Who was Angus Ross?

The Angus Ross Prize was awarded annually from 1987 to 2015 to the top-performing non-British student for A-level English Literature of the previous year.

The prize was named after Dr Angus Ross to honour his distinguished tenure with Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) as chairman of the A-level English Literature examiners.

Singaporean students have won the prize every year since its inception, except in 2000.

Alumni of the prize include Ms Mavis Chionh, Second Solicitor-General in the Attorney-General's Chambers, who won the inaugural edition of the prize; Mr Aaron Maniam, director of the Industry Division at the Ministry of Trade and Industry; and the late theatre actress Emma Yong.

Less known in Singapore is the namesake of the prize, who died on Jan 30.

Born in Dundee, Scotland, Dr Ross graduated from St Andrews University with a master's degree in English in 1949, before receiving his doctorate from Trinity College, Cambridge.

Dr Ross was Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Sussex, where he co-founded the English department in the 1960s and which he was associated with until his retirement in 1993.

One of the foremost authorities on the works of English author Jonathan Swift, he edited Gulliver's Travels and the Oxford World's Classics edition of Swift's Major Works.

He also edited the first single-volume edition of Samuel Richardson's Clarissa ever printed, which made the epic novel more affordable to procure.

In 1978, Dr Ross managed to secure a deal to archive the personal papers of Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling at the University of Sussex.

Later joining CIE, Dr Ross, whose services were much sought after by academic boards in the United Kingdom, oversaw numerous iterations of the A-level English Literature examination before stepping down in 1988.

Dr Ross is survived by his three daughters and four grandchildren.

Tay Hong Yi

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 06, 2017, with the headline 'Who was Angus Ross?'. Print Edition | Subscribe