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Christopher Michael Lance Bowler 1932-2012

Chris Bowler was a Pilot Officer in the RAF and from 1951 was in the Volunteer Reserve of the RAF for five years.  In 1952 he entered Bristol University and graduated in Geology under Prof Whittard in 1955 before going onto a Bristol PhD on the distribution of the five alkali elements and fluorine in some granites and associated aureoles from SW England using optical emission spectroscopy.  The laboratory work was undertaken in the Oxford Geology and Mineralogy Department under Ross Taylor. 

In 1958 when Taylor left, Bowler was put in charge of the laboratory until he presented his PhD in 1959.  From 1959–61 he was a field, and then Cu-Co mine, geologist with the Rhodesia Selection Trust Ltd, Kalilushi, N. Rhodesia (now Zambia).  From 1962–66 he was Field, and then Chief, Geologist for Rio Tinto Zinc Corporation–Riofinex Ltd, Dublin, exploring Ireland for Pb-Zn-Ag-Cd-barytes deposits before becoming a Lecturer in Cardiff in 1966.

Here Chris taught economic and mining geology, applied geochemistry, applied geophysics and basic geology and researched into base metal mineralisation in Wales and Ireland, mainly through mineral exploration consulting.  In the summer of 1969 he explored in Central Wales for Cambrian Exploration Ltd, in 1970 in NW Territories, Canada, for Anglo Celtic Ltd and in 1972 for Glamorgan County Council on subsurface ground conditions near Bridgend. 

In 1972 he was appointed Senior Lecturer in Mining Geology and Environmental Geology in Plymouth Polytechnic (now University) and from 1973 was a Principal Lecturer and Head of the Geology Teaching Group for several years.  His main role was teaching Environmental Geology including field courses often to the Peak District, which he did until his retirement from Plymouth University.  Most of his written output lies in unpublished reports.

Chris was active in the South West Regional Group of the Society and in the Ussher Society.

He died aged 80 years leaving a wife, Nuala, children Stephanie and Tim, son and daughter-in-law, Andy and Crystal, and grandchildren Louie, Ted and Nell.

We thank Drs John Leake and Ted Nield for assistance.

By Malcolm B Hart & Bernard Elgey Leake