Obituary: Miss E. L. Turner

Published on 01 September 1940 in Obituaries

Miss E. L. TURNER’S many friends will have learnt with deep sorrow of her death, which took place at her home in Cambridge on August 14th at the age of 74. Miss Turner, as is well known, was one of the pioneers of bird photography. Much of her work, for which she was awarded the gold medal of the Royal Photographic Society, was done in Norfolk, where she spent a part of each year, living in a houseboat on Hickling Broad. Cheerfully enduring exposure, hardship, and fatigue which would have daunted most of her sex in those days, and working with cameras and appliances which nowadays would be deemed wholly inadequate, she obtained results which at the time were unsurpassed, and even now compare not unfavourably with the work of the present day. One of her successes was photographing, in 1911, the first young Bitterns known to have been hatched in Norfolk since the return of this species to the county. Through bird photography she learnt to become a competent field ornithologist, and her books on birds–particularly Broadland Birds–are not only valuable records of accurate observation but are written with a characteristic literary charm. In 1923 she undertook the duties of watcher for the National Trust on Scolt Head Island. Here she lived for 18 months in the watcher’s hut and collected the material for her book Bird Watching on Scolt Head. She was one of the first women to be elected a Fellow of the Linnean Society and

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