John Neale was born in Burton-on-Trent where his father was concerned with the grocery business and, appropriately to the town, his grandfather was a cooper in the brewing industry. After leaving school he spent two terms at Manchester University, passing the First Year examinations and, in 1943, volunteered for wartime service in the Royal Navy. One year later he was commissioned an officer and served in the hazardous but vital role of minesweeping. With discharge from the navy in 1947 he rejoined Manchester University to follow a BSc General degree in Geology and Geography with subsidiary Zoology, graduating in 1949....

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