Harold St George Gray, in his 1953 talk at the 500th meeting of the Oxford University Anthropological Society, stated of his time as Pitt-Rivers' assistant:

'Having been relieved on his first and unique ethnological collection by the happy acceptance of Oxford University, the General inherited the Rivers estate which was teeming with archaeological remains of all periods, and which provided a large amount of valuable material to justify the formation of a local museum. A disused Gypsy School at Farnham (Dorset), 4 miles from Rushmore, the General's residence, was converted into a museum for early needs; during my time I saw three large galleries added to the 'School,' which soon became filled, not only with local archaeological remins and models of the sites excavated, but by a vast general archaeological, anthropological and ethnographical collection, largely acquired in the nineties of last century, from reputable dealers and by auction at Christies, Sothebys, etc., and Stevens (Covent Garden). During the General's frequent illnesses it was my duty to bid at these sales, sometimes against Sir Augustus Franks and Sir Hercules Read buying for the British Museum! For certain desirable lots the General, myself and a 'friendly' dealer would be bidding by arrangement -- to confuse other would-be purchasers. Personally, the most fruitful days were when I bought the greater part of the Benin works of art sold by auction. On them Pitt Rivers issued a separate work, for which I had the interesting job of photographing all the Benin specimens which he acquired.

In spite of poor health the General sometimes ordered a carriage to be ready at 7 a.m. to take him to excavations proceeding in the home Park. In those days I rode a 'penny-farthing'-- soon to be superseded by an early safety bicycle. The day's work in the field, when the site was a few miles from our base, began at 8 a.m. and finished at 6 p.m. Labour was only 2/6 a day; at the last excavation at Iwerne Courtney (otherwise Shroton) in 1897, when the General was able to attend only twice a week, I (with one draughtsman) had 28 labourers and 3 boys to guide. This was the last of the Pitt Rivers field-work.

Two miles from Rushmore House and two miles from the Museum, the General, on the county boundary (Wilts. and Dorset) and at the junction of three parishes, developed the Larmer Grounds in the nut woods, as a pleasure ground for the use of the general public, where on Sunday afternoons the General's band played. Works of art were set up in various parts of the grounds, and a remarkable series of summer-houses; also an open-air theatre used for fêtes and festivals, often attended by 10,000 people, many coming by coach-and-four from Bournemouth and Salisbury. It fell to my lot to arrange for and see carried out the details of these entertainments.

Another of the General's interests, as a zoologist, was the acclimitisation and breeding of animals in Rushmore Park (six miles round), where various deer, St. Kilda sheep and llamas roamed. The reindeer did not long survive although living about 500 ft. above sea-level. Bull-yaks were crossed with the Kerry, Jersey, Urus, Highland and Pembroke cows. Some of the hybrid bulls, notably the Yak-Pembroke, Yak-Jersey and Yak-Highlands, were broken to harness.

The General should also be remembered as the first Chief Inspector of Ancient Monuments. Many of his reports to the Ministry were in my handwriting.

I journeyed from Oxford to see Pitt Rivers within three weeks of his death. His last wish was that I should compile an publish an exhaustive Index to Excavations in Cranborne Chase (4 vols.); this with the Memoir, I issued to subscribers in 1905. (This is vol. V of Excavations.)

From Oxford the General's funeral was attended by Sir Edward Tylor, Mr Balfour and myself. Pitt Rivers' cremated remains rest in a sarcophagus in Tollard Royal Church.

Transcribed by AP, November 2011

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