When I was at Cambridge there was a triumvirate of great Classicists at my college: John Crook (no relation to the Winchester archaeologist), Guy Lee and Malcolm Schofield. John Crook and Guy Lee shared the same birthday: 5 November (hence the name Guy) and on this day a few years ago I went to Guy Lee's memorial service in the College chapel. His speciality had been Latin love poetry and the service was very moving with all the readings in Latin. John Crook came up to me afterwards, took both my hands in his and started jumping up and down, singing "I'm 82 today, I'm 82 today!" John died in August this year and as I was unable to go to the funeral, Professor Schofield sent me the obituary which he'd written for The Times.
JC had won a scholarship to John's to read Classics in October 1939. He got a first in Part I and then enlisted as a private with the 9th Royal Fusiliers and his platoon was captured at the Salerno landing so he spent the last two years of the European campaign as a prisoner of war in Silesia. He seems to have flourished in Stalag VIIIB, climbing in and out at night as if it were St. John's College, becoming fluent in German, acting, playing the clarinet and teaching languages to the other prisoners. He survived the death march to Berlin and returned to John's after the war for Part II of his degree. He became Professor of Ancient History in 1979.
He loved music and amateur dramatics. When lecturing he would stride up and down the stage in his gown, discussing the intricacies of Roman law in his sing-song style, leaning forward on the lectern when he wanted to emphasise something, at which point the lights would go off and on. He had translated many traditional English and Scottish songs into Latin and would hand out song sheets of these after College Classical Society dinners and we would sing in full voice with great hilarity. I'm trying to get hold of those song sheets: it would be fun to get them published.