Wally Pitcher, who died on 4 September 2004, was born on 3 March 1919 in Acton, west London and was to become the leading and most distinguished British expert on granites and their emplacement, the geology of Donegal, and, with John Cobbing, the geology of the Peruvian batholith. He joined the Mineralogical Society in 1949 and remained a life-long member.

After local schooling he became, at age 17, an apprentice assayer which introduced him to the art and science of chemical analysis, while his amateur interest in the local London Clay developed into expertise in the Tertiary fauna in the...

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