Peter Anthony Linley (1940–2023)

On 8 October 2023, Peter Anthony Linley, aged 82 years, of Baildon, West Yorkshire. Mr Linley registered with the Society in 1962 and became a Fellow in 1986.


Peter Linley was born on 28 December 1940 in Leeds and died on 8 October 2023. He registered with the then Pharmaceutical Society in 1962.

In 1962, he gained a BPharm London external degree after studying at the University of Bradford. He received his PhD from Bradford in 1971.

Peter published and served on various committees, including at the university.

He was also involved in promoting international solidarity and cooperation among academics and pharmacists. He spent two years on secondment to the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in 1978–1979, where he helped establish an English programme and the development of the profession of pharmacy in Tanzania.

In 1980, he returned to the University of Bradford as a lecturer in Pharmacognosy. He attended careers evenings and, from 1984, was the admissions tutor for the School of Pharmacy and other administrative positions, including visiting sandwich placement students. I first met him in this capacity in Great Yarmouth and Waveney. I was a preregistration tutor (now called designated supervisor); he was the visiting tutor from Bradford for our shared six-month sandwich (preregistration) students. It was clear that those students greatly respected and liked him.  

Peter was an exemplary supervisor for my master’s research degree. He was supportive and encouraging and helped me pursue my PhD (that was, then, too sociologically slanted for Bradford School of Pharmacy) at another university. Peter continued to inspire me throughout my career.

From 1989–2008, he was a senior lecturer. He was also, from 2004–2008, administrative secretary for the Bradford Association of University Teachers.

He officially retired in September 2003, but continued with part-time admissions plus teaching until 2008, finally retiring in September of that year… except that from 2009–2012, he continued as an honorary visiting senior lecturer.

He was also involved with the Bradford and District Branch of the then Pharmaceutical Society, from 1968 until all such structures were dissolved by the Society. He was a Committee member from 1971–1973, chairperson from 1976–1977 and secretary from 1980–1986.

Further, he was a Committee member of the Yorkshire Region, representing the Bradford branch and honorary secretary from 1985–2010.

In 1986, he was elected a Fellow of the then Pharmaceutical Society.

Over his career at the university and involvement with the then Pharmaceutical Society, he was a member of various committees and sub-committees and, in 1984–1988, was a member of committees and subcommittees of the British Council.

Away from pharmacy, Peter was, for many years, a school governor. He had an allotment for more than 40 years and was on the committee of the Baildon Horticultural Society in various capacities. He only relinquished his allotment six weeks before his death, as befitting a pharmacognosist!

Peter was a kind and generous person, who always had a smile and a word of encouragement for everyone he met. He was devoted to his family, friends, and colleagues, and proud of his wife Pat, who is a retired pharmacist, his son Phillip, daughter-in-law Marina, grandson Alexander, sister Susan and brother-in-law Jim.

Peter will be greatly missed by all who knew him, and his legacy will live on in the many lives he touched and improved through his work and his personality. He was a true professional and a gentleman, who exemplified the values and vision of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

I send heartfelt condolences.

Malcolm E. Brown

Although, as a teenager, Peter was passionate about flying and was a keen member of the Air Cadets, he chose to study pharmacy and obtained an external BPharm degree from the University of London in 1962 and became a Member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB) in the same year.

This study took place at the Bradford Institute of Technology, a College of Advanced Technology, and forerunner of the University of Bradford, founded in 1966. He was a research assistant in the School of Pharmacy from 1962 to 1966, progressing to assistant lecturer (1966–1969), lecturer (1969–1988), and then senior lecturer from 1988.

Peter was awarded a PhD in pharmacognosy in 1971 from the University of Bradford, where he spent his academic career except for two years (1978–1979) as head of department of pharmacognosy at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

In 1987, he was made a Fellow of the RPSGB in recognition of his long-standing service to the profession of pharmacy as committee member, secretary and chair of the Bradford and District Branch of the Society (starting in 1970) and his service as secretary to the Yorkshire region of the RPSGB from 1986. He was also a member of Committee G (Crude Drugs and Galenicals) of the British Pharmacopoeia Commission (1989–2003).

Peter was best known by many former students as an enthusiastic and respected lecturer in pharmacognosy, although it may be said that not all of the students shared his enthusiasm for analytical microscopy! He was deeply involved in teaching of the specialisation in pharmacognosy offered in the final year of the BPharm curriculum and he provided inspirational hands-on training on the instrumentation used. He also made a significant contribution to natural products research, with his main interests being cardiac glycosides and the analysis/quality control of herbal drugs. During his career, Peter co-authored a significant number of research publications, including a recent paper in Planta Medica that appeared in 2021, reporting phytochemical and biological work on the bracken fern, appropriately collected on Baildon Moor close to his home.

In his spare time, Peter was a keen gardener and allotment holder. For many years, he was a member of the board of governors at Salt Grammar School, Baildon, West Yorkshire.

He is survived by his wife Pat (a former community pharmacist), as well as a son, Philip, and grandson, Alexander.

Colin Wright and Douglas Kinghorn

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, January 2024, Vol 312, No 7981;312(7981)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2024.1.206487

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