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Essex Field Club
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Noteworthy naturalist

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T. S. Dymond (1861–1949) Agricultural Chemist, HM School Inspector, President EFC

Thomas Southall Dymond was born on 9th February 1861 in Kings Norton, Worcestershire. He died on 9 March 1949 in 14 Albany Road, St Leonard's, Hastings, Sussex, at the age of 88 and a casket of cremated remains buried in a chamber at the foot end of his wife’s grave EQ D2 at Hastings Cemetery, without ceremony on 14th March 1949. At this time the grave had granite kerbs and posts and a granite landing.

T.S. Dymond was born in Kings Norton, near Birmingham and lived in Cheshire in 1871, Edgbaston, Warwickshire in 1873 and 1881, Enfield, Middlesex, in 1891; St Luke’s Finsbury, London in 1901 and Hastings, Sussex in 1911 where he died in 1949.

His parents, George Thomas Dymond (14th February 1828 - 4th November 1873) a Quaker Minister and wholesale druggist and chemist, and Ellen Southall (1826-22nd October 1869) were married in Birmingham in 1856. His father married again on 20th June 1872 in Bristol to Mary Gertrude Pease (1851-1909).

He had two brothers, George Cecil Dymond (1857–1943) a Patent Agent and Arthur Wilkey Dymond (1867-1896) an engineer; and two sisters; Olivia Dymond (1862-1947) a school head mistress and Mary Evelyn Dymond (1865-1961); as well as a half-sister, Sylvia Dorothea Hanbury nee Dymond (1873-1931).

He married Isabel Emily Fox (1870-1935), who was born in Brazil to English parents, at Christ Church, Lancaster Gate, Bayswater on 17 April 1895. Isabel sued for divorce in 1902 and the seven-year marriage was annulled due to non-consummation, following an intimate medical inspection of both parties. However, they remarried in 1909 at St. George’s Hanover Square. They had no children. She did on 16th July 1935 and left her £10,191.18 estate to her husband who is described as a gentleman. She was buried in Hastings cemetery on 19th July 1935 in grave EQ D2.


In 1871 he was listed as a scholar; in 1881 he was an apprentice to a chemist; in 1891 a demonstrator of chemistry; in 1901 he was an agricultural chemist; in 1911 an Inspector of Schools with the Board of Education. He inspected schools in Bedfordshire in 1890 and 1914, Lincolnshire in 1906. 1908 & 1913 Hertfordshire. Pembrokeshire 1908; Surrey 1911-1914. In the mid-1890s to the mid-1900s he was working at the Essex County Council Technical Laboratories, Agricultural Section (Agricultural Chemistry), Chelmsford. Thomas Dymond served as Mayor of Hastings from November 1926 and recorded his fascinating year in office, 1926-1927, in an illustrated book entitled The Memoirs of a Mayor of Hastings, published in 1928.

Dymond and the Essex Field Club

T. S. Dymond, F.C.S., F.I.C, was elected a member of the Essex Field Club on 21st February 1893. He submitted short notes to the Essex Naturalist about A Lunar Rainbow (1894); and A Remarkable Meteor observed at Chelmsford (1894). Dymond contributed more substantial articles about A Manganiferous Conglomerate in Essex [Tendring area] used as a building stone (1898) and with F.W. Manyon ‘Fresh Water Chalk’ at Halstead (1898). In both articles he considers how these rocks formed and includes detailed chemical analyses. T. S. Dymond undertook much work on the effects of the 1897 tidal flooding. These investigations were undertaken with F. Hughes at the Chelmsford Technical Laboratory. They published a report in 1898 and an article in the Essex Naturalist (1900) entitled ‘The After-Effects of the High Tide of November 29th1897’. Some 29,540 acres were inundated with sea water and they analysed the devasting effects on the soil and crop yields. He published some remarks on May Thresh’s paper on Manganiferous Nodules in Boulder Clay (1902). Dymond contributed a paper on Charcoal Burning in Essex (1904) as a precursor to his three-page account of this rapidly declining industry for the second volume of the Victoria History of the County of Essex (1907). He submitted a paper on Sulphate of Lime in Essex Soils and Subsoils (1905) and a note on Selenite (1905). In 1906 he assisted in an inspection of Hainault Forest, where he had advised Mr. Buxton during operations of laying down the land for grass, and in 1907 was one of the conductors on an excursion to Burnham, Foulness and the Maplin Sands to Southend when he mentioned the 1897 tidal flooding.

