Philip Le Hardy de la Garde (c1869 - 1913)
The Museum's beetle collection contains over 30,000 specimens. Among these are the collections made by Philip Le Hardy de la Garde.
Royal Naval service
Philip Le Hardy de la Garde was born in Exeter around 1869. His father died near the time of his birth, so following his uncle’s example de la Garde 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
For some time during his Naval career de la Garde was stationed at the Naval Barracks at Devonport in Plymouth. Whilst there he scoured the area for beetles and in 1892 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 where he stayed 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 F. R. Rowley who was a curator at the Museum. De la Garde died at the Devon and Exeter Hospital on May 15th 1913 at the age of 44. He bequested his collection of Coleoptera (beetles) and various other insects (almost 2000 specimens) as well as catalogues and pamphlets to the Exeter Museum.