Obituary: Hugh John Blofield, Vice President, Shropshire Ornithological Society

8 July 1931 – 2 February 2024

The Shropshire Ornithological Society (SOS) was saddened to hear of the death of Hugh Blofield at the grand age of 92.  Hugh was an active and valued member of the SOS over many years, and a very well-respected Vice President.

Both Hugh and Pamela Blofield had a long involvement with the SOS, first becoming members of the Society in 1967.  Pam was Society Treasurer from 1968 to 1974 and Hugh acted as Assistant Secretary during 1968.  The following year he became a member of the General Committee, a role he undertook until 1974 when he was appointed Chairman of the Society; after five years as Chairman he became a Vice President in 1979, a position he held until his death.  In addition to his various committee roles, Hugh contributed bird records for Shropshire Bird Reports and was very involved with the acquisitions of the SOS’s Venus Pool Nature Reserve.  He continued to play an active role in the SOS, regularly attending Board/Management Committee meetings and Indoor Meetings, until his move to live with family in Gloucestershire following Pamela’s death..

Hugh was brought up near London in the 1930s and attended Bradfield College, where he studied the Classics and became fluent in Greek.  Hugh and his wife Pamela first met as small children, their parents being close friends; separated by the war they met again when Pam was a secretary in London and Hugh was finishing Law College. Hugh’s life story had its fair share of setbacks and successes, drama and comedy, not least when, during National Service in the Army, he sank up to his neck in a bog in Dartmoor and, on another occasion, was stung by a Portuguese man of war.

After their marriage, Hugh and Pam moved to Norfolk, by co-incidence to a district called Blofield and Flegg, where Hugh began his legal career with Norfolk County Council.  After several years in Norfolk the family moved to Shrewsbury, where he joined Shropshire County Council, firstly as Assistant then as Chief Prosecuting Solicitor, before finally becoming the County Solicitor; a local government career spanning 40 years, for which he was widely respected.  Having said that one defendant was perhaps not quite so enthusiastic because, when he ran out of court to escape proceedings, Hugh promptly gave chase and tackled him; the long arm of the law indeed. In a different way, he took great satisfaction from having facilitated the Council’s decision to purchase Lyth Hill and the North Shropshire Meres.

Visitors to the Blofield’s home in Bayston Hill were always given a warm welcome.  Hugh was a charming host, kind, wise, and generous. Both talented and modest, he was a perfect gentleman. A very loving son, brother, husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather and ever so proud of his family’s achievements. He was great raconteur and collector of stories, with a twinkling eye for life’s absurdities.

Helen J Griffiths (SOS)
March 2024

With many thanks to Hugh’s family for their contribution to this obituary.


Page updated: 25/03/2024