Hugh Leach, OBE, an Arabist, spent most of his thirty-six-year career as a soldier and diplomat in the Middle East. His last four years were spent in making a seminal study of contemporary trends in Islam. After retiring, he became interested in exploring regions of Central Asia, especially the sources of the Oxus and Jaxartes, and had led several expeditions of young people into the mountainous regions of northern Pakistan. He was Historian of the Royal Society of Asian Affairs (formerly the Royal Central Asian Society) and author of its centennial history, Strolling about on the Roof of the World.
Leach died at 81 in November 2015.