TRIBUTES have been paid to a “brilliant” and “irreplaceable” University of York academic and lecturer who tragically died from cancer aged just 36.

Mourners gathered at York Crematorium on Thursday to celebrate the life of gifted young historian Alix Beaumont, who died last month at his family’s home in the Earswick area of York.

Alix, or AJ as he was known to his many friends, was a student and lecturer at the university.

Born and raised in Essex, Alix was the eldest son of Jan and Trevor Beaumont and brother of Chris, who have family roots in York spanning several generations.

In December, weakened by aggressive cancer treatment, Alix delivered a “hilarious” best-man speech when brother Chris, 31, and bride Vicky were married.

Students and staff at the university paid tribute to Alix’s “extraordinary” intellect.

Dr Kristyn Gorton, deputy head, Department of Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media, said: “Alix received incredibly positive feedback from his students for his teaching; he always went above and beyond for them. Students remember how passionately he spoke about the subjects he loved and look back on the seminars with great fondness.

“His PhD supervisors are devastated to have lost such an irreplaceable student and colleague. They count themselves lucky to have crossed paths with such an extraordinary intellect and kind-hearted person.”

Alix began his academic career at Birmingham University, reading Ancient History, and later transferred to University College London after he was diagnosed with diabetes, relocating to remain close to the then family home in Essex.

He received a 1st Class honours at UCL, then took an MA in Ancient History which was awarded with distinction.

Alix continued his academic studies at the University of York, taking an MA in Media Studies. He was researching Greek mythology in contemporary media for his PhD at the university when he died.

As a recognised York historian, Alix led guided tours around the city in his downtime with White Rose York Tours.

Tour guide boss Alan Sharp said: “Alix was a good guide. He had a gift for presenting information to people. We could have put Alix with anyone and he would have done a great job. He will be greatly missed by all of us.”

Alix, who tragically lost his younger brother Nick to leukaemia in 1995, is survived by the youngest Beaumont brother Chris. Speaking at the wake held at York Racecourse, Chris said: “Apart from being a wonderful, loving and protective brother, he had a brilliant mind with immense knowledge. He spoke with such a passion on his subjects even when we were very young. His best-man speech was simply hilarious. In spite of what he was going through with his illness, he remained himself. He was always who he was, to the end.”