Obituary Revd. David A. Quine (OH 1942-1947)

David A. Quine, 31st December 1928 - 22nd October 2015.
This obituary was written by Jaqueline Clough (wife of Tom).

David Quine, along with Richard Hovil and Tom Clough, were study mates in Old House in the 1940s initially under “Pump” Batterbee and latterly Pat McElwey, and remained good friends. All were in the 1st XV for one or more years, David and Tom as left and right wings, Richard in the scrum. They also shared a strong Christian faith, David and Richard becoming ordained and Tom influential as a schoolmaster.

David developed a passion for birds, the feathered variety, whilst still at school, making simple cameras which he placed in nearby trees to capture their images. It was also possibly at school that he found a picture in the Illustrated London News of the Outer Hebrides island of St Kilda and vowed to visit it one day.

From Blundell’s, after National Service in the RAF, David progressed to Queens’ College, Cambridge to read Medicine and Theology. When interviewed by Barts. Hospital, prior to the next stage in Medicine, he was asked if he played for his College and replied that there wasn’t time as he played for the University - here he was much valued for his speed and place kicking. Unfortunately, injury on the day of the ‘Varsity match deprived him of his Blue. His rugby career continued later with the Leicester Tigers. On completing his degree he spent a year at the Cambridge Bermondsey Mission before returning to Ridley Hall to study for ordination. Curacies in Beckenham and Derby preceded a parish in Newcastle on a slum clearance site which featured in the opening scenes of the TV series The Likely Lads. When the Church spire became unsafe David climbed to the peak to raise awareness and funds. The local steeple jack was so impressed that he suggested a change of career.

After six years he decided to become a school Chaplain and settled at Monkton Combe Junior School near Bath where he found himself in close proximity to Richard Hovil who was, at the time, Chaplain of the Senior School. During his fifteen years there, David developed a Bird Reserve for study and breeding of ducks and geese, including several endangered species.

In 1956 David married Mary Marshall who supported him in all his activities and projects, often providing last minute illustrations for Sermons and sharing the family freezer with frozen potential taxidermy specimens. They had two sons, Christopher (b.1959) and Timothy (b.1961), both of whom are now professors. David and Mary retired to the Lake District where he began to paint beautiful watercolour images of birds. He visited St Kilda in 1977 and on numerous subsequent occasions, writing three definitive books and interviewing those who took part in the Evacuation of the island in the 1920s, and their relatives. Copies of his books and a painting can be viewed in the Beale Centre. In 1980 David was elected a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London.