Max Walters

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Dr (Stuart) Max Walters (born Oughtibridge, Sheffield, Yorkshire 23 May 1920 - died Grantchester, Cambridgeshire 11 December 2005) was a British botanist and academic. As a conscientious objector in the Second World War, he worked as a hospital orderly in Sheffield and Bristol. He was Curator of the Herbarium, Botany School, University of Cambridge 1949-73, Lecturer in Botany 1962-73, and for the ten years up until his retirement, 1973–83, Director of the University Botanic Garden in Cambridge. He was a Research Fellow at St John's College, Cambridge 1948-51 and Fellow of King's College, Cambridge 1964-84.

He was the author of numerous books on plants and flowers, most notably the 1964 Atlas of the British Flora (with F. H. Perring) and as a co-editor of Flora Europaea. He wrote two well-known books for the New Naturalist library, Wild Flowers (1954, co-written with John Gilmour) and Mountain Flowers (1956, with John Raven). He was much involved in the research and management of Wicken Fen. After his retirement, he wrote a biography of Darwin's teacher and friend, John Stevens Henslow, Darwin's mentor (2001).

Walters was a committed Christian who was much involved both in the local life of the Church of England (he was a churchwarden at Grantchester for many years) and in the application of Christian principles to national and social life: he was a Christian socialist and also a Christian pacifist, and as such was a leading member of the Fellowship of Reconciliation and also active in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

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  • Obituary in the 2006 Annual Report of King's College Cambridge

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