Major (Rtd) Tony Crease

Saturday, January 9th 2021


Major (Rtd) Tony Crease


It is with great sadness that the Management Group must share the news of the recent passing of Major (Rtd) Tony Crease.

In 1992, Major Crease had the vision to turn undeveloped land near the training area in Catterick Garrison, into a place where nature would thrive.  Under his leadership, the hard work and dedication of soldiers of the Royal Scot’s Dragoon Guards, recently returned from the First Gulf War, formed the basis of what we have today.

He has always been an inspiration to many people, both inside and outside of his Army career.

He was a strong character, yet never seeking the limelight.  Tony always looked for ways to expand and develop Foxglove Covert; always looking forward.  His ornithological knowledge was extensive and, as a result of his dedication to training new bird-ringers, is an integral part of the Reserve today.

He never ceased to admire and appreciate our volunteers, and despite not being in good health, worked tirelessly to obtain for them the highest recognition he possibly could.  Hence, FGC LNR is a contender for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.  The results will be announced later this year. 

He has left a huge hole in many people’s lives.

Our deepest condolences go to the family he leaves behind.

(9) Comments:

Tim Randall responded on 9th Jan 2021 with...

That is such sad news and a tremendous loss to the Reserve and his close family. I never met Tony but did share photos and emails with him. I was always impressed by his enthusiasm, energy and dedication to Foxglove Covert and the wider natural world. He will be greatly missed.

Gary SmithOwen responded on 9th Jan 2021 with...

I am very sad to hear of Tony’s passing. I met him once at the covert and chatted. I found him to be an honest genuine man who cared deeply for the wildlife and countryside. My condolences to Sophie a very sad loss.

John Drewett responded on 11th Jan 2021 with...

So very sad to hear of Tony’s passing.  I first met him twenty years ago when I moved to the Yorkshire Dales after which time our paths crossed through involvement with Yoredale Natural History Society, the Catterick Conservation Group, Richmondshire Biodiversity Action Plan, Foxglove Covert and many other conservation-related groups.  From the start I always found Tony to be a practical, knowledgeable, encouraging and friendly colleague, always keen to listen and engage with the many facets of conservation.  Sadly we have not met in recent years due to my other commitments in conservation, which I regret very much.  Thankfully, Foxglove Covert will remain a tremendous memorial to a true gentleman.

John & Trish Illingworth responded on 11th Jan 2021 with...

To Sophie - Our condolences on your sad loss. Whilst we didn’t always see eye to eye there is no denying the impact Tony had from start to finish on the development of Foxglove to the excellent LNR it is today. In fact, without him it would probably still be a patch of unused waste land. We’re sure it will continue to flourish (if we ever get out of this pandemic)
Once again, sorry for your loss. Stay safe.
John and Trish

Eric Ingram responded on 15th Jan 2021 with...

I served with Tony, initially in the Scots Greys 65 to 72, and then SCOTS DG 72 to 94 when Tony left the Regiment to become Catterick Garrison Quartermaster.  Tony was, as described, a true gentleman who has left a huge void, he achieved so much, not least, taking the Regiments Pipe Band to No 1 in the hit parade with Amazing grace in 1972 and establishing Foxglove Covet in 1992.  I have many fond memories of Tony, we were good friends and it was so sad to see him in the latter weeks of his illness when he was unable to walk.  He had always been so active, thinking nothing about getting up in the early hours to go bird ringing, returning late at night is but one example.  I co-drove a Royal Mail post office truck with him when we went on an aid mission to Bosnia just after the Balkans war, visiting Srebrenica and other badly affected parts of the country.  Another memory is when we went to Turkey to umpire on a NATO exercise, true to form, Tony’s umpiring included setting up bird nets and ringing.  Within the Regiment Tony was hugely admired, the pots on Facebook bear testimony to the number of people he helped, and to whom he was a role model.  I am pleased to say that I was one of the people tony roped in to help clear some of the land for Foxglove Covet in 1992, he had a vision then, but I doubt it went as far as the tremendous asset that Foxglove has become.  More recently I worked with Tony for the application for the Queens award for Voluntary Service, I have been involved with this award for some 10 year, never have I seen someone do so much to have the volunteers recognized as Tony did.  I sincerely hope that the award is granted, and that it will be accepted in memory of my friend and comrade Tony Crease, may he rest in peace.

Vivienne Chadwick responded on 15th Jan 2021 with...

I am so sorry. I always admired him and also his passion for birding. My condolences to his family.

Dawn Ash-Kashani responded on 16th Jan 2021 with...

So sad to hear this. I know his expertise was of great use to my father ( fellow army comrade) in his many years of bird watching. Tony was such a lovely gentleman.

Colin Duke responded on 26th Jan 2021 with...

It is with great sadness that we have learned of the passing of Maj Crease an officer and a gentleman. Tony’s passion for nature , and long standing commitment to natural history is a true testament to his character . Tony’s work , dreams and input to Foxglove will remain with a great may people for a very long time and his enthusiasm and inspiration influence the many many people who have visitted that which he made possible through that inspiration . To his family we express our deepest sympathy and give solace in the wonderful way he has touched the lives of others and the memories that he has left with us .  ( Colin Duke on behalf of all members Freshwater Environment Ecology Trust )

Bethany Wilson responded on 31st Jan 2021 with...

This is incredibly sad news, Tony was a massive inspiration for me as a teen and young adult, with always a kind word for me. The opportunities he provided me helped pave the way for my career in conservation. I shall be forever grateful for his guidance and help. My condolences to his family and friends.

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