Public eye

Lobbans in the public eye


Wikipedia has a page for the name Lobban on which they list six “notable” people, four still living—a random collection of two sportsmen (one Jamaican, so perhaps not genetically related–see Jamaican Lobbans page), two scientists,  a knighted signals intelligence expert and a “British legal mind.” I have assumed that all photographs on the news sources are copyright and have provided links in several cases; one can easily find more on the Web …. Go, ogle.  In the order given in Wikipedia:

Greg Lobban (born 12 August 1992 in Inverness) is a professional squash player who has represented Scotland. He and Alan Clyne became world doubles champions in 2017 and they made it to the bronze medal match at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. In April 2018 he married Australian squash player, Donna Urquhart (wedding pix!), who is now known professionally as Donna Lobban and has her own page on Wikipedia.  See also (1) and (2). PICTURE.

Hartley Wilden Kenroy Lobban (9 May 1926, Jamaica– 15 October 2004, Surrey, BC, Canada) was a Jamaican-born first-class cricketer who bowled 17 matches for Worcestershire 1952–1954. He went to England at the end of World War II as a member of the Royal Air Force, and settled in Kidderminster in Worcestershire in 1947, where he worked as a civilian truck driver for the RAF. He was educated as a mature student at Sunderland Polytechnic. He also fought as a professional boxer [under the name Ken Lobban (source)] and played rugby union for Kidderminster.  He married Celia Mary Cockerill in 1969; both were teachers at the time. They later moved to Canada, where he worked as a teacher in Burnaby, British Columbia. He and Celia had a son and two daughters. Obit: “Hartley was a dedicated educator teaching at Second Street School, Kitchener Elementary and McPherson Park Junior Secondary in Burnaby until he retired at age 65. Also an energetic sportsman well into his sixties, he played rugby, cricket and studied Judo.”

Sir Iain Robert Lobban, KCMG, CB, (b. 1960 in Nigeria),  joined the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in 1983 after earning a B.A. in language from U. Leeds and rose to be its Director, retiring after 31 years.   (News story.)   PICTURE (notice the Clan MacLennan tartan tie).

(Bio sketch): “Sir Iain was the Director of the British Security and Intelligence agency GCHQ from mid-2008 to late 2014, having previously served as its Director-General of operations from 2004. His tenure represented more than ten years of operational delivery in counter-terrorism, cyber-security, support to Defence, and the prevention and detection of serious crime. He set new direction in Cyber Security for innovative partnerships internationally, with the private sector and with academia. Sir Iain now focuses on the advocacy and demystification of Cyber Security, providing strategic advice and personal perspective, nationally and internationally, to governments and businesses. He is also active in entrepreneurship, in the broadest sense of the word.”

Dr. Mary Constance Cecile Lobban (1922–1982). [This bio from Wikipedia is the only one on the web– even the National Institute for Medical Research uses it!]   “[She] was a British physiologist who studied circadian rhythms. Lobban was a Senior Demonstrator in Physiology in the Physiological Laboratory at the University of Cambridge from 1955 to 1959. From 1959 to 1974 she worked at the National Institute for Medical Research’s [Mill Hill] laboratories. During the Cambridge Physiological Expeditions of the 1950s, Lobban conducted research into the sleep rhythms of volunteers in Spitsbergen, Norway, where the sun does not set during the summer months.  Volunteers were separated into two groups and given wristwatches that were set to either 21- or 27-hour days. She later studied the renal circadian rhythms of people living in the Arctic and near the Equator. At the Victoria General Hospital in Halifax [Nova Scotia], she studied the effects of nurses changing their schedules from 8-hour to 12-hour shifts. In 1978 she became a Professor of Environmental Physiology at Memorial University of Newfoundland where she taught nephrology and human physiology. After suffering a stroke in May 1981, Lobban’s health declined. She died on 14 June 1982 in St. John’s, Newfoundland. The Canadian Coast Guard scattered her ashes in the Canadian high Arctic.”

Anne Savours, writing Mary’s obituary in the journal Polar Record, recalled, “As one of the ‘guinea-pigs’ during Mary Lobban’s 1955 Spitsbergen expedition, I was impressed by the vision and determination which brought some dozen subjects to live under a strict regime in the isolation of Bruce’s old huts, in sight of the magnificence of the Nordenskjöldbreen and its surrounding hills. Mary Lobban was very conscious that she was leading an expedition in the tradition of Scott and Shackleton, not merely organizing an experiment. One can picture a short stocky figure in windproofs crowned by a bright blue woolly hat, on board ship or resolutely man-hauling supplies over the bay ice towards Brucebyen. There was a dogged, indomitable quality about her; it is sad to see that spirit quenched so soon after the start of her work in the new world.”  Key paper.

