Members at our 2007 BBQ

Naturalists' Society

Cymdeithas Naturiaethwyr



Morley Havelock Neale, (?-1965) 62nd President

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For someone so interesting and who clearly gave a lot to society I have sadly not been able to obtain an obituary of him with many details. I have therefore pieced the following together from multiple sources.

There is an interesting note regarding his presidency in Volume LXVII of the transactions in 1934

At the meeting of members held during the Second Summer meeting, Mr. Morley H. Neale was unanimously elected President of the Society for the session 1934/35. This is the first occasion upon which the son of a past President has been elected to the clair and is a just recognition of the services rendered to the Society by Mr. Neal and by other members of his family.

The father who is being referred to is Joshua John Neale 28th and 45th President. He leased Grassholm and Skomer for 10 years to protect and conserve them.

The Neales's were a family of fishing trawler owners with some fleet ownership records already linked on his fathers page. I have located a number more that refer to Morley H's ownership

  1. S.T. Saxon FD159
  2. Hatano LO177
  3. S.T. Sasebo CF27

There are in fact 5 pages of vessels owned by the Neale's on The Bosun's Watch website and a similar number on the Milford Trawlers site

With such a heritage there is no wonder that he maintained a keen interest in the sea and in the islands that his father had protected and in The Grassholm Gannets In 1924 - A Great Increase. By Clemence M. Acland And H. Morrey Salmon. his recollections of the birds are noted as follows: -

Since the late Mr. J. J. Neale relinquished the lease of Grassholm about ten years ago very little appears to have been recorded concerning the colony of Gannets (Sula bassana) inhabiting the island.

The late Mr. J. H. Gurney, in his book on The Gannet (1912), summarizes the previous records published in the Transactions of the Cardiff Naturalists' Society and elsewhere, and estimates that in 1903 at the time of his attempted visit (for he was unable to effect a landing owing to weather and could only sail round the island) there were about 400 birds, while Mr. Morley H. Neale informs us that up to 1914 there were not more than 300 pairs at any time.

In later life, he like his father moved away from Cardiff, but it is clear that he never lost his love of the sea.

He was made a Commander of the British Empire C.B.E. in 1952 noted in the listing as Member, Scientific Fishery Research Committees of The Development Commission.

Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom Report of the Council for 1965-66 report his death

Mr Morley Neale had been a member of Council on a number of occasions, a Vice-President of the Association since 1951, and by a gift made in 1958, he founded the Morley Neale Fund for "the benefit or pleasure of the Plymouth Laboratory staff and ship's crews"

He was buried in the Chaffcombe (Saint Michael) Churchyard, Chaffcombe England. There is a picture of his gravestone Here

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Before this... Ivor P. Jones 61st President

Next up... Harold Augustus Hyde (1892-1973) M.A. F.L.S. F.M.A. 63rd President

See our Full list of Presidents

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