Feb 082012

Many of you will know Gordon and count him as a good friend, so it with much sadness that I pass on this announcement from the RSPB North Kent Marshes team:

Gordon Allison RSPB

Gordon Allison

It is with deep sadness that we must announce the death of Gordon Allison, warden of Elmley Marshes reserve, who passed away peacefully at his home on Sunday February 5th. His family has been informed and our thoughts and our support are with them at this very difficult time.

Gordon’s career with the RSPB began in 1991 and he has worked at a number of reserves across the country, but Elmley was always a special place for him. Alan Johnson, the reserves manager for Kent said, “The care and dedication he put in to managing the habitat on the reserve was a reflection of his enthusiasm and concern for wildlife. Gordon was a renowned birder and a rare source of knowledge of the distribution and movements of birds in Kent but also travelled widely, particularly to the Indian sub-continent. He was an active member of the Kent Ornithological Society, chairing the Conservation & Surveys Committee.

Gordon was also marvelous company; he was a gentle soul with a dry sense of humour. He had a range of interests that often focused on the quirky and obscure. He wrestled with the Identification of large gull plumages, he went to concerts to listen to bands that no one else had heard of and he supported the equally obscure Glaswegian football team Queens Park.

A person of rare quality who will be greatly missed.”

Gordon’s sister has posted a comment on Rainham’s blog, where Howard Vaughan had paid his respects. I thought you’d like to see it as her words are deeply moving and there’s also comment from Gill of FoNKM.

Rainham Marshes blog

Jeff Kirk


 Posted by on 8 February 2012 at 10:22 pm

  6 Responses to “Gordon Allison – Warden, RSPB Elmley Marshes”

Comments (6)
  1. Just wanted to say, thank you for the kind words above. You have Gordon down to a tee, from his dry sense of humour, (which I endured as a kid, but would give anything to hear again) to his interests which again when younger, could never understand his taste (and I use the term loosely) in music. My bedroom was next to his, and many a heavy metal tune would come filtering through the wall! Mind you my brother Stuart shared a room with him, but had similar taste in music, not sure it was a choice though. Gordon’s laid back style, simplistic life, and great love for nature has always been something I’ve admired in him. As long as he had his 3 ‘B’s he was happy. Binoculars, beer and birds. I have shown my mum and dad all the kind words, happy stories and memories people have shared, and it has helped and given them comfort at this sad and difficult time. My dad and brothers are setting off for Kent on Saturday with some upsetting and difficult tasks ahead of them but also want to give his friends a chance to get together to celebrate his life, and reflect. I’m not sure where it will be held but believe Alan Johnstone (area manager of Elmley) will be happy to give details, possibly when decided. Please know that everyone will be welcomed if you would like to come to Scotland for funeral, again, details to be confirmed, but looking like next week. Please get in touch with me anytime, email below. I want the world to know what a gentleman my brother was, and the worlds missing his smile. Xxxxx

    • We are some of the Lincolnshire group of friends and are so sad to hear about Gordon. Our thoughts are with the family and particularly for their trip to Kent. We hope to come to the funeral and would appreciate knowing the details once they are fixed

    • Dear Judy,

      Mike and I would like to express our sorrow at your brother’s death and our condolences to the family. We are part-time lecturers at Birkbeck and for the past twelve years have been visiting Northward Hill reserver with our students. For many of those years Gordon took our group round, sharing his extensive knowledge, enthusiasm and sense of humour with us all. he was a very good bloke, it’s as simple and as profound as that.
      Mike and Brian

  2. This is terribly sad news. I will always remember Gordon for the friendly advice he would give whenever I met him out birding. In my mind, he was inextricably linked with the North Kent Marshes and is going to be sorely missed.
    From our archives, here he is enthusing all things wildlife with the local cub scout group:
    Cub Green Day

  3. Hi, I am Alan Johnson’s wife and he’s asked me to post details of Gordon’s send off for anyone who would like to come along. It will be at The Ferry House Inn on the Isle of Sheppey from 7.30pm on Monday 13th February.

    On a personal note Judy, I am so sorry for your family’s loss, we are still all in shock and can’t quite believe what has happened. Gordon was due to join us for a pub quiz at our local on Wednesday, he is already greatly missed.

    Gabi Johnson

  4. So sad to hear this news. As well as being very knowledgable about the natural world, and very tolerant of those of us who aren’t, he was a lovely man. I mainly knew him socially through mutual friends, and greatly enjoyed his company at quite a few parties and gigs. So sad that I didn’t make more of an effort to meet up in between those times.

    Condolences to all Gordon’s family, frinds and colleagues. If I’d have seen this earlier I would have come to the Ferry House tonight but work commitments mean I won’t be able to. I will certainly raise a glass to Gordon though – as I say, a lovely man – it was a pleasure to know him. x

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