Catalogue description Admiralty: Scientific Research and Experiment Department and Royal Naval Scientific Service: Papers of Dr Albert B Wood, Physicist

Search within or browse this series to find specific records of interest.

Date range

Details of ADM 218
Reference: ADM 218
Title: Admiralty: Scientific Research and Experiment Department and Royal Naval Scientific Service: Papers of Dr Albert B Wood, Physicist

Papers of Dr. A B Wood covering many of the projects with which he was concerned during his career in the Royal Naval Scientific Service spanning 1915 to 1964.

Date: 1912-1964
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Albert Beaumont Wood, 1890-1964

Board of Admiralty, Board of Invention and Research, 1915-1918

Board of Admiralty, Royal Naval Scientific Service, 1946-1964

Board of Admiralty, Scientific Research and Experiment Department, 1918-1946

Physical description: 310 file(s)
Administrative / biographical background:

Albert Beaumont Wood, OBE, DSc, 1890-1964, was born at Uppermill, W R Yorks, and educated at Huddersfield Technical College and Manchester University. 1912 graduated with 1st class hons in Physics. Joined Sir Ernest Rutherford's team of scientists engaged in atomic physics research.

1914 was physics lecturer at University of Liverpool.

In 1915 the Board of Invention and Research (BIR) was set up by Lord Fisher. Wood joined and with H Gerrard, lecturer in electrical engineering, became the first scientists attached to the Admiralty. This can be considered as birth of RNSS.

In 1915/1917 Wood set up a Research Establishment at Hawkcraig, Aberdour, Fife. In 1917/1919 he transferred it to Parkeston Quay, Harwich, Essex, then in 1919/1921 to Shandon, Gare Loch, Dumbs, followed by a few months at the Mining School, Portsmouth.

In 1921-1936 he worked at the Admiralty Research Laboratory, Teddington; in 1936 at HM Signal School Portsmouth; in 1937-1943 Chief Scientist at HM Mining School (later called Mine Design Dept.); in 1946-1950 Deputy DPR (Physical Research) at Admiralty HQ; and in 1950-1964 at the Admiralty Research Laboratory.

The memorial number of the Royal Naval Scientific Service Journal of July 1965 said:

Dr Wood's career in Naval science covered a period of nearly fifty years, embracing two major wars, in both of which the survival of his country depended crucially upon the mobilisation of the physical sciences to the many problems special to naval operations.

He was involved in naval science, not only over a long period of time, but also over a variety of disciplines, frequently as an originator of concepts, which he and his colleagues carried forward to the point where the value of their widespread application could be clearly seen. In brief he was the archetype of the Naval scientist of today.'

Have you found an error with this catalogue description?

Help with your research