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Duckworth, E. H., 1894-1972


Magazine editor and photographer. Edward Harland Duckworth was born in England in 1894. He attended Cheltenham College 1908-1911, then studied electrical engineering at the City and Guilds Engineering College, Finsbury, and later electrochemical engineering at the Royal College of Science of Imperial College, London University. After service in World War I with the Royal Engineers he returned to London University, taking an honors degree in chemistry; and studied botany for an additional year. He took temporary teaching posts at Cheltenham, Haileybury and Wellingborough, and eventually joined the staff of Dean Close School, Cheltenham, to build up the science department. This in turn led to Duckworth being suggested in 1930 to E.R.J. Hussey, Director of Education in Nigeria, who was looking for someone to develop the teaching of science in Nigeria and advise on science and technical education. The position of Inspector of Education was offered and accepted, and Duckworth sailed for Nigeria in October, 1930. He spent his first year teaching science at the Government Colleges of Ibadan and Umuahia, and was then attached to the headquarters staff of the Education Department in Lagos. His first tasks were the planning of science education at the Higher College, Yaba (established 1934), and giving advice on science teaching to mission schools. In 1933 Duckworth was asked by Hussey to edit a magazine for African teachers. This magazine was initially titled The Nigerian teacher, but was renamed Nigeria (and the scope broadened) with the ninth issue, published in 1937. Issue 14 (1938) was a special issue (with four color illustrations) that served as a handbook for the Nigerian arts and crafts exhibition sent to the Empire Exhibition in Glasgow. Articles in this issue on recent discoveries of sculpture at Ife, Esie and elsewhere, and Duckworth's continuing advocacy, were part of a movement that led to the establishment of the Museum of Nigerian Antiquities, Traditional Art and Ethnography in 1957. In collaboration with several others, Duckworth founded the Lagos Boys' Holiday Camp on the shore of the Kuramo Waters lagoon on Victoria Island. This led to the construction of a well and school at the neighboring village of Igbosere. The post of Inspector of Education was abolished in 1944 and Duckworth became "Editor of Nigeria and Organiser of Exhibitions." This allowed him to devote even more time to the magazine, and to develop the Exhibition Centre on the Marina in Lagos. Part of his last years in Nigeria centered on a "Clean up Lagos" campaign, published reports of which caused friction with the colonial administration. Duckworth retired in 1953 and returned to Cheltenham to live with his sister in the family home, Rosenhoe. He visited Nigeria at least twice, including an extended stay beginning in 1960, at the time of Nigeria's independence. Duckworth never married; he died in Cheltenham on January 14, 1972. [Summarized from the report on Duckworth's papers prepared for the Oxford University Colonial Records Project, Rhodes House Library, in 1972]

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Edward Harland Duckworth photographs

Identifier: 035
Abstract Edward Harland Duckworth (1894 -1972) was a British expatriate officer who was the founding editor of Nigeria magazine.
Dates: 1930 - 1972