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Wreath. Special design. Copyright © 2005 by Commander Valery Yegorov

The Russian College of Heraldry Inscription in Old Russian

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We were extremely saddened to report the passing of
J.S.G. Simmons (Wednesday, 21st September 2005),
who was our dearest friend and colleague for 15 years

John Simmons

O.B.E., F.S.A., Bibliographer and Slavonic Scholar

Born on 8th July 1915 - died on 21st September 2005

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     John Simon Gabriel Simmons, librarian and Slavonic scholar: born in Birmingham on the 8th July 1915; Slavonic Librarian, Taylor Institution, Oxford 1949 - 1969; Fellow, All Souls College, Oxford 1965 - 1982 (Emeritus), Codrington librarian 1970 - 1982; Reader in Russian and Slavonic Bibliography, Oxford University 1965 - 1970; OBE 1981; FSA 1982; he was married to Fanny Simmons (who died on 4th February 1999).

     John Simmons died in Oxford on the 21st September 2005. His portrait above was drawn by H.A. Freeth in Codrington in 1983.

     He was for many years an animating spirit in the worlds of bibliography and of Slavonic studies. John Simmons was in his heyday almost the only, and undoubtedly a very effective, channel of communication between British bibliographers and their estranged brethren behind the Iron Curtain.

     John`s contribution to the revival of the Russian heraldry was immense: dozens of books, brochures and various materials on heraldry and history were donated by him to the Russian College of Heraldry. He was always ready to encourage and inspire us, being someone who we felt able to turn to and confide in.

     He was a Honorary Member both of the Russian College of Heraldry (Collegium Heraldicum Russiae) and of the Russian Heraldry Society. His knowledge of the Russian language was perfect, hence his profound understanding of the "misterious Russian soul". With the Saints give rest, O Christ, to the soul of Thy servant John, where there is neither sickness, nor sorrow, nor sighing, but life everlasting. Amen.

     His death will create a very great loss to all who knew him.


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