Brandon-Cox, Hugh 1917-2003

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BRANDON-COX, Hugh 1917-2003


See index for CA sketch: Born June 14, 1917, in Elmstead Market, Essex, England; died December 3, 2003. Artist, photographer, film-maker, and author. Brandon-Cox was known for his love of the natural landscapes and wildlife of such northern places as Norway, the Arctic Circle, and the countryside of Norfolk, England, which he captured in his books, paintings, films, and photographs. His early life was a tragic one, including his father's death during the South African Zulu uprising before he was born, the death of his mother from tuberculosis when he was just five years old, the death of his grandmother, who had been raising him, when he was nine, and the subsequent deaths of his aunt and uncle in a motorcycle accident. He was able to find some solace in the countryside, which his grandmother had encouraged him to explore, and decided to follow in his father's footsteps as a naturalist and explorer. With a love of Scandinavia, Brandon-Cox learned to speak Swedish; thus, with the onset of World War II, he was recruited by the military to serve in the special forces in that region. Here he helped Swede refugees to escape from the Germans and make their way to England. When the war was over, he founded the magazine West Countryman and later became a correspondent and photographer for magazines, recording stories about nature and wildlife. His love for photographs turned into a film career with the British Broadcasting Corp. for which he created such documentaries as The Trail of the Arctic Nomads (1969) and In Summer of a Million Wings (1974). He also began writing and publishing self-illustrated books, including Hovran: Swedish Bird Lake (1968), A Longing to Explore (1976), and books based on his films or that preceded his films. In the 1970s, Brandon-Cox took up painting and became a skilled wildlife and landscape artist while continuing to write books and articles for various magazines. Also the author of Country Pageant (1947), among Brandon-Cox's last publications are Mud on My Boots: The Estuaries and Countryside of the Norfolk Heritage Coast (2002) and Softly Wakes the Dawn (2003).



Daily Telegraph (London, England), February 6, 2004.

Times (London, England), March 4, 2004.