Friday, 12 April 2013

Donors of Reptiles to London Zoo 1915: 4. Harold Duncan Foster

The first example of an amateur reptile keeper I have found so far from the list given by Clin Keeling of those individuals who donated specimens to London Zoo around the time of the beginning of the First World War is Harold Duncan Foster. He gave two Slow Worms, a Delande's Gecko†, a Green Lizard, two European Tree-frogs, a Fire-bellied Toad, a Yellow-bellied Toad and two Great Crested Newts.

In the 1911 Census he is shown at the same address, namely, 43 Queen's Grove, St John's Wood — only a short walk from the Zoo. Born in Marylebone, he was a colliery owner, single, and employed a parlourmaid, another servant and a cook.

He married Alice G Anderson at Marylebone in 1913. Was it a coincidence that his reptiles and amphibians went to the Zoo in 1914? Or was it a case of me or those creatures? Alice died in Hampstead in 1934 aged 52.

Harold Duncan Foster died, a widower, in Hampstead in 1955, aged 71.

There is information on his family history at:

†Delaland's Gecko?