Mary was a granddaughter of John Lobban (1857–1949), who emigrated to England (see Beccles Lobbans), daughter of Donald Lobban and Constance Ranson.


Dr. Richard A. Lobban, Jr., (b. 3 Nov. 1943).  PICTURE. Now politician. Example of his work in Sudan.  Bio sketch: “Lobban is a life-time “Africanist” and Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and former Chair at Rhode Island College. He started his studies of Africa in 1961 at Bucknell University and received his MA Degree from Temple University in 1968 on Nigeria and his PhD from Northwestern University in 1973 with his research on Nubians in Sudan. He was also Director of African and Afro-American Studies [at RIC] for thirteen years and faculty member for 36 years.  He was Vice-President of the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society for twenty years.  During the war of national liberation in Guinea-Bissau he traveled with members of the guerrilla army (PAIGC), being the first journalist to cross that entire country under war. He reported first-hand on the fall of Guiledge, the last decisive battle of the 11-year war. He also did war reporting in southern Sudan and Eritrea. He has written numerous books on Cape Verde, Sudan, slavery, women in the Middle East, and Ancient and Medieval Africa (Nubia). In retirement he became Adjunct Professor of African Studies for the United States Navy and he continues as Executive Director of the Sudan Studies Association that he co-founded more than thirty years ago.  He also continues conducting an archaeological excavation in Sudan and guiding Nile tours (where he witnessed the Egyptian revolution).  He is also Adjunct Professor at Carnegie Mellon University studying conflict in Sudan.”

Michael John Warrender Lobban: Michael Lobban was born in Cape Town on 22 Oct. 1962. He was educated at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1984, and then studying for a doctorate there. His PhD was awarded in 1988 for his thesis “The development of common law theory: English jurisprudence c. 1760 – c. 1830”. After holding a junior lectureship at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1988, he was elected to a junior research fellowship at St John’s College, Oxford, in 1988. In 1991, he was appointed to a lectureship at Durham University, and promoted to a readership there four years later. In 1997 he joined Brunel University London as a reader, and in 2000 took up a readership at Queen Mary University of London, where he was appointed Professor of Legal History in 2003. In 2013, he moved to the London School of Economics to be Professor of Legal History. According to his British Academy profile, Lobban specialises in the “history of eighteenth and nineteenth century English law and lawyers, with a special focus on the relationship between doctrine, institutions and legal and political thought.”  In 2015, Lobban was elected a Fellow of the British Academy, the United Kingdom’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences


Historical people missed by Wikipedia

Charles Henry Lobban, DSc, FPSE, FKC, M Ins C E (1881–1963) was a prominent Civil Engineer. Early in his career he spent a short time in India, where his brother managed a tea plantation (internal link) : an article in the Banffshire Journal, 28 Jan 1908 reported, “Mr Charles H. Lobban, BSc., … at present Senior Instructor on Engineering, Drawing and Design & Assistant Lecturer in the Victoria University Manchester, has been appointed Professor of Civil Engineering at Madras University, India. Mr Lobban secured this appointment, which is made by the Secretary of State for India, at the early age of 26 years.” He and his wife, Annie Turnbull Spiers had their first child in Madras in 1909, but by 1911 were back in Perth, Scotland, where he was a listed as a Civil Engineer. In WW1, he was a Captain in the Royal Engineers, serving from Jan. 1914 to Dec. 1920. Later Charles became Professor of Engineering at Kings College, University of London. He died in Scotland. [Marnoch Area Lobbans]

