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Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology


Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology 1929–1946 by Allan Cornish
Chapter 1: My Early Days in the Bureau
Chapter 2: Some New Vistas
Chapter 3: The RAAF Measures Upper Air Temperatures
Chapter 4: The Bureau Begins to Grow
Chapter 5: My Voyage in Discovery II
Chapter 6: The Birth of the Instrument Section
Chapter 7: Darwin Days
Chapter 8: I Leave the Bureau

History of Major Meteorological Installation in Australia from 1945 to 1981 by Reg Stout

Four Years in the RAAF Meteorological Service by Keith Swan

The Bureau of Meteorology in Papua New Guinea in the 1950s by Col Glendinning


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Chapter 8: I Leave the Bureau

When I returned to Melbourne, Warren was in the UK completing a deal to buy 17 ex Royal Navy 277 radars. Bill Boswell was back in the Postmaster-General (PMG)'s Department at that time after having served as a radar officer in the Navy. Warren sent a signal from UK asking for someone to go to the navy store in Sydney to examine the radars and determine what was necessary to make them suitable for operation as ground based meteorological wind-finding radars. Boswell and I went to Sydney to sort it out. We arranged for the equipment to the transported to Melbourne and lodged in a store at Maribyrnong.

The problem was that the 277 was a shipboard gun-laying radar which would require considerable modification for use as a land-based wind-finding radar. Apart from the technical problems there was the requirement to devise operating procedures and train people to operate it.

I wrote Warren a minute explaining the difficulties as I saw them. He interpreted my minute as reflecting an over-pessimistic attitude and critical of his decision to acquire the radars. He said he wanted my minute removed from the file. I indicated that the minute only explained the nature of the problems as I saw them and refused to remove the minute from the file.

After an animated discussion with Warren I decided I had no future in the Bureau. This was emphasised by Warren's decision to promote Harry Ashton as head of the Training Section of the Bureau although I was senior to him. I leamt later that Bill Priestley, who CSIRO had brought from the UK to head the newly formed Section of Meteorological Physics, was eager to have me on his staff but Warren had opposed that appointment.

People in Bright Sparcs - Ashton, Henry Tamblyn (Harry); Cornish, Allan William; Priestley, Charles Henry Brian (Bill); Warren, Herbert Norman

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Cornish, A., Stout, R., Swan, K and Glendinning, C. 1996 'Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology', Metarch Papers, No. 8 February 1996, Bureau of Meteorology

© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
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