Malcolm Peter Fanthom, M.A.
It is with a sense of deep personal loss that we have to record the death of Mr. Fanthom. His passing occurred with such tragic suddenness that it is still like the memory of a dreadful dream. He was at school on Monday morning 2nd February, and ab out midday he complained of a headache. He decided to go home and rest. The following day we were shocked to hear that he had been operated upon for an abscess on the brain, and he passed away on the morning of the 5th February.
Thus came the end of a life which was so full of promise. He had had a brilliant career from his boyhood. From Carfield County School he entered King Edward VII School, Sheffield, where his record was one of outstanding success. He was awarded the Earnshaw, Akroyd, Town Trust and State Scholarships, and an open mathematical scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge. There he graduated with a First Class in Part II of the Mathematical Tripos, a rare distinction indeed. After a few months at King's College, Taunton, he joined our staff in September 1949.
From that time he endeared himself to staff and pupils alike. His academic record is evidence enough of his exceptional mathematical ability. It was coupled with extreme modesty, and he had the facility, unusual in one to whom the secrets of higher mathematics are an open book, of getting down to the level of the ordinary boy and girl, and bringing life to a subject which, in some hands, can be as dry as dust.
It soon appeared, however, that he had by no means a one-track mind, and that he had musical abilities of no small order. He had had the foundations laid as a boy in the choir of the Sheffield Cathedral, and his valuable collection of gramophone records shows his impeccable musical taste. He quickly identified himself with the school's musical activities and it is perhaps in this field that he will be best remembered. He was one of the pianists for morning assemblies and he threw himself wholeheartedly into the school's production of Britten's Let's Make An Opera in 1951, in which as Norman, and also as the Sweep's Apprentice, he made a memorable contribution to its success. Last year there was no opera, so he applied himself to the composition of the incidental music to the school play, Twelfth Night. This brought evidence of his creative ability, his setting of "Come away death" being particularly moving. He was a valued member of the Choral Society, and the tenor member of the quartet for our Carol Services. His arrangement of "God Rest You Merry" in the modern idiom is worthy of publication. As a contributor to this magazine, he unassumingly hid behind his pen-name "Poseidon".
To everything he touched, he applied a tidy mind, and his relations with everyone with whom he came into contact were such that he will be remembered with deep affection.
Our sympathy goes out to his sorrowing family, who left Sheffield two years ago, and to his fiancee, Miss June Graham, the sister of Audrey who left us in 1951. May they be comforted in a knowledge that his colleagues have only the happiest memories of a brilliant and sunny personality.
TEACHER AGED 25 DIES AFTER OPERATION
Mr. Malcolm Peter Fanthom, 25-year-old mathematics master at Sheffield City Grammar School, has died following an operation.
He was to have married Miss June Graham of Sheffield, in July. Mr Fanthom joined the staff of the City Grammar School in 1949 and, in addition to his mathematical duties, was assistant music master.
As a boy he sang in Sheffield Cathedral choir and had since become an accomplished musician.
After leaving Carfield County School, he spent seven years at King Edward VII Grammar School where he gained awards which included the Earnshaw, Akroyd Town Trust and State Scholarships and also an open mathematical scholarship to Trinity College Cambridge.
There he gained First Class honours in both Part I and Part II of the Mathematical Tripos. Last year he received his M.A. degree.