Radford Henry (Harry) Dagnall

23 October 1914 - 9 March 2012

by Alan Huggins

I first met Harry in the late 1960s and we shared an interest in British postal stationery and newspaper stamps. Harry's contributions to philately continued over very many years, indeed although hindered by failing eyesight, he was still active at the age of 97. In particular he has left an ongoing legacy in the sphere of philatelic literature.

Harry went to Amersham Grammar School from 1925-28 and Kings School, Canterbury from 1928-31. After a period working at Ilfords Harry entered Kings College London, with a view to ordination in the Church of England and was ordained Deacon by the Bishop of Wakefield in 1939. Later in life Harry became a technical editor and the meticulous attention to detail this required naturally featured strongly both in his approach to collecting, and to philatelic study and research and authorship.

A regular attendee at GBPS and RPSL meetings and contributor to the GB Journal (over 100 articles up to 2011), he served as Executive Editor of the GBJ from 1971 to 1980, returning as Assistant Editor from 1987-89. His publications include the following:–

John Dickinson and his Silk - Thread Paper (1975);
The Newspaper & Almanac Stamps of Great Britain & Ireland, with John Chandler (1981);
The Evolution of British Stamped Postcards & Letter Cards (1985);
Notes on Victorian Embossed Postal Stationery (1987);
Parcel Postage Paid by Impressed Stamps (1987);
The Mechanical Sorting of Mail (1987);
Post Horse Tickets, with John Chandler (1988);
The Taxes on Knowledge (1992);
Postal Stationery Wrappers (1993);
Ex Luce Lucellum (1993);
Creating a Good Impression, Three hundred years of the Stamp Office and Stamp Duties (1994); and
The Taxation of Paper in Great Britain (1994).

Truly an impressive record of philatelic scholarship, which Harry was always willing to share, and which will, as he would have wished, continue to inform future generations of philatelists.

Harry was elected to Fellowship of the Royal Philatelic Society London in 1989, was made a life member of the GBPS and the Revenue Society and invited to sign the Maurice Williams Roll of Notable Cinderella Philatelists in 2002. An unassuming man, who never sought centre stage, Harry will be remembered with respect and affection by all those who were privileged to know him personally, and British philately has lost a true enthusiast who has made a significant contribution to his chosen subject areas.

Harry died peacefully in the Central Middlesex Hospital on the morning of Friday 9 March 2012 and is survived by his younger brother Brian, his son Cannon Bernard Dagnall, Bernard's wife Jenny, his granddaughter Helen and his great-granddaughter Ella to whom we extend our sincere condolences.

(This article is reproduced from the May 2012 issue of the Postal Stationery Society Journal)