Thomas Southall Dymond was unanimously elected president of the Essex Field Club on 29th February 1908 in succession to R. Miller Christy (1905-1907). It was stated “he held a high position as a scientific man, particularly in relation to the application of science to agriculture and rural affairs” as well as being an acknowledged authority on education. On 31st July 1909 he took part in an inspection of the boundary stones of the old forest of Waltham and a visit to Pyrgo Park, Havering-atte-Bower. Unfortunately, shortly afterwards he was ordered to rest for a considerable period on medical advice but returned by 1st April 1911 to read his presidential address in which he reviewed three years work done by Essex Field Club, including educational class visits by schoolchildren to the museum, during his tenure of office. He was succeeded as president by William Whitaker (1911-1913). Dymond also attended the annual meeting on 1st April 1933.

Dymond also contributed articles and books elsewhere. He published a paper titled Essex Experiments in Destruction of Charlock (1899) in the Journal of the Royal Agricultural SocietyAn Experimental Course of Chemistry for Agricultural Students (1900). He also wrote a paper for Essex County Council titled Agricultural Education: the scheme of the Essex County Council, (1900). He compiled a 177-page account of the Agricultural Industry and Education in Hungary (1902). This was an account of a visit of Essex Farmers’ Party to Hungary in May and June 1902 and contained 98 illustrations from photographs. He contributed a 16-page tract about State-Aid to Agriculture to The Fabian Society. In 1903 he wrote a pamphlet, with the appropriately named T.S. Bull, for the County Technical Laboratories, Chelmsford on Variation in the Milk of a Dairy Herd during the Winter Months. Also, in 1903 he wrote a condensed report about the Manuring of Grass Lands: Essex for the Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society. He published two papers at the Cambridge meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. The first, of two pages, was an account of The Influence of Sulphates as Manures upon the yield and feeding-value of Crops (1904) was produced with the collaboration of F. Hughes and C. Jupe. The second, of two pages, was a joint paper with George Clark and entitled The Determination of the availability of Insoluble Phosphate in Manures (1904). He gave several market-day lectures to farmers at the Essex County Technical Laboratories, Chelmsford on Friday afternoons, after the weekly market, during the winter months between 1904 and 1905. On 5th February 1904 he lectured on ‘High and Low Grade Basic Slags’ and on ‘The Manuring of Potatoes’ on 25th March 1904. Both of these lectures were published in 1904. He also lectured on ‘Foods for Farm Stock’ in 1905. His nine-page ‘Blue Book’ The Education of the Cottage and Market Gardener in England and Wales (1907) published as an educational pamphlet by the Board of Education was recommended in the Essex Naturalist. Dymond published, with George Clark and Lieutenant-Colonel D.C.Pedder a 15 page account of Socialism and Agriculture for the Fabian Society (1908). He also published in 1908 a booklet entitled Suggestions on Rural Education.

While Mayor of Hastings he gave an interesting presidential address on 1st July 1927 entitled “Ignorance” to the Royal Sanitary Institute which they published in 1928. In this he writes “…while our first duty is to provide an ample supply of pure water for our citizens, to dispose of their refuse and sewage, regulate the building development of their towns and villages on town-planning lines conducive to their health and happiness, even to build them houses to live in, we also have to provide an army of sanitary inspectors and health visitors, tuberculosis sanatoria and venereal disease clinics, special schools and poor law institutions, the necessity for which might scarcely arise were it not for vice and ignorance.” He continued “The vices which are most active for evil are undoubtedly intemperance, lust, sloth and avarice, the last especially when it takes the form of the cupidity that leads to insanitary housing and overcrowding, and indirectly to the three other vices named. While it is for the State to deal with ignorance by education, it is for the Church to deal with vice”.

Thomas Southall Dymond of 14 Albany Road, St. Leonards-on-Sea died on 9th March 1949. Probate of his £25,297 estate was granted at Lewes on 15th June to the Public Trustee.

The photograph of him was taken by Lafayette and appeared in the 50th anniversary A Short History of the Essex Field Club,1880-1930, by Percy Thompson, published in 1930.

Account provided by Mr William George
page last edited on Fri Jun 22nd 2018 by site user 68