Dr Paul Michael Harris (1933-2014)
Born in Grantham Paul Harris was educated at King’s School, where he played rugby, cricket and tennis and later played rugby for Kesteven.
After two years’ National Service, he went to Leeds University where he gained a BSc(Hons) and the Yorkshire Gold Medal for best student in Agriculture. This was followed by a postgraduate diploma and a Masters degree.
At Reading University he gained a Doctor of Philosophy degree.
He became a lecturer in agriculture at Reading University for many years, and was appreciated by students from the UK and overseas. He was also editor of the European Potato Association, edited a book The Potato Crop and wrote the Silent Fields to celebrate 100 years of agricultural education at Reading University. He also edited the journal of the department.
Dr Harris loved all aspects of the natural world from a young age. He and his brother David roamed the field as youngsters and took on an allotment, kept bantams and bred rabbits for sale.
They had a white ferret which went for walks with them on a lead or tucked inside a shirt.
After retirement Dr Harris moved to Devon for a few years where he watched birds from his hides, sowed a wild flower area and recorded the weather.
He and his wife Judy trained as volunteer coast watchers at Prawle Point and were members of the South Hams Writers’ Club.
In 2013, Dr Harris finished a book of tales, many of which were based on Grantham during the Second World War. These included opening the physics lab and learning Shakespeare as taught by a certain Major.
Profits from the book: Tales for Grey Rabbit go to Macmillan branch (Midhurst) Support Group.
Music was his pleasure and he played the violin, like his father and was followed in this pursuit by his daughter and her family.
Dr Harris was also a dedicated member of Amnesty International.