Terry Crowley, 1915-1999

By Tom and Celia Pain

Extracted from Journal of Conchology, Volume 37, pp. 93–97
Terry Crowley
Terence (Terry) was born in Otley, Yorkshire on the 12th July 1915. He was educated at Bradford Grammar School and Leeds University, graduating in 1937 with a B.Sc in Engineering. After graduating, he was frequently employed by the Ministry of Defence throughout his life. While he was with them he was one of the first people to learn American 'time study' which was improved and became 'method study'.

During the 2nd World War Terry spent some of his time in London. During the course of the buzz bomb raids, he developed the idea of the Bonus Scheme for rewarding workers who did an exceptional job. In Terry's case this was getting temporary and permanent prefabricated buildings put up very quickly to accommodate homeless people. He went into partnership with R.H. James and Partners to prepare bespoke Bonus Schemes but it was wound up in 1956. Terry rejoined the Ministry of Defence and worked at Denham for a few years. He was seconded to the US Air Force at Brize Norton as a civilian engineer. In 1964 Brize Norton was handed back to the Royal Air Force and Terry was then employed at Upper Heyford until he retired in 1975 at the age of 60.

On retirement Terry learned china mending from an expert and was much in demand, turning his hand to other things too. He assisted at Woodstock Museum including being woodlice recorder for several years. This was in addition to his extensive array of non-molluscan interests, the most important of which was motor bikes. He was interested in fossils, coins, weapons, clay pipes, beam engines, church architecture, stately homes, D. H. Lawrence, railways, and musical boxes and ran the Bampton Sunday School with his wife Wendy He wrote four books for the Shire Publications: Discovering Old Motorcycles (1973, 1977, 1978, 1981); Discovering Old Bicycles (1978, 1981); Discovering Mechanical Music (1975, 1977) and Beam Engines (1976, 1978, 1982, 1986). Terry wrote a more scholarly book on beam engines, Beam Engines: a massive chapter in the history of steam, published by Oxford, Senecio Books, 1982, which he was revising for a second edition when he died.

Terry married Miss Wendy Peake in 1939. They had first met on the Yorkshire coast in 1935 when Terry was on a student field course and Wendy was employed as a potter. Wendy was well known to Conchological Society members for her warm hospitality at Bampton and organising teas at the Society meetings. Wendy was an extremely talented artist, as befitted a Peake. She excelled at terracotta models of people. Wendy and Terry had one daughter, Linnet.

Terry joined the Conchological Society in 1951 at the instigation of Guy Wilkins. He was elected to the Council in 1955 and served the Society as Honorary Secretary from 1960–1970, covering meetings, general enquiries and membership matters. He was appointed President in 1972–3, proposed by myself. He gave two presidential addresses (1973, 1975). He was honoured by being elected president again for the centenary year of 1976 and was elected an Honorary Member in recognition of his services to the Society.

Terry's principal molluscan interest was in African land snails. He wrote reviews on the taxonomy of African Achatinids with T. Pain. These were published in the Annals of the Musee Royal de l'Afrique Central, Tervuren, Belgium as most of the work was based upon their collections. Ordinary colonial civil servants were instructed to collect all sorts of specimens from their locale and send them to the museum. They have, in consequence, the largest collection of West African land snails in the world. Terry was an Honorary Research Associate for many years, making numerous trips to work there.

Terry had a trained and analytical mind and was able to identify and enumerate the characters of the species in the group in question. This was an invaluable asset when confronted with masses of specimens that were accumulated to make the taxonomic work possible. He was a good draughtsman and an excellent technical writer. All species were based on shell and animal morphology, distribution and colour as neither allozyme electrophoresis or DNA fingerprinting were yet available. Opinions on the species and papers were sought from other land snail workers, principally the late Dr. Joseph Becquaert and Dr. Bernard Verdcourt. J. Becquaert also looked at types in the Smithsonian Museum, Washington, D.C. and gave his opinion about their identity. Many duplicate specimens from the Musee Royal de l'Afrique Central were added to Terry's collection with permission from the curator. The large collection of land shells has been presented to Leeds Museum.

