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Cudmore, Francis Alexander (Frank) (1892–1956)

by Crosbie Morrison

Francis Alexander Cudmore, who died yesterday, provides an example of how a layman without special training may, by assiduity and enthusiasm, raise himself to world class in a special field of nature lore.

Frank Cudmore spent his early years on the land in the Riverina, and while he was still a schoolboy joined the Field Naturalists' Club of Victoria and developed an interest in fossils. Senior members of the club guided and helped him.

He served through the First World War, and on his return continued his fossil hunting with renewed vigor. Wisely, he determined to specialise.

Collecting all over Victoria and Tasmania, he became eventually the leading authority on Australian tertiary marine fossils, with the finest collection in existence, impeccably labelled and documented.

This he presented to the National Museum some years after his appointment, in 1931, as Honorary Palaeontologist; it is now regarded as one of the treasures of the museum.

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Citation details

Crosbie Morrison, 'Cudmore, Francis Alexander (Frank) (1892–1956)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 29 October 2020.

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