Thurtell and Related Families
Thurtell and Related Families

Notes for Peter Sidney KNOX-DAVIES

Information about Peter Sidney Knox-Davies was received from his son, Evan Knox-Davies in 1999. His records show that Peter Knox-Davies was born December 7, 1929, at Elandsputte, Lichtenburg District in the Transvaal, the son of Edwin Probart Knox-Davies and Maud Frances Thorpe. He moved to Maritzburg at the age of eight, where he attended Harward Intermediate School (now Harward High School) and Maritzburg College, matriculating with a First-Class pass in 1946. He obtained the four-year Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture (with distinction in Horticulture) at the University of Natal at the age of 20. The following year while lecturing in Horticulture at University of Natal, he took courses in Plant Pathology and Microbiology in 1952. He married Flora Mary Lauchlan Smith on February 11, 1956, and left for postgraduate study at the University of Wisconsin, U.S.A., in July of that year. He obtained the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Plant Pathology. His Ph.D. thesis was entitled "The cytology and genetics of Helminthosporium turcicum and its ascigerous stage, Trichometasphaeria turcica." He returned to University of Natal where he worked as Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer. He divorced Flora Mary Lauchlan Smith on May 28, 1962, and moved to Stellenbosch where he was appointed Senior Lecturer. After Prof. Louw's retirement in 1970, he was appointed Professor and Head of the Department of Plant Pathology. On December 20, 1972, he married Laetitia Potgieter. He published numerous scientific articles and papers in his field and was promoter for many M.Sc. and Ph.D. students. He was editor of many publications and co-founder of the SASPP (South African Society for Plant Pathology). He discovered a number of previously unknown fungi and had a fungus named after him (knoxdaviesiae) in recognition of his work. He developed Pic's disease (a variation of Alzheimer's) and retired at the age of 61. His interests included fishing, diving, mushrooms, indigenous trees and flowers, and nature in general. Prior to his death he lived at Geluksoord in Stellenbosch, a nursing home about six kilometers from the family's home. Evan Knox-Davies also advised that, literally translated from Afrikaans, Geluksoord (pronounced something like chilix-oo-ert - with the ch as in the Scottish loch, the i as in pit, and the r rolled) means happiness/joy (geluks) resort/home (oord).

Evan Knox-Davies advised in 1999 that Stellenbosch is predominantly Afrikaans speaking and is also the language medium of the university. His mother's name (Potgieter) is Africaans, but his home language is English.

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