Terry Crowley was an amateur taxonomist who brought order out of the mares nest of species which was the legacy from the Victorians. He had a feeling for species and made good judgements about them. His work remains valid today.

We are grateful to Adrian Norris (Leeds Museum) for providing the following transcript of a short interview with Terry in January 1993:

"I was always interested in natural history, even in the early days. My father fought in the East African campaign in the last war and he brought back a number of trophies of various kinds, which always interested me, including shells. These were not very good as specimens, as they had been picked up on the beach at places like Durban on his way into the interior. He also brought a number of Pila ovata gordonii from Lake Nyassa. In those days schistosomiasis was not understood of course, and the life history of the Bilharzia was still wrapped in mystery. As a doctor he felt perfectly sure that the intermediate host was a shell, and he picked on Pila ovata gordonii, incorrectly of course, as we know now, as the probable intermediate host. But his military duties, as a doctor, certainly didn't allow him to investigate in any detail. However, these shells came to me and when I evolved a child-like museum of my own at a very early age."

[What age was that?]

"We lived in Harrogate, I must have been about 9 or 10, people used to give me odds and ends"

[You lived in Harrogate?]

“Yes I was born in Otley, and we moved when I was about 6, and my people lived there until after the war. The enthusiasm was then dormant then until about 1950, when I found myself in London. My home was then in Lancashire, but I was drafted, here and there on various jobs, and not able to get together, until some years afterwards. In 1950, I was in digs in London, and through a mutual friend, I met Guy Wilkins, who somewhere about that time was president of the Conchological Society, and he took me home, and his shell collection was something of a revelation to me. Also the enthusiasm, which is well known, Guy talked about, and he said well if you are marooned in London with nothing to do, why don't you join the Conchological Society, and he gave me a collection or shells, odds and ends, that he had around the place, beautiful specimens, but mostly without localities, and he sold me cheap, a number of books, including Chenu, which really set me off. I took his advice and I joined the society. He was then in an advertising firm, and he did a lot of artwork. He was a very fine artist, hut later on of course, he joined the British Museum as a shell curator, and I was always welcome there."



