Richard Clarke enjoyed a distinguished career in medicine, rising to become Professor of Anaesthetics at Queen's University Belfast. From an early age has been interested in the world around him. He has been a member of the Belfast Naturalists’ Field Club since 1945 and has also been a longstanding member of the Belfast Natural History and Philosophical Society, serving as President in the years 1980–82.

His association with the Ulster Historical Foundation goes back to the early 1960s. In 1966, the first of some 30 volumes of gravestone inscriptions compiled and edited by him was published by us. Professor Clarke was Chairman of the Foundation in 1995–7 and had a long association with our publications subcommittee.

Prof. Clarke (centre) with Dr Eamon Phoenix (left) and Jim Fitzpatrick (right)

In 2013, we published his massive two-volume edition of A Directory of Ulster Doctors (who qualified before 1901), the product of a lifetime’s research into the lives of medical practitioners in the north of Ireland. In 2019, he made a very generous donation to the Foundation of his books on Irish history and genealogy, including many rare volumes and pamphlets on local history. Professor Clarke passed away on 6 December 2023 at the age of 94.