George Batchelor, founding editor of the Journal of Fluid Mechanics, died on 30 March 2000. Amongst his many achievements, he will be remembered for his vision in creating JFM in 1956, through which he established Fluid Mechanics as a discipline. George was always concerned with physical understanding and emphasized the necessity of maintaining strong links between theory and experiment.As Editor of JFM for more than forty years, he encouraged not only the highest standards of scientific research but also the highest standards of presentation of ideas. His attention to detail was meticulous. His influence on Fluid Mechanics was worldwide.
George was an undergraduate in physics at Melbourne University, where he also obtained a master's degree in 1941. After four years working for the Australian Aeronautical Research Laboratory, he went to work with G. I. Taylor at the University of Cambridge, where he became a Fellow of Trinity College in 1947. He founded the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics in Cambridge in 1959, and was its head until 1983. Throughout this time he welcomed and encouraged generations of fluid dynamicists who came as faculty, as students and as visitors.
George was already afflicted by the early stages of Parkinson's disease when his wife, Wilma, died in 1997. His health declined rapidly thereafter, but he survived long enough to enjoy his 80th birthday on 8 March.