Scientific papers

CROWLEY T.E. 1956 A new species of Synapterpes from Colombia. Journal of Conchology 24: 144, pl. 6.
CROWLEY T.E. 1957 Age determination in Anodonta. Journal of Conchology 24: 201.
CROWLEY T.E. & PAIN T. 1958 On an unfigured species of Plechocheilus. Journal of Conchology 24: 234, pl. 7.
CROWLEY T.E. 1958 Viviparus eaten by crows. Journal of Conchology 24: 280.
CROWLEY T.E. 1959a Planorbis vortex with a double aperture. Journal of Conchology 24: 327.
CROWLEY T.E. & PAIN T. 1959b A monographic revision of the African land snails of the genus Burtoa (Mollusca–Achatinidae). Annales du Musee Royal du Congo Belge, Tervuren, Serie in 8 Sciences Zoologiques 79: 1–35, pls 1–3.
CROWLEY T.E. 1961a Theba pisana (Müller) in Guernsey. Journal of Conchology 25: 15–17.
CROWLEY T.E. 1961b F.C. Lukis and the triton Journal of Conchology 25: 17–20, pl. 1
CROWLEY T.E. & PAIN T. 1961c A monograph of the African land snails of the genus Limicolariopsis d'Ailly (Mollusca–Achatinidae). Annales du Musee Royal de l'Afrique Central, Tervuren, Serie in 8 Sciences Zoologiques 101: 1–36, pls 1–?
CROWLEY T.E. & PAIN T. 1961d On the occurrence of Burtoa nilotica (Pfeiffer) in Ethiopia Journal of Conchology 25: 38
CROWLEY T.E. & PAIN T. 1961e Description of new Achatinidae from the Congo and Nyasaland. Revue de Zoologie et de Botanique Africaines LXIV, 1–2, pp. 138–152.
CROWLEY T.E. & PAIN T. 1961f Pfeiffer's unfigured species of Strophocheilus (Megalobulimus). Breviora 138: 1–8.
CROWLEY T.E. & PAIN T. 1963 in VERDCOURT B. The Miocene non-marine Mollusca of Rusingalsland, Lake Victoria and other localities in Kenya. Palaeontographica 121 A: 1–37. plates 1–3.
CROWLEY T.E. 1964a Aspatheria (Spathopsis) bourguignati (Bourguignat) Journal of Conchology 25: 263–265, pl. 18.
CROWLEY T.E. & PAIN T. 1964b Achatina (Lissachatina) tavaresiana Morelet; its Synonymy and distribution Revue de Zoologie et de Botanique Africaines LXIX, 1–2, pp. 121–131.
CROWLEY T.E. & PAIN T. 1964c On the occurrence of Burtoa nilotica (Pfeiffer) in Ethiopia. Journal of Conchology 25: 38–39.
CROWLEY T.E. & PAIN T. 1964d On Limicolariopsis d'hericourtiana (Bourguignat). Journal of Conchology 25: 265–267.
CROWLEY T.E. & PAIN T. 1964e Supplementary notes on the genus Limicolariopsis d’Ailly (Mollusca–Achatinidae). Revue de Zoology et Botanique de l'Afrique 69: 189–194.
CROWLEY T.E., PAIN T. & WOODWARD F.R. 1964f A monographic review of the mollusca of Lake Nyassa Annales du Musee Royal de l'Afrique Central, Tervuren, Serie in 8 Sciences Zoologiques 131: 1–58, pls 1–7, 1 map.
CROWLEY T.E. 1965 The Molluscan Mystery of Central Africa. Poirieria 2(4): 43–45.
CROWLEY T.E. & PAIN T. 1967 Further notes on the genus Limicolariopsis d’Ailly (Mollusca–Achatinidae). Revue de Zoology et Botanique de l'Afrique 75: 13–34.
CROWLEY T.E. & BLOK A. 1968 Care of a collection. Bromley, Kent, H.E.J. Biggs. Conchological Society, Papers for Students no. 10. 7pp.
CROWLEY T.E. & PAIN T. 1970 A monographic revision of the African land snails of the genus Limicolaria Schumacher (Mollusca: Achatinidae) Annales du Musee Royal de l’Afrique Central, Tervuren, Serie in 8 Sciences Zoologiques 177: 1–66, pls 1–6.
CROWLEY T.E. 1973 Fictional mollusca (Presidential address deliverd 24 February 1973) Journal of Conchology 28: 61–74.
CROWLEY T., GREEN J.R. & MCMILLAN N.F. 1973 Some Mollusca From Bornu Province, Northern Nigeria; With Appendix: Statistical Analyses of Two Species. (Pila wernei Philippi and Aspatharia complanata Jousseaume) Journal of Conchology 28: 81–94.
CROWLEY T.E. 1975 A history of the Society (Presidential address delivered 23 February 1974) Journal of Conchology 28: 265–287.
CROWLEY T.E. & PAIN T. 1977 Mollusca not Charopidae. In La Faune terrestre de l’Ile de Sainte-Helene. Annales du Musee Royal de l'Afrique Central, Tervuren, Serie in 8 Sciences Zoologiques 220: 534–575, pls 9–10.
CROWLEY T.E. 1978 Island life (Presidential address delivered 26 March 1977) Journal of Conchology 29: 233–237.
CROWLEY T.E. & PAIN T. 1978 A revision of the genus Revoilia Bourguignat 1881 (Prosobranchia: Pomatiidae). Journal of Conchology 29: 351–364, pls 8–9.
CROWLEY T.E. & PAIN T. 1981 Achatina (Lissachatina) mulujanensis a new species from Malawi. Revue de Zoologie Africaines 95(4): 954–958
CROWLEY T.E. & CAMPBELL J.M. 1984 An Atlas of Oxfordshire freshwater Molluscs. Oxfordshire Museums Technical Paper. Occasional Paper No. 6.
CROWLEY T.E. & PAIN T. 1989 Report on molluscan remains found in the excavations at Matupi Cave, Zaire. Annals Musee Royal de l'Africque Centrale. Sciences Zoologiques, Tervuren 259: 131–135.

