A. J. Peile, 1868-1948

Extracted from Journal of Conchology, Volume 23, p. 21

ALFRED JAMES PEILE was born on 5 August 1868 at Harley Road, London, NW., and died in St. Thomas’s Hospital on 30 Jul 1948. He was the only son of James Kenyon Peile, civil engineer, and Matilda Chadwick. After passing through Cheltenham College and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, he was commissioned in the Royal Artillery on 17 February i888. He served abroad in India, Bermuda and South Africa, and at home in the School of Gunnery at Shoeburyness. During the 1914—18 war he saw service with the heavy artillery in France and at siege artillery schools at Lydd and Borden, being placed on the retired list with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 1920. In 1896 he visited Ceylon and Australia, and from 1920 to 1940 was an honorary worker in the department of Mollusca at the British Museum (Natural History). Peile married in 1894 Marion Macdonald Peterson, daughter of Dr. Peter Peterson, Professor of Sanskrit, Elphinstone College, Bombay. They had one son, who was killed in action in France in 1917, and three daughters.

Peile was elected a member of the Conchological Society in 1921 and was President from 1935 to 1937. All his work on Mollusca was very good and his determination of species most careful and reliable. He prepared a well displayed collection of Bermudan shells which was shown at the Wembley Exhibition in 1924, and he formed a representative collection of land shells and shells of Bermuda and Bombay. It is, however, as an expert on radulae, in the preparation of which he achieved a perfection of technique, that Peile will be chiefly remembered. The majority of his published papers treats of radulae, including his presidential address, "Some Radula Problems" (J. Conchol., 20, 1937, 292— 304). His presidential address to the Malacological Society on "The Mollusca of Bermuda" (Proc. Malac. Soc., 17, 1926, 71—98) includes a list of the recent Mollusca of the island. Among papers not concerned with radulae are notes on fossil and recent Poecilozonites from Bermuda, the genus Indoennea, Clausiliidae, Macrochlamys and various other land shells. Since his retirement from the Army he published over 50 papers, a list of whch has been prepared for the Proceedings of the Malacological Society.