Cyril O. Hammond
1903 - 1980
Cyril Oswald Hammond was born in Kings Lynn, Norfolk on the 24 October 1903, and on completion of a teacher training course at the College of St Mark and St John in Chelsea he began his career as a primary school teacher. He remained at the same school, Lordship Lane School, Wood Green, North London, for the duration of his career and on his retirement he had risen to the position of Deputy Headmaster.
Cyril Hammond was, from a child, interested in natural history and in particular his life's passion - the dragonflies. Whilst living in London he got to know Charles Colyer, the celebrated Dipterist, with whom he collaborated in the production of 'Flies of the British Isles', first published in 1951 as part of the Warne 'Wayside and Woodland' series. His superb colour illustrations greatly enhanced the visual appeal and scientific value of this work.
He also came into contact with Miss Cynthia Longfield at the British Museum (Natural History) who was the dragonfly expert there and he contributed four plates for the second edition of her book 'Dragonflies of the British Isles'. In the early 1970's the book became outdated and unavailable so Cyril began preparing his own book which was finally published by the Curwen Press in 1977 under the title 'The Dragonflies of Great Britain and Ireland'. This work was widely acclaimed and Miss Longfield stated it was the "dragonfly book of the century". Praise indeed.
Cyril Hammond was elected an Honorary Life Member of the AES in 1979 and also held honorary membership of both the British and Royal Entomological Societies. On the 23 August 1980 he died following a stroke.
He made a generous bequest to the AES of about £10,000 and our Council, in 1982, set up The Hammond Award in his memory. It is given for the best contribution to the Bulletin on the theme of British insects, in any one year, and is open to all members of the Society.