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Naturalists' Society

Cymdeithas Naturiaethwyr



Walter Medley Tattersall, D.Sc., (1883-1943) 58th President

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We have an obituary of him in volume LXXII - LXXVIII (1939-1945) of the transactions (individual transactions were suspended for the duration of the war)

Walter Medley Tattersall, D.Sc., 1883-1943.

By the death of Professor Tattersall the Society has lost a loyal and valuable supporter his place will be very difficult to fill. He was born in Lancashire, a direct descendant of the senior branch of the well-known family of horse dealers educated at Liverpool College and the University of Liverpool he studied under Herdman and graduated with first class honours in Zoology at the age of nineteen.

In 1909 he succeeded Dr. W. E. Hoyle as Director of the Manchester Museum, and in 1911 he obtained his D.Sc.

He served (as a private) in Flanders and France in the R.G.A. (Royal Garrison Artillery) in the 1914-1918 war, and was gassed, and never afterwards enjoyed really good health.

In 1922 he came to Cardiff as Professor of Zoology, at once joining the Society, was elected to the Council the same year, and served as President in 1931. He had been a member of the Court and Council of the National Museum of Wales for seventeen years, and of the British Association for over 30 years, and was a regular attendant at the meetings of the last named body, also going as delegate to the Indian Science Congress he served as Secretary and Recorder to Section D, of which, in 1939, he was president-elect.

Tattersall specialised in the Crustacea in many families, of which he was recognised as the authority, and published a long series of Reports and monographs on material collected by various expeditions. At the start of the last war he had completed the manuscript of a volume on the Mysidacea for Bronn's Tierreich, and was engaged on a monograph of the British species for the Ray Society at the time of his death.

We understand Mrs. Tattersall is hoping to complete and prepare the manuscript for publication, and she, herself, drew all the figures which illustrate his many publications.

Throughout his connection with the Society he took great interest in its work, and in that of the Biological and Geological Section, of which he was President in 1936-37. Of a very modest and retiring nature, perhaps he never was so thoroughly appreciated as a Zoologist as his work and merits warranted. Those who knew him well will always remember him for his humour and geniality and for the courage with which he endured his long illness.

The Glamorgan County History, Vol. I (Natural History), of which he was the Editor, will be a fitting memorial of him.

We are indebted to Mrs. Tattersall for much of the information and have also drawn of the obituary notices in Nature,152 592, and The North-Western Naturalist

December, 1943. H.M.H.

Walter Medley Tattersall

Walter Medley Tattersall from an internet archive (I have not been able to trace this back. if it is your image please let me know and I will remove or credit )

There are a number of other sites that give information about him. including the following.

Regarding the Glamorgan County History volume, the society was clearly rightly proud of its involvement as was noted in volume LXIX of the Transactions in 1936: -

Just before the end of the session, Vol. 1 of the Glamorgan County History was published, dealing with its Natural History under the editorship of Prof. W. M. Tattersall, D.Sc., and members of this Section directly contributed 289 of its 444 pages.

In the transactions we record a visit that he and his wife hosted to the university: -

Visit To University College Of South Wales And Monmouth. On Wednesday, 18th October, 1933, some 50 members of the Society accepted the invitation of the University College to visit the laboratories of that Institution both in Cathays Park and at Newport Road and, at the conclusion of the tour, the thanks of those present were expressed to the College Authorities and particularly to Professor W. M. and Mrs. Tattersall who so kindly provided hospitality for the visitors.

In relation to the comment above in relation to his wife's intention to complete the unfinished work mentioned above I have identified that she did this and more as described in this comment from an internet archive "Tattersall married Olive Selden Attride in 1916, and much of the fruitful work that he was able to undertake in his long years of illness is due to her unremitting care and devotion. As a student of science she was able to give him very substantial assistance, and she herself drew nearly all figures which illustrate his papers." and this excerpt from Crustaceana, Volume 38, Issue 3

A long partnership, unique in the annals of Peracaridan taxonomic research, and spanning a period of over 60 years, terminated with the death in November, 1978 of Olive Selden Tattersall at the age of 88. From 1904 to 1944 Walter Medley Tattersail published a long series of papers one delayed until 1951), and from 1922 on the drawings that illustrate these were prepared by Mrs. Tattersall. Five years afer he died in 1943, Olive Taltersall decided to complete unfinished work as far as possible in the way her husband would have wished. One must admire the way in which she tackled the preparation of the manuscript on the British Mysidacea to be published by the Ray Society; it was completed in under 3 years and the monograph appeared under their joint names in 1951. Thereafter she produced a series of scientific papers on Mysidacea until 1969; these are professional contributions of which her husband would have approved. Between them they have added greatly to knowledge of peracaridan orders, especially of the Mysidacea

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Before this... Sir Cyril Fred Fox (1882-1967) 57th President

Next up... Archibald Henry Lee O.B.E., M.C., M.A. (1890-1970) 59th President

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