Obituary (Institute of Civil Engineering Proceedings, 1965):
“PROFESSOR CHARLES HENRY LOBBAN, D.Sc., who was born on 19 January, 1881, died on 13 July, 1963. Educated at Inverness College, he studied engineering at Glasgow Technical College and later at Glasgow University, where he took the degree of B.Sc. (Eng.) in 1903. After two years’ practical training under Messrs Crouch & Hogg (MM) he was appointed Demonstrator and Lecturer at Glasgow University and Coatbridge Technical School. There followed two years as Lecturer at Manchester University, another two years as Professor of Civil Engineering, Madras, and four years in practice as partner in a firm of civil and mining engineers at Kilmarnock. During World War I, after working with Sir John Jackson at remount depots and camps on Salisbury Plain (water supplies, drainage, etc.) he spent 3 ½ years on active service as Major in the Royal Engineers, building railways. After the war, from 1919–1920, he worked on the Disposals Board (railway material) as Assistant Controller. For the next ten years Professor Lobban’s expert knowledge of structural steel and reinforced concrete enabled him to combine an academic career with a large practice on his own account as consulting engineer in London. Starting as Reader in Civil Engineering at King’s College, London, he became Professor of Civil Engineering there in 1934 (a position he held until his retirement in 1946), while as consulting engineer he was personally responsible for the design and execution of all structural work of many well known buildings. These included Victoria House, Southampton Row, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Nottingham University, and a block of flats in Smith Square, London. He also designed the structure of the Sir John Cass Technical Institute, Aldersgate, and carried out extensions to King’s College, London, Jesus College, Cambridge, and alterations to the Savoy Hotel and Theatre. Professor Lobban was a member of the Architectural Association and a Fellow of the Royal Society (Ed.). A Certificated Mine Surveyor, he was at one time Technical Officer to the Steel Structures Research Committee, and played an important part in the inception of the Building Research Station, Garston, Watford. He was the author of ‘Some Deflexion Problems’ (Selected Engineering Paper No. 80, 1929) and other papers. Elected an Associate Member in 1911, Professor Lobban became a Member in 1931. He is survived by a daughter and a grandson. ”


Alexander Harper Lobban O.B.E. (1855–1934) was born in London. [Disambiguation: This is NOT the Alexander “Harper” Lobban (1867–1949), who was an illegitimate child of Ann Harper (see NPEs).] He started work in the British Patent Office in 1876 and rose to become Superintendant of Sales Office. In 1887 he married Elizabeth Grinslade in Camberwell, Surrey (London); the marriage registration notes that both their fathers’ occupation was “Gentleman.”  When he died, the probate notice reported that he left his wife effects worth £1298 13s. 8d (equivalent to about £93,500 in 2020). In 1918, by which time he was “Late Superintendant of the Sale Branch,”  he was awarded the Order of the British Empire on the King’s birthday. The list of those honored is long and relates mostly to war service, but no specifics are given as to what service he was honored for, possibly just for doing an outstanding job in the Patent Office?  [William & Bathia tree: Rothiemay Area Lobbans]


Joy Maxwell Loban (1887–1936) was a first-generation chiropracter who practiced, published and taught in the early part of the 20th Century. In 1909 he married Ethel Harris. They had three girls, of whom the last died young, and a son, Lawrence.  “After graduation in 1907 he established a practice in Kansas City, Missouri. He had been called to the Palmer School of Chiropractic because larger classes demanded more teachers, and Loban was considered to be an excellent teacher too good to remain in the field as a practitioner. Loban left the Palmer School on 15 February 1910 to enter private practice but when in April that year a group of dissatisfied students walked out and established another school—the Universal Chiropractic College—just a few blocks south on Brady Street, they hired Loban as their dean.” [Biography with PHOTO]  In 1915 he published his first textbook, Technic and Practice of Chiropractic and in 1930  A Textbook of Neurology: Arranged for the Classroom and for Ready Reference by the Practitioner.  Joy was a descendant of Thomas Loban and Mary Minty [Glass Area Lobbans].


John Alexander Lobban (1919–1996)  was a designer, illustrator, watercolourist and medallist. Born in Southampton in 1919, he was conscripted into the Royal Artillery in 1939, and was one of the soldiers who made the D-Day landings in 1944. After the end of the war, he joined the advertising agency S.H. Benson Ltd, where he designed posters for Guinness. After the breakdown of his marriage to Therese Vivet (whom he married in 1942, and with whom he had two children), he moved first to South Africa and then Germany with Faith Cassy (with whom he had two more children). After giving up his career in advertising to spend more time on his own artwork, he began to illustrate children’s books (including Michael Bond’s Paddington Bear), design coins and medals and to paint, exhibiting frequently at the Royal Watercolour Society. On his death in 1996, he was survived by his partner of many years, the artist Avril Vaughan. More of his art here.  [Knabbygates branch of Rothiemay Area Lobbans.]

UK, John LOBBAN (1919-1996) Joie de Vivre
1995/6 BAMS 129, ed. 36 cast bronze 86mm, finished and published posthumously by Avril VAUGHAN, cast by the Royal Mint, high relief, GBP 125
This medal symbolises all John’s great loves – wine, art, sex, racing, nature, literature and general fun. This was his last medal, the reverse half worked but unfinished when he died. So Avril, his partner, finished it for casting and oversaw the patination for its publication by BAMS [British Art Medal Society]. (Text from blog linked above, is credited to Simmons Gallery catalogue information.)

