William Ells sadly passed away on the 7th December 2009 aged 92.
He will be greatly missed by his wife and family. I am updating his website, and will keep it running (I am his grandson, Richard).
My grandfather was a great influence on me. His love of science was impressed upon me at an early age and as I teach my children about the microscopic world I will try to do so with the enthusiasm and ecouragement that he did with me.

That just leaves me to put the first comment here, please feel free to add anything.

If you would like to leave a message of condolence, a memory of Bill (or anything else appropriate) please use the form at the bottom of the page

I came across this site during my study time. The world was mad better by men like your grandfather. Sounds like he gave his life to the education of others,thats powerful. Thanks for keeping this site up!

Keep the Faith :-)
Date : 24 January 2015
I was very little when i met you Bill. I remember talking to you about how i wanted a "science coat"
Rest In Peace
Date : 20 January 2015
So sorry for your lose. I never knew him but he sounds like a great guy. My condolences for the family.
Date : 4 November 2014
Neil Spalding
Very sorry to hear Bill Ells has died.
I knew him from my young childhood days from the late 1960's onwards. He was the last of a once long list of folks who had lived in Walnut Tree lane for many decades.
I remember he and a number of neighbours helping us erect a large cedar wood shed in the garden around 1972. So exciting!
He was a lovely chap.
Date : 20 April 2014
I new Bill in his later years via email when i was a Soil technician at Leeds and sent the odd wster samples from upland . His enthusiasm lives on in the work he left and shared and was truly an Oak inspiring knowledge in this field , rest assured his memory and inspiration lives on amongst many
Date : 13 January 2014
William Ells,you are an unsung hero but we will never forget your great work.
Date : 15 January 2013
sorry to hear that.
Date : 27 July 2012
Judy Acreman
Although a year has passed since Bill left this earth, I would like you to know how much I appreciate his contribution to the field of desmids. Thanks for continuing to maintain the site for all of us who are algae enthusiasts and enjoy their special beauty.
Date : 17 December 2010
David Christmass
I have just found this site, while searching for microscopy related material. I am so saddened to learn, of the loss of this man to the microscopy community; as soon as I discovered his contribution online.
Date : 29 November 2010
It is truly a loss that a man with such enthusiasm for his field had to leave us. All the best for his family, and thank you for leaving this wonderful reference information on-line so that his research and work can still be appreciated by us lesser enthusiasts.
Date : 9 October 2010
My sympathy to his family and alldear and near ones
Date : 24 April 2010
Bill Schulz
My sympathy to Bills family. His articles started my interest in desmids. He took the time to answer my letter and e-mails and taught me. I will miss his answers to my questions as well as his friendly remarks.
Date : 14 April 2010
Bob Clouser
I just got my first real, quality, non-toy microscope. I have also just seen my first desmid! When I came to this site, I was sad to hear about Mr. Ells' death. My condolenses. I can certainly see why he and others are fascinated by desmids -- they are beautiful!
Date : 12 April 2010
Ant Astley
I'm very new to microscopy and this looks to be a fascinating aspect of the hobby. My condolences, with hopes that I can attain such an age let alone be able to contribute so effectively!
Date : 4 April 2010
I am thrilled by the works of William Ells which made me to work on desmid collections of my place. Let his soul rest in peace.
Date : 30 January 2010
Rod Williams
I had contacted Bill a long time ago and was fascinated by his interests in desmids. I have no doubt that his love of the microscope and desmids had kept him well into a ripe old age where others without an any interest just fade away. We can all learn something from this fact.All I can say is that we hope that his legacy will be a joy to others who follow his interest and Bill himself is now at peace.
Date : 23 January 2010
Robb Hedges
I am just discovering microscopy and have been so inspired by Bill's articles. I have been trying to email him for the last two weeks and was hoping to get to know him. I am so sad to hear of your loss and so thankful to his contribution and legacy.
Date : 19 January 2010
Jeff Cullinan Australia
Just read the news...Carry on his legacy Richard. Looks like he has imparted his knowledge to you. A great Loss, but carry the flag.
Date : 16 January 2010
Tony Wills
One of the best,a REAL gentleman who will be sadly missed in the world of microscopy especially in the Kent area. My sympathy goes to Bill's family.
Date : 4 January 2010
Michael Dingley
I met Bill several times during my various visits to the UK and he was a very friendly person and one who was always ready and willing to help me in my Desmid work. He will be missed but I know that he is in the great Desmid pond in the sky.
Date : 25 December 2009
Gian Vittorio Martello
I remember with affection the dear Bill, which helped me when I began to study the microscopic pond-life. He has always answered fastly, with enthusiasm and precision to all my questions. For these reasons I consider him a magister.
Date : 25 December 2009
Gian Vittorio Martello
I remember with affection the dear Bill, which helped me when I began to study the microscopic pond-life. He has always answered fastly, with enthusiasm and precision to all my questions. For these reasons I consider him a magister.
Date : 25 December 2009
Liz Haworth
All of us connected with the Fritsch Collection knew and respected Bill for his great knowledge and will be sad at his passing
Date : 24 December 2009
Jan Parmentier
I met Bill during several excursions in Holland.
I will miss him.
My sympathy for his family.
Date : 23 December 2009
Jean Darley
Very sorry to hear the news. Bill was a great friend of my Mother and Father Don Jean Bruce. Dad passed away in February 2008 and Mum is now in a Nursing Home in Leeds. Dad and Bill shared their love of microscopy. Rest in Peace Bill.
Date : 23 December 2009
John Spencer
Sad to hear about the demise of Bill, had been friends for many years.
Date : 23 December 2009
I hope you will be able to cope with your losses. RIP
Date : 23 December 2009
Bills passionate enthusiasm about his subject especially amongst amateurs was a rare and wonderful thing always having time for his work he will be sadly missed . Perhaps it is never realised how much folk like Bill contribute my sympathy to family and friends and a great loss to the Microscopy community.
Date : 22 December 2009
I'm a visitor and was really impressed to see his work..A saddening loss, May his soul rest in peace and god be with his family and friends.

