Richard Cranmer Dening - A life combining a passion for natural history with colonial life in Africa and travels to exotic places.

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Richard Cranmer Dening

5th January 1920 - 30th June 2005

Richard Dening was by and large a supremely happy man. He rarely did anything which he really didn't want to do and spent his life pursuing his passions and interests. He was therefore also a successful man, living his life the way he wanted to live it. His passions included natural history in general (most specifically butterflies), travel, human health, nutrition and squash. He played squash all his life into his eighties and even after a heart attack!

He was a Life Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society and left behind a considerable collection of butterflies, moths and dragonflies (75 cases) collected from 42 different countries around the world. The R.C. Dening Collection, as his collection is now known, has been donated to the Glasgow Museums in Scotland.

Richard was much better known as Tim and this was the way that he introduced himself socially. He was born in England in 1920, the son of a career army officer. He had one brother, John, and two sisters Angela and Fenella. Family connections led Tim to join the Indian Army during World War II and to serve in India and Burma until the end of the war. After the war, he joined the Colonial Administrative Service in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and was a District Commissioner in Mwinilunga, Mumbwa and Samfya. He married Elisabeth (Betty) in Northern Rhodesia and had three daughters.

He remained in Zambia after independence, working as an agricultural economist and later worked as a consultant in the same field, in countries all around the world. All of Tim's comprehensive papers relating to his career, first in the colonial administration in Northern Rhodesia and then as an agricultural economist, have been donated to the University of Oxford's Bodleian Library  of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House, in Oxford, England.


Richard Cranmer Dening
Growing up and Family Life
Career Summary
1938 - 2003
Tales of Colonial Life
Life as a District Commissioner in N. Rhodesia
India to England in an Allegro
Natural History
Field Notebooks and more.
The R.C. Dening Collection
75 cases of Lepidoptera and Odonata
The website author







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Website: Copyright B.Corker 2008     Images: Copyright EGL Dening 2008