Russell Johnston, Liberal Democrat MP and Scottish and European politician, died on 27 July 2008 aged 75.
Frank Blackmore, inventor of the mini-roundabout, died on 5 June 2008 aged 92.
Beryl Cook, hugely popular self-taught artist, died on 28 May 2008 aged 81.
Humphrey Lyttelton, jazz trumpeter, bandleader, broadcaster and journalist, died on 25 April 2008 aged 86.
Mark Speight, presenter of children’s television including art programme SMArt, was found dead on 13 April 2008 aged 42.
Sir Arthur C Clarke, science visionary and author of science fiction including 2001: A Space Odyssey, died on 19 March 2008 aged 90.
Anthony Minghella, television and film director and screenwriter, died on 18 March 2008 aged 54.
Jeremy Beadle, TV prankster and presenter of light entertainment shows, died on 30 January 2008 aged 59.
Sir John Harvey-Jones, former chairman of ICI and presenter of the BBC Troubleshooter series, died on 9 January 2008 aged 83.
George MacDonald Fraser, author of the Flashman series of Victorian ripping yarns, died on 2 January 2008 aged 82.
Peter Cadogan, free-speech campaigner, political activist and advocate of local democracy, died on 18 November 2007 aged 86.
Verity Lambert, television and film producer responsible for such well-loved shows as Doctor Who, Minder, The Naked Civil Servant and Jonathan Creek, died on 22 November 2007 aged 71.
Ian Smith, former Prime Minister of Rhodesia during its period of unilaterally declared independence, died on 20 November 2007 aged 88.
The Rev Chad Varah, founder of the telephone counselling service The Samaritans in 1953, died on 8 November 2007 aged 95.
Newspaper obituaries are a rich source of information for family historians and genealogists. In many cases an obituary in the local newspaper is the only written record which gives any clue about a person’s life.