Trees were the life and death of George Cross, Chief Forester of the Forestry Commission in Lyndhurst. It has been written that George knew virtually every tree in the New Forest. It was cruelly ironic that he should be killed by a falling tree during a storm in 1990. George was 75 years old. George who refused to use his Christian name, Lancelot, was born in Rhayader, Mid-Wales, the son of a butcher. He joined the Forestry Commission aged 17 at Micheldever Forest, where he was promoted to ganger foreman. He went on to serve with the Commission at Arundl, Sussex, then Challock Forest in Kent and on to Alice Holt where he was made head forester. In 1965 he moved to Lyndhurst before being promoted to chief forester. After 46 years’ service with the Forestry Commission, George retired aged 63. The Christopher Tower New Forest Reference Library is delighted to have recently received George’s 35mm slides and photographs. These are to be catalogued and digitised in coming weeks.
Author: Kath Walker