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File 04 - Box 4 - Photographs attributed to G. Sherriff 'Tibet and Bhutan'
Reports

Part of Ludlow, F. and Sherriff, G. Collection

Identity area

Reference code

GB235 LSH/005/01/04

Title

Box 4 - Photographs attributed to G. Sherriff 'Tibet and Bhutan'

Date(s)

  • 1933 - 1949 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

This box contains 67 black and white photographs. The original packaging (with annotations) in which the photographs were donated by Peter Cox is also contained here. The majority of the photographs are of varieties of Meconopsis and rhododendron. Many of the photographs have a label on the reverse which relates to corresponding herbarium material of the same number. Most photographs also have the plant number, location and date listed on the reverse. Some photographs also have marking related to the desired cropping or enlarging of future prints on the reverse. The largest prints are around 8 x 10 inches and the smallest around 6 x 8 inches. The majority of prints are at the larger end of the scale.

Context area

Name of creator

Sherriff, George (1898-1967)

Biographical history

George Sherriff attended the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich and fought in the First World War in France in 1918, where he was gassed. In 1919 he was sent to India and served on the north-west frontier. In 1927 he was appointed British vice-consul in Kashgar, Chinese Turkestan and while there travelled widely. In 1929 he met Frank Ludlow and their shared interests in ornithology, travel and plants started a lifelong friendship. During the 1930s they went on a series of plant and bird collecting expeditions working eastward along the main Himalayan ranges. In 1933, for example, they travelled to Tibet, Nang-kartse, Gyantse and back to India making 500 gatherings of plants and seeds; their collections included 69 species of rhododendron, 15 new to science. Sherriff resumed his military service during the Second World War, first in Assam and later in Sikkim and in 1943 he succeeded Frank Ludlow in charge of British Mission in Lhasa. After the war he continued collecting in south east Tibet, again with Ludlow. In 1949 both retired from India and went a final expedition to Bhutan to gather alpine and temperate flora. George Sherriff funded virtually all his expeditions himself and, as well as collecting, took thousands of photographs. He was one of first plant collectors to send specimens in crates back by air to Kew, Edinburgh and Wisley and his best plant introductions were rhododendrons, primulas, and peonies. On retirement Sherriff bought an estate near Kirriemuir in Angus where he grew many Himalayan plants with great success. In his later years he served in the Home Guard, on the county council and as session clerk of his local church.

Sources: Dictionary of National Biography; R. Desmond ‘Dictionary of British and Irish Botanists and Horticulturalists; obituary folder; H.R. Fletcher ‘A Quest for Flowers’.
D.W.

Archival history

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Gifted by Peter Cox, 1982

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