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the web of life in southern Africa

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Izard, Alfred David (1863-1968)

Chiefly a mountaineer rather than an insect collector, but accompanied KH Barnard and CW Thorne on mountaineering expeditions where he assisted them with collecting (e.g. Idlewild expedition). Barnard named the stag beetle Colophon izardi after him.

Date Age Event(s)
19 Jan 1893 0 Born in London.
?-1910 ?-17 Educated at Dulwich College, London, until his Father's early death in 1910.

    Joined the Eastern Telegraph Company (later to become Cable & Wireless) and attended their training college at Porthcurno, Cornwall, where he successfully overcame his fear of heights by forcing himself to walk and climb on the coastal paths and rocks; excellent training for his subsequent interest in mountaineering in Cape Town. He was a keen sportsman playing tennis and rugby (he played for the local Penzance team "The Pirates of Penzance"!) and was a good swimmer too.
1915-1918 22-25 He requested a transfer to Cable Ships in order to "do his bit for 'King and Country'" during the Great War. He served in the Mediterranean for three years as an engineer repairing cables damaged by the enemy, and thus restoring communications so vital to the war effort. He kept a diary during this period.
1918-1921 25-28 He continued to serve on Cable Ships and it was during this time that he probably "acquired" his collection of butterflies and beetles. He was then transferred to the foreign service staff, presumably also at his request
1925-1928 32-35 Posted to Cape Town as a Telegraph Clerk and where he spent three happy years. It could not have taken him long to discover the delights of mountaineering in view of the fact that the Idlewild trip occurred so soon after arriving. He went on this trip with K.H. Barnard and C.W. Thorne of the South African Museum. He was also a keen member of the South African Mountaineering Club. Barnard at a later stage named the stag beetle Colophon izardi after him.
?-1968 ?-75 Always interested in all aspects of nature, in retirement to Cornwall he was never without his magnifying eye glass, particularly when walking the coastal paths or on picnics etc. No doubt his Cape Town experience of working with scientists taught him how to observe. One of his great loves in retirement was gardening.
14 Feb 1968 75 Died in Cornwall, UK.

Information supplied by Margaret Wells (A.D. Izard's daughter).