IAN Hamilton was vice principal of Sparsholt College for 18 years from 1973 until his retirement in 1991. His particular responsibilities at the college involved the management of the college farms and estate as well as teaching students. During his time at the college he led an eleven-year project for the advancement of agricultural education in Nigeria. He established a student exchange programme with an agriculture college at Objat in southern France. He was also instrumental in the provision of a new dairying unit at the college, opened in 1991 and named the ‘Ian Hamilton Dairy Complex’. While at the college he was also involved with many rural organisations including the Young Farmers’ Clubs and Growmore clubs.

Ian David Hamilton was born in London in 1931. He entered agriculture through the YMCA Farm Training Scheme, British Boys for British Farms, in 1947 at the age of 16 and he worked for two years on a farm in Somerset where he was accepted as part of the family and he has remained in contact with them ever since.

He attended Oaklands College of Agriculture in Hertfordshire and was top student in his year. At Seale-Hayne College in Devon (1953-1956) he took Diploma courses in both Agriculture and Dairying and there he met his future wife Sue (neé Wright) a student on the Dairying course.

After college, Ian worked for the Crown Agents as an agricultural advisor in Uganda. Later Sue joined him in Uganda and they were married there in 1958. On their return to England in 1960 Ian worked for BOCM in Bedfordshire as an agricultural advisor. Soon he realised that he wanted to teach again and went to lecture at Otley College in Suffolk. He then took a Certificate Course in Further Education Teaching at Wolverhampton Polytechnic. In 1967 he was appointed to the post of Extra Mural Organiser of part-time courses at Plumpton Agricultural College in East Sussex and in 1973 joined the staff at Sparsholt College.

Ian was very devoted to his family and highly respected by staff and students. He was a person of the highest integrity, hard working, with a great sense of humour and highly supportive of colleagues and students. He was always enthusiastic about everything that he did. An old student who is a Sparsholt College governor and runs a successful arable farming business said: “He was a people-person, always approachable, vastly knowledgeable, extremely supportive and passionate about students succeeding.”

Ian retired in 1991 and enjoyed retirement for almost 29 years. He and his wife enjoyed their holidays, caravanning, walking, golf and Ian learned to play the organ and ukulele. He also enjoyed the theatre and music.

After 62 years of marriage, Ian is survived by his wife Sue and their daughters Helen and Caroline (Carrie), son-in-law Mike and seven grandchildren. The funeral has already taken place. A Celebration/Thanksgiving event will be arranged at a later date.