Richard Meinertzhagen (1878-1967), naturalist and intelligence officer, spent much of his childhood near Romsey, Hampshire, where he began his lifelong interest in birds. After an education at Harrow and a few months at his father's City office, he spent a term in Gttlingen, learning German. He gained a subaltern's commission in the Hampshire Yeomanry, 1897-1898 and in 1899 was comissioned into the Royal Fusiliers. From 1902 to 1906 he was attached to the King's African Rifles, serving in Kenya, where he discovered the Giant Forest Hog (Hylochoeros meinertzhageni), was wounded, mentioned in dispatches and promoted captain. He passed the Staff College in Quetta, Baluchistan and in 1914 was made Intelligence Officer to the Tanga expeditionary force, gaining promotion in 1916 to the DSO.
He then served as Chief Intelligence Officer to the Egyptian expeditionary force into Palestine. After a short period at the War Office, he was seconded to the intelligence branch of GHQ in France, though an attempt to see the battle front in person led to severe wounds. He recovered in time to join A.J. Balfour's staff at the Paris Peace Conference, then worked as Chief Political Officer in Palestine and Syria. From 1921 to 1924 he was Military Adviser to the Colonial Office, sharing a room with his friend T.E. Lawrence. He resigned from the Army in 1925, spending most of the rest of his life travelling (chiefly in western and central Asia) and studying birds - partly as cover for observing international politics. He returned to the War Office 1939-1940, was wounded aiding in the rescues from Dunkirk, and spent the remainder of World War Two in the Home Guard. A convinced Zionist, he was an active eyewitness in the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. His published works include his journals, Kenya Diary 1902-1906 (London, inburgh, Oliver & Boyd, 1957), Middle East Diary 1917-1956 (London, Cresset Press, 1959), Army Diary 1899-1926 (London, Edinburgh, Oliver & Boyd, 1960) and Diary of a Black Sheep (London, Edinburgh, Oliver & Boyd, 1964), as well as Nicoll's Birds of Egypt (London, Hugh Rees, 1930), Birds of Arabia (London, Edinburgh, Oliver & Boyd, 1954) and Pirates and Predators. The piratical and predatory habits of birds (London, Edinburgh, Oliver & Boyd, 1959). In 1951 he received the Goodman Salvin medal of the British Ornithologists' Union and was appointed CBE in 1957 for services to ornithology. He was married twice, to Armorel le Roy-Lewis in 1911, and in 1921 to Anne Constance Jackson, with whom he had a daughter and two sons (the elder of which was killed in action in World War Two).