Robert Dalziel Lobban, Ph.D.  (1925–1986) and his wife Margaret Buchanan [Maighread Dhòmhnallach] Lobban (c. 1925–2021), authors. [Loanend branch of Rothiemay Area Lobbans.]  Please see new page here.


Ted Loban (1922–1988), an “Aboriginal” anti-tank gunner in the Australian Imperial Forces in World War II.  He was in fact a Torres Strait Islander, and his father was from Indonesia, where Loban is a common name (as noted on our Frequency & Distribution page), so not related to the Lobans of Scotland. But because he was in Australia, one initially assumes that he might have been related. He became famous because of being among the few indigenous people to serve in that war, as told by the modern Dept. Veteran Affairs web, and for his work afterwards:

Despite the disappointment of Indigenous veterans after World War I, Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders made a greater contribution to Australia’s defence in World War II. Some Indigenous Australians argued against war service but hundreds joined up anyway. They found it surprisingly easy to enlist in the first year of the war but from late 1940 Indigenous men and some women were turned away on grounds of race after the Government toughened the rules of enlistment to exclude many non-Europeans. However, even then, some managed to get around the colour bar.  Some travelled long distances to enlist. For instance, Torres Strait Islanders Charles Mene, Ted Loban and Victor Blanco joined the militia at the start of the war in September 1939 and then transferred to the 2nd Australian Imperial Force (AIF) for service overseas. They travelled to Brisbane and were posted to the 1st Anti-Tank Regiment. Gunner Loban was badly wounded in Greece in 1941 and discharged the following year. After transferring to the infantry, Mene (2/33rd Battalion) and Blanco (2/31st) served right through the war – including on the Kokoda Track.  (Source)

“In the postwar period Ted’s achievements were significant. He married Sadie Ahmat in 1943 and together they worked to achieve improvements in educational delivery for Torres Strait Islanders. Among other initiatives Ted founded the Torres Strait Islander Co-operative Limited, as well as a fishing co-operative.” (Source with PICTURE)

There is a Loban Street on Thursday Island, Queensland, way off the tip of Cape York Peninsula, in the Torres Strait, and I think it must be named after him. (As far as I have found so far, all the Lobbans of Scottish descent in Australia spell the name with double b.)


Living Lobbans in the public eye

I thought it would be of interest to see who else with the Lobban name turned up in the news.  This netted several actors, two musicians, a charity organizer, a menswear buyer, and three criminals (one reformed). I do not know the family connections of any of these, so I have included them all, no judgement, alphabetical order of first names.

Andrew Joseph Lobban shot three coworkers dead in Ocala, Florida, in 2013, over a video they took of him being the butt of their practical joke. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole. He was 31 at the time of the crime. PICTURE.

Christopher Armstrong Mignot Lobban. Actor Chris Lobban, born in 1976 in Delaware, USA as Christopher Armstrong Mignot Lobban, is known for Welcome Freshmen (1991), In the Heat of the Night (1988) and Superboy (1988). PICTURE (from In the Heat of the Night).

Christopher Donald Lobban, from Perth, Australia, was convicted of internet child porn, extradited to U.S. in 2017 for trial and sentenced to a 25-year prison term. PICTURE.

Dennis (“Leppo”) Lobban, Jamaican, born 16 Jan. 1955, was convicted of the murder of reggae star Peter Tosh (of the Wailers). He was initially sentenced to death but his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.  Although he was identified by victims, he maintains that he is innocent and was in a different location at the time. He appealed to  the United Nations Human Rights Committee concerning conditions in prison. He is still serving out his sentence.

Douglas Augustus “Gus” Lobban, musician, born in South London, Nov. 1992 is one-third of Kero Kero Bonito. He also records solo music under the names Kane West and Augustus. According to The Japan Times (source), Kero Kero Bonito blend “English and Japanese rap into bouncy pop tracks.”  PICTURE.

Grant Lobban, New Zealand actor and stand-up comedian, known for his role in Shortland StreetPICTURE.

Joël Lobban, Canadian pop musician from Ajax, Ontario. PICTURE.

