Little Shelford Parish Councillor David Eagle has died. He was 80. David was best known by many people for the work he did at the Ministry of Agriculture where he specialised in pesticidal residues and their impact on ground water. The book which he co-wrote with colleagues entitled "Soil Management" became a best-seller in its field and it is still the bible text for young agricultural students.
David grew up in Harrow, north London, but spent the war years as an evacuee with a family on a farm in Devon and had very fond memories of his time there. In fact, it was his time spent on the farm which inspired his love of the countryside and of farming. He originally planned to be a farmer, but left school at 16 with the School Leaver's Certificate and went into the Merchant Navy where he served for 4 years. He met his future wife whilst serving in the Navy as she travelled on his ship when emigrating to Colombia at the age of 13. They met again 4 years later when she returned to England from Colombia on the same ship that he served. They remembered each other, kept in touch and were later married, going on to have 4 children, 3 boys and a girl. A teacher (Geoffrey), a doctor (Colin), a Translator (Jacqueline) and a Theatre Manager and Artistic Director (Andrew).
Although he left school with very few qualifications, David went back to university as a mature student and studied chemistry. He later studied soil science for a BSc MSA qualification in Toronto at the University of Ontario. On returning from Canada, he joined the Ministry of Agriculture.
However, it was family that was most important to David. He leaves four children, two granddaughters and seven grandsons all of whom he was very proud and ranging in ages from 4 to 27 years of age.
David served on Little Shelford Parish Council for 7 years. Parish Council chairman Maurice Palmer said: "David made a valuable contribution to village life. He was a great asset to Little Shelford and he will be greatly missed."