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Diggory Hadoke


IMG_1603Edward Diggory FitzGerald Hadoke was born in Hereford in 1967. Following early childhood in Bahrain, Germany and Cyprus as an ‘army brat’ he grew up in rural Shropshire, near Ludlow, where he attended school and college. 

He began his shooting career, aged eight, with a BSA .22 air rifle but quickly graduated to his father’s 12-bore Webley & Scott 700 series boxlock ejector, with which he taught himself to shoot running rabbits and flying pigeons with some degree of success. 

Originally an English Language teacher by profession, with post-grad qualifications in Linguistics and EFL, Diggory lived, taught and travelled in Europe, Thailand and India before settling in London in 1995 and moving into teacher training and academic management roles.

Professional Life. Diggory was the Academic Director of a London college for a decade and travelled widely as an examiner for Trinity College London and Cambridge University, before entering the Gun Trade full time. He started his first business, Vintageguns.co.uk in 2005, then became Managing Director of Atkin, Grant & Lang, while attempting to purchase the company in 2010, but the purchase ultimately foundered and he returned to Vintage Guns in 2011.

Writing. Diggory’s first book; ‘Vintage Guns for the Modern Shot’ was published by Merlin Unwin in 2007, his work also appears in ‘The Game Book’, (Quiller 2008) and he is a regular contributor to the magazines ‘Sporting Shooter’, Gun Trade News and ’The Double Gun Journal’. He has also contributed to ‘Africa Hunting Gazette’, ‘Field & Stream’ and Gun Mart, as well as providing copywriting services to Holland & Holland, John Rigby & Co. and other major Gun Trade firms.  His second book ‘The British Boxlock Gun & Rifle’ was published in October 2012 and ‘Hammer Guns in Theory & Practice’ followed in 2016.

Television and Media. As a TV advocate for the shooting sports and hunting, Diggory has appeared on ITV’s ‘Good Morning Britain’, debating Piers Morgan and Eamon Holmes on African Hunting issues and ‘This Morning’ as well as on BBC’s  ‘Sunday Live’ programmes, advocating pheasant and grouse shooting. He has featured in ‘Posh Pawn’ as a firearms expert and as a hunting advocate on ‘Jodie Marsh Goes Hunting’ (TLC). He features in a Wilderness Podcast (Pace Bros) and is involved in several media projects to be aired in the future, notably with Channel Four.

Although the winner of the 28-bore hammer gun trophy in the 2007 British side-by-side Championship, Diggory is not a competitive clay shot, preferring the challenges of game and pigeon shooting in wild places to the modern bustle of gun clubs.

Raised as a game shooter in England, Diggory’s hunting interests are now many and varied. A passion for African hunting; both wild birds and dangerous game, sees him on the Dark Continent as often as finances permit.

Diggory resides at Caynham Court, in Shropshire, with partner Claire, step-daughter Paige, Vesper the vizsla and Ratty the terrier thing.

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