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In Epiphany Term, 1942, C.S. Lewis delivered the Riddell Memorial Lectures in the Physics Lecture Theatre, King's College, Newcastle, which was then a constituent college of the University of Durham. The Riddell Memorial Lectures were founded in 1928 in memory of Sir John Buchanan Riddell of Hepple, onetime High Sheriff of Northumberland, who had died in 1924. His son, Sir Walter, was, like his father, a devout Christian, active throughout his life in public affairs. He was Fellow, and subsequently Principal, of Hertford College, Oxford, and Secretary, and subsequently Chairman, of the University Grants Committee---at a time when the interventions of the UGC in academic affairs were entirely benign. I myself have a special personal interest in the founder of the Riddell Lectures. Sir Walter and my father were contemporaries at Oxford and close friends. Owing to his untimely death I never knew him, though I am credibly assured that he must have viewed me when I was taken to Hepple in a Moses' basket at the age of six months. In being invited to give this lecture on the Riddell Lectures, I am not only honoured but enabled to discharge a debt of family..
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