The Museum’s beetle collection contains over 40,000 specimens. Philip Le Hardy de la Garde collected some of them.
Royal Naval service
De la Garde was born in Exeter around 1869. His father died near the time of his birth. So following his uncle’s example, he joined the Royal Navy at the age of 16. Several snakes and lizards from his voyages with the Navy are now in our collections.
A summary of de la Garde’s Naval Service
|1885||Assistant Clerk, and later Clerk||Alexandra||Mediterranean Station|
|1887||Clerk to the Secretary of the Flag officer||Agincourt||Channel Squadron|
|1889||Clerk to the Secretary of the Flag officer||Victoria||Mediterranean Station|
|1892||Assistant Paymaster||Raleigh||Cape of Good Hope and west coast of Africa|
|1897||Assistant Paymaster in Charge||Waterwitch||Australian Station|
|1900||Paymaster||Nymphe||South-east coats of America|
De la Garde and beetles
De la Garde spent some time stationed at the Naval Barracks at Devonport in Plymouth. While there he was elected a Fellow of the Entomological Society of London. He also wrote a couple of short notes in the Entomologist.
After his retirement from the Navy in 1905 he lived in Teignmouth. He stayed there at a series of rooms and boarding houses before briefly moving to Braunton in 1909. He collected beetles in both of these locations.
At the time of his death in 1913 he was living in Exeter with Frederick Rowley who was a curator at the Museum. De la Garde died at the Devon and Exeter Hospital on 15 May 1913 at the age of 44. He left his collection of beetles and various other insects (almost 2000 specimens) to the museum in his will.