Farmer, writer and broadcaster,he was born on 7 February 1914 and lived in his native village of Pitton, near Salisbury. In addition to regular contributions to The Field, Daily Telegraph etc., he published over one hundred books on country matters. From 1946 to 1962 he broadcast his 'Cowleaze Farm' series on Children's Hour and was a regular panellist on 'Any Questions?' Retiring from farming in 1968, he spent five years travelling abroad as the MMS's agricultural consultant. H played a major part in establishing a nature reserve at Bentley Woods near Salisbury. He died on 22 October 1995. His book collection is now in the local history library at Salisbury.
'Ralph Whitlock was well-known and could make fruitful contacts, but had little experience of the undeveloped world. However, his brief [at the MMS] was to travel widely in the first two years and assess the needs and opportunities, then identify potential projects and seek funds from other agencies to launch them. He undertook a gruelling schedule: to East and Central Africa, to West Africa, to India, Indonesia, Haiti and Belize. He had a talent for water-divining, which was sometimes called upon, to good effect, on his travels. He wrote full reports, and did not temper his comments, some of which were unhelpful and irritated colleagues, like his hasty and ill-judged appraisal of the "formidable difficulties" faced by a project on the Ivory Coast.'
John Pritchard, Methodists and their Missionary Societies 1900-1996 (2014), p.243