In 1939 he co-founded The Invariant Society, the student mathematics society, and earned his Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Oxford in 1941.
He is known for his contributions to group theory. His thesis, The units of group-rings, was written under the direction of J. H. C. Whitehead. From 1960 to 1984 he was the Waynflete Professor of Pure Mathematics at Magdalen College, Oxford.
He was also a local preacher in the Oxford Circuit of the Methodist Church.
During the Second World War he was a conscientious objector, working at the Meteorological Office in Northern Ireland and Gibraltar. He died in Oxford.