Just over two weeks ago Jonathan Roberts, a first year history student at Somerville, died tragically in a road accident. Jonny was about to take his first year prelim exams. His family, and his friends at Somerville and far and wide, as well as the whole Somerville community, are all devastated. The College put out a brief message for the news media, paying tribute to Jonny:
“The entire community of Somerville is shocked and saddened by Jonathan’s tragic death. Jonny, as he was known to his many friends, was a first-year undergraduate studying history. His tutors and fellow students have paid tribute to his “upbeat and sunny nature”, an “easy-going guy who knew how to have fun” and “A truly lovely guy”. He was excellent company and enjoyed Oxford life to the full.
Our thoughts and sympathy are with his family and friends, in this dreadful time of loss and sorrow. He will be very much missed.”
His personal tutor Natalia Nowakowska has written about him in her blog, and gave an address at the memorial service in the College chapel on 30 June. Her words were quoted at the funeral service on 3 July at Edgwarebury cemetery in North London, which was attended by hundreds of mourners.
This was a tragedy above all for Jonathan’s family, and also a terrible shock for his many friends. Nearly two hundred people including the Somerville choir joined the family in the college chapel at the memorial event, held a few days after his death. For the Somerville community it was the saddest possible reminder of the close friendships we form here. Jonathan will always be remembered at Somerville.