Tom and Celia Pain
131, Wakeley Road,
Kent ME8 8NP




Crowley new species

altitudinaria, Archachatina (Tholachatina) Crowley & Pain 1961e: p. 151–152, fig. 7. Holotype: Tervuren museum, 277868.
arenaria, Achatina Crowley & Pain 1961e: p.139–141, fig. 1. As a new sub species of Achatina bandeirana. Holotype: Tervuren museum, 185116. (Achatinidae)
benoiti, Burtoa Crowley & Pain 1959b: p.22–24, plate II, fig. 8. As a new sub species of Burtoa nilotica. Holotype: Tervuren museum.
bequaerti, Archachatina (Tholachatina) Crowley & Pain 1961e: p.148–149, fig. 6. Holotype: Museum comparative Zoology, Harvard.
calcicola Achatina (Lissachatina) Crowley & Pain 1961e:144–146, fig. 4. Holotype: 142968 Tervuren museum.
congoensis, Burtoa Crowley & Pain 1959b: p. 27–28, plate II, fig. 9. As a new sub species of Burtoa nilotica. Holotype: Tervuren museum 5072.
cylindricus, Limicolariopsis Crowley & Pain, 1961c: p.16–17, Pl.1. figs.6, 7. Holotype: Coryndon museum.
ecclesi, Neothauma Crowley, Pain & Woodward 1964e: p.l9–20, plate II, figs 8–10. Holotype: Tervuren museum, R.G.mall 793.221. (Viviparidae).
elgonensis, Limicolariopsis Crowley & Pain, 1961c: p.29–3O, P1.111, fig. 3. Holotype: Corydon museum.
ellisi, Limicolariopsis Crowley & Pain 1964d: p.191–192, figs 5 & 6. Holotype: Tervuren museum, 608889. (Achatinidae)
insularis, Archachatina (Tholachatina) Crowley & Pain 1961e: p.149–151, fig. 7. Holotype: Tervuren museum, 114917.
laevis, Limicolariopsis Crowley & Pain, 1961c: p.28–29, Pl.111, figs 1, 2. Holotype: Coryndon museum No.955.
leakyi, Limicolaria Crowley & Pain, 1963 Palaeontographica, 121. A.
lomamiensis, Achatina (Pintoa) Crowley & Pain 1961e: p.147, fig. 5. Holotype: Tervuren museum, 97115.
mayumbensis, Achatina Crowley & Pain 1961e: p.141–142, fig. 2. As new sub species of Achatina bandeirana. Holotype: Tervuren museum, 283366.
mulanjensis, Achatina (Lissachatina) Crowley & Pain 1981: p. 954–957, plate VI, figs 1–4. Holotype: Tervuren museum MRAC 800985.
propinquus, Synapterpes (Promoussonius) Crowley 1956. Holotype: National Museum & Gallery, Cardiff 1981.118.00190.
simulans, Achatina Crowley & Pain 1961e: p.142–144, fig. 3. As new sub species of Achatina schweinfurthi. Holotype: Tervuren museum, 302304.
verdcourti, Burtoa Crowley & Pain 1959b: p.12–17, plate I, figs 1–2. As a new sub species of Burtoa nilotica. Holotype: Coryndon museum, Nairobi.
verdcourti, Limicolariopsis Crowley & Pain,1961c: p.26–28, p1. 11, fig. 9. Holotype: Corydon museum.