraffin lamps or candles until about 1950, when a petrol generator was installed, followed by mains electricity around 1954. One of Charles’ tasks throughout his childhood was to scour hedge rows for firewood for the house. During school holidays from the age of 12 until 17 he worked on the farm more or less full-time, feeding poultry, cattle and pigs and working in the fields. Nevertheless, he was greatly protected compared to many of his country-raised contemporaries. In those days, many boys left school at the earliest opportunity, often at the age of 12, and were hired out to farmers, living with the employer.

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