Vaughan Cornish1

M, #2189, b. 22 Dec 1862, d. 1 May 1948
     Copyright © 1998- by Suzie Morley

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Father*Rev. Charles John Cornish M. A.1 b. 1834, d. 20 Oct 1913
Mother*Anne Charlotte Western1 b. 1831, d. 1887
     Vaughan Cornish was born on 22 Dec 1862 in Debenham, Suffolk, England.2 He was the son of Rev. Charles John Cornish M. A. and Anne Charlotte Western.1 Vaughan Cornish was baptized on 30 Jan 1863 in St. Mary Magdalene, Debenham, Suffolk, England.3 As of 19 Aug 1891, Vaughan Cornish lived at Winchester, Southampton, Hampshire, England.4 He married Ellen Agnes Provis on 19 Aug 1891 in St. Matthew, Bayswater, Middlesex, England.4 The marriage of Vaughan Cornish and Ellen Agnes Provis was registered in the Sep 1891 quarter in the Paddington registration district.5 The marriage of Vaughan Cornish and Mary Louisa Watson was registered in the Mar 1913 quarter in the St. George Hanover Square registration district.6 Vaughan Cornish died on 1 May 1948 in Willersley Nursing Home, Park Road, Camberley, Surrey, England, at age 85.2 He was buried on 2 May 1948 in Churchyard, Salcombe Regis, Devon, England.2 Obituary - Death of Dr. Vaughan Cornish

We regret to record the death of Dr. Vaughan Cornish, which occurred at Camberley on Saturday at the age of 85 years. Dr. Cornish was a member of a well-known local family whose association with the district began in 1792. He was a great traveller and geographer, and was particularly proud of his connection with Salcombe Regis. When the Sidmouth Council purchased the greater part of the land on the eastern side of Salcombe valley to prevent the establishment of a holiday camp there, Dr. Cornish gave a good deal of his land on the western side of the valley to the National Trust in order that its natural beauty should be preserved for all time.

He was a great lover of natural beauty and in spite of his wanderings it was always to Salcombe Regis he returned for refreshment and he never tired of singing its praises. With his first wife he was in Jamaica at the time of the great earthquake there, and has broadcast about his experiences at the time.

During recent years Dr. Cornish has published many books, chief among them being "The Scenery of Sidmouth" which is a classic in the description of the local land- and seascape. His most recent book "Kestell, Clapp and Cornish," was lately reviewed in these columns, and as a great deal of it is autobiographical we commend it to our readers at this time.

Dr. Vaughan Cornish was buried at Salcombe Regis yesterday afternoon.7 Obituary

One of Britain's best-known geographers, Dr. Vaughan Cornish, D.Sc., F.R.G.S, of "Inglewood," Gordon-road, Camberley, died on Saturday at the age of 85, in a Camberley nursing home. Dr. Cornish, who is survived by his widow, was famous among geographers for his studies of land and water waves. In later years he gave much of his time to the appreciation and preservation of the natural beauties of Britain. He had lived in Camberley since 1913.

He was a student of geography in all its aspects, and he was an author of ability who illustrated his works with his own sketches and photographs.

Dr. Cornish was born at Debenham Vicarage, Suffolk and was educated at St. Paul's School and at Victoria University, Manchester. He graduated with honours in chemistry in 1888 and later took the degree of D.Sc. He became Director of Technical Education to the Hampshire County Council, but after his marriage he entered the field of geographical scientific research. In 1900 the Royal Geographical Society presented him with the Gill Memorial for his research work into all types of waves, both on land and sea, on snow and sand and natural materials.

A world tour by Mr. and Mrs. Cornish in 1903 was the occasion for a great deal of important scientific work, and was followed by visits to many parts of the world. They were injured at Kingston, Jamaica, in January, 1907, when an earthquake wrecked the city and killed many of its inhabitants. A few months later they returned to Kingston to study earthquake effects. During the first world war Dr. Cornish lectured to naval and military officers on strategic geography and subsequently published a number of books. He remained an active author until recently.

The funeral took place on Tuesday at Salcombe, Devon.8

Family: Vaughan Cornish and Ellen Agnes Provis

Family: Vaughan Cornish and Mary Louisa Watson


DateHead of HouseholdHousehold
2 Apr 1871Rev. Charles John Cornish M. A.Vaughan Cornish was listed in the 1871 census in The Vicarage, Debenham, Suffolk, England. Other people in the household include Anne Charlotte Western, Charles John Cornish and Rev. James George Cornish.1


2 Apr 1871Vicar's Son1
Last Edited=12 Jan 2018


  1. [S15] Online image of the 1871 Census for England & Wales (1871 Census - England & Wales, "Class: RG10; Piece: 1742; Folio: 108; Page: 31; GSU roll: 830776."
  2. [S173] Unknown editor ed. Oxford Dictionary Of National Biography, Oxford University Press, n.p., Online Edition (Sept 2004) unknown isbn.
  3. [S36] Microfilm of the Baptisms of St. Mary Magdalene, Debenham, 1754 to 1899 (Suffolk Record Office, unknown film number).
  4. [S207] Microfilm of the Marriages of St. Matthew, Baswater, 1754 to 1899 (Suffolk Record Office, unknown film number).
  5. [S12] General Record Office Indexes to Marriages, 1837 - 2005 (General Register Office) "Sep 1891 Paddington 1a 3."
  6. [S12] General Record Office Indexes to Marriages, 1837 - 2005 (General Register Office) "Mar 1913 St. Geroge Hanover Square 1a 788."
  7. [S197] Unknown author, 'unknown article title', The Times Newspaper, unknown date (unknown repository, unknown repository reference) "3rd May, 1948."
  8. [S198] Unknown author, 'unknown article title', The Sidmouth Observer, unknown date (unknown repository, unknown repository reference) "5th May, 1948."