Following up this series of posts, this is what Clin Keeling wrote in A Short History of British Reptile Keeping:
It's 8th August 1914 and one Guy Aylmer of Risby Manor, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, enriches the 1883 reptile house with two Black-collared Cobras, an African Rock Python, a Green Night Snake, a Burrowing Viper, a Rufescent Snake, an Emerald Tree Snake (Boa?), a Smoky Snake (Tropidonotus fuliginoides), four Tree Frogs (species not stated), and a Senegal Chameleon. Again, we hear no more of him, and once again I suspect here was someone entrusting his stock to good and experienced hands before going off to face the foe; the contest was less than a week old, and this makes me wonder whether he was possibly an officer on the reserve list. Through the helpful offices of Mrs. S. Greening of the Barrow (a nearby village) local History Society, I've discovered he was the son of Colonel Henry Leycester Aylmer, who was living at the Manor in 1912, which rather strengthens this idea. The fact remains, though, that zoology has heard no more of him, so in all probability he was soon to find a far-off grave.
Mr. Guy Aylmer, F.Z.S., exhibited some skins of mammals from Sierra Leone, including those of a Serval (Felis capensis) and of a Servaline Cat (F. servalina), and stated that a native had brought him two kittens, almost certainly from the same litter, one being spotted like the Serval, and the other obscurely speckled like the Servaline Cat. This he regarded as proof that the differences between the Servals and Servaline Cats are of no systematic importance.
Among a collection of Reptiles and Batrachians collected by Mr. Guy Aylmer, F.Z.S., in Sierra Leone last year and presented by him to the Society, I found two frogs of the genus Rappia which have not hitherto been recorded. I propose for one the name of Rappia aylmeri, after its discoverer, for the other Rappia chlorostea, from the green colour of its bones, visible through the skin…
Every day since I have flown my hawks and eagles, I have thanked Major Guy Aylmer for the peace of mind his invention has given falconers like myself, who religiously use the aylmeri jess. He came up with the idea whilst he was Conservator of Forests in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. In his spare time he was not only Master of the Khartoum Foot Foxhounds, but flying his eyas and wild-caught Red-Headed Merlins. It was whilst flying, that these merlins, with their jesses trailing, attracted the unwanted attention of piratical birds, thinking the merlins were carrying snakes etc. His idea was to fly his merlins with just the anklets, leaving the field jess behind in the grip of the falconers glove. Little did he realise what a great contribution he would be making to future falconry, and that countless hundreds of hunting hawks and falcons lives would be safer. For this alone his name should live on as long as falconry.
Her mother’s cousin was James Edgar Dandy (1903-1976) then an Assistant at the Natural History Museum but eventually Keeper of Botany. The original expedition comprised the leader, Cecil Graham Traquair Morison (Agricultural Chemistry, Oxford), Dunstan Skilbeck (Soil Science, Oxford) and Dandy. Descendants provided Mary Keenan with the expedition diary and photographs.
Whitehall, January 21, 1935The KING has been pleased to give and to grant unto Guy Aylmer, Esq., Conservator of Forests, Sudan Government, His Majesty’s Royal licence and authority to wear the Insignia of the Fourth Class of the Order of the Nile, which Decoration has been conferred upon him by his Majesty the King of Egypt, in recognition of valuable services rendered by him.
By 1939 he was back in England. My guess is that he would probably have retired in 1937 at the age of 50, the then usual age for retirement in the Colonial Service.
Otter Hounds Kill 38At the annual meeting of the Eastern Counties Otter Hunt, held at Colchester...The Hunt Committee for the 1939 season consists of...Major G Aylmer…The Master reported a successful season, during which hounds were out on 81 days, finding 63 otters and accounting for 38 of them...Prospects for the coming season were excellent, and reports as to otters working the country are most satisfactory.
Lost Falcon FoundThe trained falcon lost by Major Guy Aylmer, of Risby, near Bury St. Edmunds, which is thought might have been shot on Thursday by a gamekeeper who saw a bird attacking partridges on the Denston Hall Estate, Newmarket, has been found in the Kentford district...
Guy Aylmer died in 1954, aged 66. He was clearly a man of his class and of his time: a falconer and a hunter as well as a naturalist. His wife had died in 1951, aged 64. There is a gravestone for Christabel, her father and Guy Aylmer in Rushbrooke, Suffolk. He appears to have married again, to Beryl E Bland, in 1952; there is a matching death for her in 1959.
Professor Bryan Tyson read the original post and provided the additional information:
I met Guy Aylmer in 1943, when he was living with his wife and son Michael (who had just started at Cambridge) in Risby Manor—a large house a little further down the Green than ours (which is today called “Little Manor" but was, in those days, known as “Shepherd Elmer's cottage" where we lived throughout the War.) His house was majestic enough, with its white half-timbered frontage and large well-cultivated grounds. He took me on many a trip when I was about ten years old, showing me the nests of garden warblers and blackcaps, whose eggs were a little difficult to distinguish from one another; and upstairs in the rather cold house, where a pair of house martins had actually nested against the glass of his study windows, so that you could see into their nest! I remember he also had the head of a Tiger that he had shot on safari, and a big model Malayan house-boat.His wife used to make a fuss if mud was walked into the house, and we had to take our shoes off, I recall, before we went upstairs. His egg-collection was an absolute dream: all set out in cabinets with glass-topped drawers that slid open at the touch. I remember shyly offering the information I had received from a boy at school that it was impossible to “blow” kingfishers’ eggs, as their shells were too frail. For answer he opened a cabinet drawer to reveal a line of little round kingfishers’ eggs like a row of smiling teeth. He taught me a great deal about birds on our expeditions, and I remember his envy when I showed him my Stone Curlew’s egg (he didn’t have one).
On one occasion, he called over at our house with his son Michael, to see if I would accompany them to play in a scratch team, in a cricket match somewhere. I said yes, and we drove there in his car. The experience was positive, though I do not remember scoring many runs; but I remember observing that Michael—who was about eighteen at the time—breathed through his mouth with a slight panting. He had a heart condition, which had prevented him following his father into the Army, and which threatened to curtail his career in farming (he was reading something to do with Agriculture, I believe.) The irony is that he survived and prospered, while his father, the Major, fell dead one day in 1954, at age 66, while gardening; and it transpired that he had the same heart defect as his son, but it had gone undiagnosed all his life. Mrs. Aylmer, whom I recall as a very tanned lady, predeceased him, dying of cancer in 1951 at the age of 64, shortly after we left the village. You mention his grave in Rushbrooke cemetery; but there is a gravestone for Guy Aylmer in Risby churchyard (where my own parents are buried.) It reads simply “Guy Aylmer. Falconer and Gentleman."