Obituary – David Hughes (LI 1944-48)

David (RDB) Hughes was born in Burma in 1930 and while his parents remained in the East until 1945, he was looked after by his grandfather, Major General Sir WGL Beynon (LI 1880-84), who brought him to Marlborough.

There he developed a keen interest in Natural History and particularly enjoyed the freedom of being able to jump on his bike during his free time to look for butterflies and flowers within a strict 10 mile radius of the College. He would bring back specimens for inspection by Mr. Pearson, the Beak in charge of the Natural History Society. On one occasion he was caught out when he presented a plant which was identified as only being found in Inkpen, well outside the 10 mile boundary!

After completing National Service, he studied Agriculture at Reading University going on to work in the coffee and tea plantations of South India accompanied by his wife Jane who had been a fellow undergraduate. He spent 22 years there, the second half managing a group of 6 coffee estates in Coorg in the foothills of the Western Ghats.
Following India he continued to work overseas as a tropical agronomist with spells in Sri Lanka (for the FAO), Malaysia (World Bank) and Cameroon (Crown Agents) eventually coming back to settle in Dorset in 1987. There he set up a gardening business with Jane before retiring to look after his highly productive vegetable garden and orchard in Upwey. His interests in Natural History continued and his knowledge of the local flora and fauna were shared on many a walk.

He died on 23rd October 2020 and leaves his wife, Jane, children Caroline and Richard (LI 1973-78) and 5 grandchildren.