Douglas St Leger Gordon

One of the classic books about the natural history of Dartmoor is the Collins New Naturalist one first published in 1953 and written by Leslie Harvey and Douglas St Leger Gordon.

Harvey was professor of Zoolology at Exeter University and he wrote the bulk of the book. Douglas St Leger-Gordon was a local man from Sticklepath who wrote many books on Devon and Dartmoor and he contributed 2 chapters to the New Naturalist: Dartmoor’s Historical Background and Dartmoor People: their Customs and Superstitions.

Dartmoor NN
A lovely Clifford and Rosemary Ellis image of Postbridge on the cover of this very collectable series.

Leger Gordon graveWhen I was in Sticklepath the other day visiting Finch Foundry I went into the Quaker graveyard to look for Leger-Gordon’s headstone. He died in 1970 and was buried in the small but lovely cemetery there.

His headstone simply says

Chronicler of Dartmoor
Lover of Nature

Harvey and Leger-Gordon’s book has now been superceded in the series by another book also simply titled Dartmoor by Ian Mercer first published in 2009. Both books are still available – Google Collins New Naturalist Dartmoor and you will find second hand copies of the first book and new ones of the second.

One thought on “Douglas St Leger Gordon

  1. I was delighted to read your short piece on Douglas St Leger Gordon. In the past few years my family history research revealed him as my first cousin. Our lives overlapped but I never met him in spite of spending much of my working life in countryside recreation and conservation. Born in Canada he returned to England and quite quickly began to devote his life to Devon and Dartmoor. Thank you for the gentle reminder of part of his contribution.
    Best wishes
    Clive Gordon

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