Lynn Lobban, U.S. actress and singer from New Jersey, moved to Manhattan in 1969 and has performed in various Off- and Off-Off-Broadway shows, as well as regional theaters. “She is most proud of her appearance in the widely acclaimed film, This Moment: Wallowitch and Ross, a documentary that celebrates not only the independent and artistic lives of both John Wallowitch and the legendary dancer, Bertram Ross, but their creative and life partnership. And she was honored to be awarded a Backstage Bistro Award in 2000 for Outstanding Vocalist.” She recently appeared in the short drama Momentary (2016). PICTURE.

She has written about her time as one of the first women in Dartmouth College in a book (One of the Boys: Surviving Dartmouth, Family, and the Wilderness of Men) and two articles in the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine:  “One of the Boys” (2014) and “Back Where I Belong” (2022). Her album Frankie & Johnny & Me is available through Apple Music.

Peter Lobban, OBE, serves on the Council of the University of Ulster, who give this bio, with photo: “Born in Nairn, Scotland, Peter graduated from Edinburgh University in 1969 with an MA Honours in Econometrics. He joined the London Graduate Business School as a researcher, lecturer and economic consultant in industry and the City. In 1976 Peter joined CBI [Confederation of British Industry] as Head of Economic Policy and then Deputy Director of Employment Affairs making frequent Parliamentary briefings and media interviews. In 1986 he joined Shell UK as Director of Shell Chemicals UK. Following a period with Shell International, Peter returned from the Far East to the UK as a Director of Shell Exploration and Production in the North Sea and also became Chair of the UK Offshore Petroleum Industry Training Organisation coordinating the industry’s response to the Piper Alpha disaster. In 1998 he joined the Construction Industry Training Board Chief Executive also becoming Chief Executive of Construction Skills, following its establishment in 2004 and Chair of Sector Skills Alliance Scotland in 2007. He was also a Board member of Movement for Innovation and of Women in Science and Engineering. Peter is currently a Trustee of Building Research Establishment, and an Honorary Member of City and Guilds.” PICTURE

Sam Lobban, menswear buyer in U.S., born 1988. “I started working in a menswear boutique when I was fifteen. I was always into clothes as a kid. Then when I was eighteen, I was working in the shop floor of Selfridges and I talked my way into the buying office by petitioning the then Merchandiser on Menswear for work experience. And I’ve worked in the head office setting ever since.” In 2018 he moved from Mr Porter to NordstromPICTURE.

Trudie Lobban, MBE, Founder & Trustee of Arrhythmia Alliance in the UK was awarded the MBE in 2009 for her work in establishing charities to support people with arrhythmias. Ironically husband Charles Lobban died of cardiac arrest in 2008.  Biography.

Arrhythmia Alliance is a coalition of charities, patient groups, patients, carers, healthcare professionals, policy-makers, politicians, allied professionals and all those involved in the care of or affected by cardiac arrhythmias. Arrhythmia Alliance works in collaboration to improve diagnosis, treatment and quality of life for all those suffering with arrhythmias.  23 years ago I set up STARS (Syncope Trust And Reflex anoxic Seizures), in response to the difficulties in getting my daughters faints correctly diagnosed, after three years of worry, as syncope caused by a heart rhythm disorder. As the charity grew I was asked by a number of cardiac specialists if I would set up a charity specifically for people with arrhythmias, to provide them with support, information and a voice. From this, Arrhythmia Alliance was formed in 2004. I established Arrhythmia Alliance in 2004 following a successful campaign to include an extra chapter into the National Service Framework on Coronary Heart Disease on arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. This brought about national change in the improvement and delivery of arrhythmia services throughout the UK. (Source, with PICTURE)

William “Gibby” Lobban, reformed Glasgow gangster, was born in 1968 in Exeter prison, where his 19-year-old mother was serving time. “[He] was born into one of Glasgow’s most notorious crime families. His mother Sylvia Manson was the sister of notorious gangster Billy Manson. As a result of his unusual pedigree, Mr. Lobban was destined from birth to take his place within the shifting ranks of Scottish gangland. (source)”  “Lobban insists that not only is he reformed, but also that the criminal career he was part of is an ‘awful, degrading and hopeless way of life.’ To him, it is the Glasgow Curse, which is what he has called his autobiography (source).”  PICTURE.


And finally, there’s the fascinating, mysterious case of a Mr. Lobban who died alone in Edinburgh, and turned out to have been Italian, arriving in England as a refugee from Austria during the early part of WW2. and picked up the name of Lobban from a woman he lived with for a number of years in Inverlieth, Edinburgh.

Page created by Chris S. Lobban, 15 Aug. 2018, revised 25 Dec. 2023.