Date : 18 December 2009
i'm so sorry
Date : 18 December 2009
Date : 17 December 2009
Emerald Marie Gibson
I'm so sorry for your lost.
Date : 17 December 2009
i feel bad for you and sad i never have heard about him. who is he anyway
Date : 17 December 2009
Very sorry to hear this news. Bill kindly exchanged emails with me a few years ago and was quite an encouragment. God bless.
Date : 17 December 2009
I am very sorry to hear that someone died.I hope you feel better.
Date : 16 December 2009
Brian Ottway
Just had a short exchange of letters with Bill on desmids.He was very generous with his knowledge and his letters oozed enthusiasm. I did hope our paths would cross one day. My condolences to his family and friends.
Date : 15 December 2009
Mike Gibson
I regret I did not have an opportunity to meet Bill in person, but he very kindly sent me a letter which I still have following a publication I submitted to the PMS. All I can say is that he was true gentleman and a dedicated amateur microscopist - one of the best! He will be greatly missed. Mike Gibson
Date : 13 December 2009
Lawsen Lew
I did not have the opportunity to meet you personally. I live in North America. I enjoy your Desmids web place. Thanks. . .
Date : 11 December 2009
he will watch over you forever. Take care and try to get on with life. You will soon find, that he is with you every seconf of you life. Ta!
Date : 10 December 2009
Date : 10 December 2009
Wim van Egmond
It is very sad news. My condolences to the family. I hope it will be possible to keep the website. I knew Bill as a very kind and enthusiastic man. He helped me with my first article on the internet. After that I remained a desmid fan. Bill proved that with curiosity and enthusiasm it is possible to become one of the leading experts in any field. It is a great loss for the microscope community.
Date : 10 December 2009
Aloysius Owor
Am really sorry for the demise Iam just sayin take haert Bill'll be dearly missed.
Date : 10 December 2009
Rene van Wezel
I have not had the chance to get to know Bill personally, but enjoyed his enthousiasm in his pond dipping articles.

My sympathy to his family,

Date : 9 December 2009
Mike Samworth
I only met Bill a couple of times, but through his enthusiasm, interest and writings felt I knew him better. He readily contributed to the PMS family, through slides, articles, and above all help, guidance and interest. A very nice man.

Mike Samworth
Postal Microscopical Society
Date : 7 December 2009
Ernie Ives
Another sad loss to microscopy. Although we rarely met, I always regarded Bill as a friend and looked forward to receiving his contributions for Balsam Post, contributions which were always well written and erudite and, of course, mainly on his beloved desmids. But his scientific knowledge spread far wider than that and although Im not a desmid fan, we could always converse and joke on other microscopy subjects. We will miss him.
Date : 7 December 2009
Mol (Maurice) Smith
What a terrible and very sad loss to this tragic and oft bitter hard world of ours, when a man of such love, warmth, and honesty departs from it. He has made a grand mark on all he came into contact with and he was the single inspiration to me about becoming involved with the enthusiastic microscopy community. It was through meeting Bill and being warmed by his genuine passion and honesty, that I co-founded Micscape Magazine with David Walker. if Bill had never been, then there would be no Micscape.

Like me, Bill was self-taught, and thus earned my utmost respect and admiration. His bright mind and enduring curiosity have been captured forever, at least in part, by the strong legacy of his contributions to Microscopy.

The world is less today for one good decent generous human being being removed from it. I will miss a true friend and fellow pioneering explorer of this fragile reality we call life.

My sympathy and thoughts for Bill's family.


Date : 7 December 2009
Very sad to hear, rest in peace Bill. My sincere condolences to his family at a difficult time. I have always had a great respect for Bill and his enthusiasm for microscopy. I knew him from shared microscopy club visits when I lived in London and also via the Net when he was a very early devotee and enthusiastic contributor to our fledgling website. We greatly valued his contributions and friendship.

I admired his self taught ability to become a respected expert in his selected field of desmids and we have a superb desmid resource on our site that was largely due to his sharing his skills and enthusiasm. His own website is also a valued resource.

His enthusiasm for microscopy, the microscopic world and desmids will live on with his online resources and printed articles.

Dave Walker
Co-founder of www.microscopy-uk.org.uk and editor its Micscape magazine.
Date : 7 December 2009
Richard Ells
I've said a few comments at the top of this page, so all that remains for me to say is "I love you granddad, I will miss you and think of you often". Rest in peace.
Date : 7 December 2009

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