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Matthew Nelson, 1969-1991

I knew Matthew Nelson at Stirling Univeristy where he was a Computing Science undergraduate from 1987. He had grown up with cystic fiborosis.

He died in March 1991 from an infection after a heart-lung transplant. A packed memorial service was held at St. Mary's Catheral in Edinburgh, near Haymarket.

Stirling University postumously awarded Matthew his Computing Science degree, and named a remote access computing laboratory after him in Murray Hall.

Whenever I hear or think of the poem Clancy of the Overflow by Banjo Patterson I think of Matthew. Matthew's mother had spent time in Australia when younger and missed the country, and it was one of her favourite poems. Matthew and I once spent some time going through the library to find the poem, and type-set it and sent it to her as a present.

There are passages in Terry Pratchett's The Last Continent that refer to a character called Clancy, and I can't read them without ending up thinking about Clancy of the Overflow, and thence thinking of Matthew.

I recently discovered that Clancy wrote a Reply.


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Last update: 24-May-2008