A proposal for a new book


Cherry Ingram: an Illustrated Life



Expressions of interest from publishers would be welcome at




Aims and structure of the book



The aim is to make use of a lifetime of sketching to illustrate a long and fascinating life. He lived to be 100 and filled his century with birds, plants and travel,interrupte only by the two world wars.


Part 1. Collingwood was born into a wealthy and eccentric family, owners of the Illustrated London News. He was a frail child, educated at home. He developed his sketching abilities early, drawing the family and their numerous pets, but especially birds at the zoo and in the countryside. The section follows his development as an ornithologist and early travel to destinations including Australia, Japan and South America, He married in 1906. For a while he worked as an amateur in the Natural History Museum and the  made a major study of the birds of France. His war service in the Royal Flying Corps gave him the opportunity tovisit again the birds of France.. 






William Ingram, Collingwood's father kept aviary birds - Collingwood sketched this francolin with her chicks.


Part 2, 1920 - 1948, the cherry years. His life with Japanese Cherries  has been ably described by Naoko Abe in Cherry Ingram: the Englishman who saved Japan's blossoms, but here we provide new sketches and photographs and also follow him on his worldwide travels. These included a plant-collecting expedition to South Africa with three of the great horticulturalists of his time, Lawrence Johnston, Reginald Cory and George Taylor. The period ends with his war service as commander of a local Home Guard company and with the publication of his classic Ornamental Cherries in 1948. 










Gladiolus species collected in South Africa and flowering in Collingwood Infram's garden in Benenden

Part 3 1940 - 1981. Having completed his intensive research on cherries, Collingwood felt free to return to ornithology, to develop his plant-breeding and gardening life, to write natural history articles for periodicals such as Country Life and the Illustrated London News, and to collect Japanese Art  - he bequeathed over a 1000 items to the British Museum. He was a much-loved and eccentric figure in his home village of Benenden and in the gardening and ornithological worlds. His travels were now wit=tin Europe and especuially within the UK.










Salmon Weir Bridge, Galway, 1954