« PreviousContinue »
Death of Dr. P. Martin Duncan, M.B. (London), F.R.S., F.L.S.,
In the Annual Report of the Survey for last year reference was made to the failing health of Dr. Duncan, who had, in his usual most kind and voluntary way, undertaken the study and description of a further collection of our Western India fossils which had been sent to England. Regarding the receipt of this collection, he wrote on the 24th of October last:—
"The big box has been opened, unpacked (a rare job), and the contents placed in a case and in drawers in a special room at the British Museum. With the exception of these drawers, the corals are arranged according to their groups, and I have described some striking forms. Probably three more visits to the Museum will enable me to separate the collection gcnerically. The Echinos are very few.
"The collection from Jumara by Stoliczka is immense, and the duplicates are by the hundred. Now, I find species in it wonderfully representative of our lower Oolite (Bath and TnfraOolite), and associated with them some which, from facies, I should place in the Corallien, such as a Comoseris closely allied to irradiate. * • • • There will be the material for a good volume in the Palaeontologia Indica, but not so large a volume as that of my Tertiary Corals.
"I have taken especial care to isolate and roughly classify the Kach corals, and to explain to D^. Woodward that they belong to the Indian Survey, because in all probability before the species are all described I shall have gone to my eternal rest. I feel sad m thus writing with my mind as clear as ever it was, but almost contemporaneously with the arrival of the fossils, I became aware (here follows an account of a consultation with his medical adviser). I have given up everything, and your fossils are giving me the last pleasure in my life as a naturalist."
Thus ended the correspondence and collaboration of one whom we might almost claim as a colleague since 1864; and who was an esteemed friend of most of the retired and older members of the Survey. His memory must be still gTeen among many men in India who attended his geological lectures at Cooper's Hill.
The touching and resigned conclusion of his letter told too surely of the coming end. He died on the 28th of May last, aged 67, after a very painful illness, which it is a consolation to think we had helped to lighten in a way he loved so well.
Dr. Duncan was Professor of Geology in King's College, London, and Lecturer on Geology to the Royal Engineering College, Cooper's Hill.
Besides several contributions relating to the invertebrate palaeontology of India which appeared in the Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, London, and in the Annals and Magazine of Natural History, he enriched the Palaeontologia Indica with:—
The Sind Fossil Corals And Alcyonaria (1880). and, in conjunction with Prof. W. Percy Sladen,
The Fossil Echinoioba Of Sind (1882-84)—
1. The Cardita Beaumonti Beds.
2. The Ranikot Series in Western Sind.
3. The Khirthar Series.
4. The Nari (Oligocene) Series.
5. The Gaj (Miocene) Series.
6. The Makran (Pliocene) Series.
The Fossil Echinoidsa Op Kach And Kattywar, (1883).
To the Records of the Survey he also contributed a "Note on the Echinoidea of the Cretaceous Series of the Lower Narbada Valley, with remarks upon their geological age," (1887), and "A description of some new species of Syringospha;ridae, with remarks upon their structure," (1890).