A MALVERN man who served in the notorious convoy PQ 17 and went on to enjoy a distinguished legal career has died.

Reginald Hugh Hickling, always known as Hugh, passed away at St Richard's Hospice after a short illness.

Mr Hickling was born in Derby in 1920, although his family comes from around Malvern. After Buxton College, he studied law at Nottingham University, where he became the youngest person to qualify for the LL.B.

The war came and, though he was in a reserved occupation, he joined the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserves. His wartime experiences included serving with PQ17 on a corvette.

"The convoy was badly mutilated," said his wife Beryl, who lives in St Peter's Road. "They couldn't stop to pick up the survivors in the water. That really upset him."

Later he, commanded a Landing Craft Tanks at Sword Beach during the D-Day invasion of Normandy.

He resumed his career post-war by joining the Evening Standard as a libel lawyer, working for Lord Beaverbrook. In 1950, he took up a post with the Colonial Legal Service in Borneo and subsequently served in many British territories in the Far East.

In 1957, after the family was posted to Aden, they decided to set up a permanent home in England, and chose Malvern because of Mr Hickling's family connections.

His work included drafting the constitution of Malaya and serving as the Attorney General of Gibraltar. He also became a professor of law at London's School of Oriental and African Studies.

Mr Hickling also published a number of books, including legal texts, novels and short stories. In 1968, he was made a Commander of St Michael and St George for his services.

He remained busy right until the end of his life, working actively at Darwin University in Australia and a leading Malaysian university.

"He never did retire," said Mrs Hickling.

He is survived by his wife and three children. The family has requested donations instead of flowers to St Richard's Hospice or the RNLI. A private family funeral is to be held.