Note: "Leonard K. Elmhirst, a Yorkshire clergyman's son was an agronomist working in India, and was co-founder with his wife Dorothy Straight of the Dartington Hall project in progressive education and rural reconstruction. The young Elmhirst had a grounding in farming and land management on his father's estates at Elmhirst in Worsborough Dale,Yorkshire. In 1912 he went up to Trinity Cambridge to study history and theology and was intended to follow his father into the Church. In 1914, he was deemed unfit for military service and volunteered for overseas service in the YMCA. His experience of the problems of rural India was to fundamentally change the direction of his career. After one year's service in the army he was demobilised in 1919 and entered Cornell, arriving almost penniless, to read agriculture, and he successfully completed a four degree year course in two years. In 1920 he was elected president of Cornell's Cosmopolitan Club - mostly for foreign students, and found that it had large debts and depended on the philanthropy of its aluminae and others. The money raising activities brought him in contact with a very wealthy widow Mrs Dorothy Straight who in due course would become his wife. In America he also met the 1913 Nobel Laureat for Literature Rabindranath Tagore, and in November 1921 returned to India as Tagore's Secretary. In 1922, in the village of Surul (now Sriniketan) adjacent to Santiniketan, West Bengal, he set up for Tagore an Institute of Rural Reconstruction. Between 1923 and 1925, Leonard travelled twice around the globe, lecturing and supporting Rabindranath Tagore's missions to Europe, Asia and South America. The influence of Tagore, and the interests and money of his wife to be, led Elmhirst to undertake an experiment in rural reconstruction at Dartington Hall in Devon. It is said that Tagore had become familiar with the Dartington during his travels in England and influenced Elmhirst in his selection of the Estate, which was purchase in a series of transactions in 1925." --- wikipedia.org
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