Catalogue description Report on the papers of Albert Percival Rowe, C. B.E. (1898-1976)

This record is held by Imperial War Museum Department of Documents

Details of CSASC.47.1.77
Reference: CSASC.47.1.77
Title: Report on the papers of Albert Percival Rowe, C. B.E. (1898-1976)

There is very little material relating to Rowe's service as Superintendent of TRE (Telecommunications Research Establishment) 1938-45, though there are frequent references to this important period in the letters, and some of the talks, in the collection. Item CSASC.47.1.77/A.3 gives some of the lighter side of life at Malvern during the Second World War, and CSASC.47.1.77/A.4 contains a note by Rowe c.1968 on the background to the Committee for the Scientific Study of Air Defence ('the Tizard Committee'), corroborating the account given in his book One Story of Radar, 1948. Item CSASC.47.1.77/A.5 is Rowe's comments on a history of the development of radar as put forward by the Operations and Technical Radar Committee in 1945.


The talks and addresses in Section B give a picture of the strong principles which Rowe brought to academic life as Vice-Chancellor of Adelaide University, and his continuous endeavours to instil respect for rigorous moral and intellectual standards.


Compiled by: Jeannine Alton Harriot Weiskittel

Date: 1941 - 1974

A. Biographical and Personal: CSASC.47.1.77/A.1 - CSASC.47.1.77/A.12


B. Talks, addresses, publications: CSASC.47.1.77/B.1 - CSASC.47.1.77/B.62


C. Correspondence: CSASC.47.1.77/C.1 - CSASC.47.1.77/C.16

Related material:

The manuscript material was (in part) conveyed in the original brief-case which Rowe used throughout the War for his documents and carried with him to all conferences and meetings. The brief-case is also held in the Imperial War Museum. The Museum already holds the originals of 14 letters of congratulation, 1941-49, on TRE work, which Rowe himself donated in 1970.


Some correspondence exchanged with Lord Blackett in 1960, when Blackett was preparing his Tizard Lecture given at the Institute of Strategic Studies in February 1960, is in the collection of the Blackett papers to be deposited at the Royal Society, London.

Held by: Imperial War Museum Department of Documents, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Rowe, Albert Percival, 1898-1976, scientist, mathematician and astrophysicist

Access conditions:

Not all of the material is yet available to scholars.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited in 1977


The papers were received from Mrs. Mary Rowe (widow).


Titles and descriptions in inverted commas are those which appear on the documents.

  • Radar
  • Educational management
Administrative / biographical background:

Summary of career of A.P. Row


b.1898 Launceston, Cornwall Educated Dockyard School, Portsmouth


1921 Royal College of Science (Imperial Collece of Science and Technology), London


1922 Member of Scientific Staff, Air Ministry


1925 Assistant to Harry Egerton Wimperis, first Director of Scientific Research, Air Ministry


1927-37 Part-time lecturer, Imperial College


1932 Married Mary Gordon Mathews


1935 Secretary, Committee for the Scientific Study of Air Defence


1938 Superintendent, Bawdsey Research Station


1939 Superintendent, Air Ministry Research Establishment, Dundee


1940 Superintendent, Telecommunications Research Establishment, Swanage


1942-45 Chief Superintendent, Telecommunications Research Establishment, Malvern


1942 C.B.E.


1945 Deputy Controller, Research and Development, Admiralty


1946 Medal for Merit, U.S.A


1947 Adviser, Australian Defence Department and Chairman, Defence Scientific Advisory Committee


1948-58 Vice-Chancellor, University of Adelaide (first salaried V-C of the University)


1957 Honorary Fellow, Imperial College


1958-66 Taught mathematics and astronomy at Malvern College

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