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Memories of the Bureau, 1946 to 1962





Chapter 1: The Warren Years, 1946 to 1950
Warren the Man
Warren Joins the Bureau
Wartime Perceptions and Attitudes
Return to Civvy Street
People in the Bureau
Re-establishing and Reorganising the Bureau
Reorganisation of Central Office
The Position of Chief Scientific Officer
Post-War Reorganisation
The Haldane Story
Public Weather Services
The New South Wales Divisional Office
The Victorian Divisional Office
The Queensland Divisional Office
The South Australian Divisional Office
The Western Australian Divisional Office
The Tasmanian Divisional Office
Pre-war Services for Civil Aviation
Post-War Meteorological Service for Aviation
Indian Ocean Survey Flight
The Aviation Field Staff
Synoptic Analysis, Prognosis and Forecasting
Antarctic and Southern Ocean Meteorology
A Wider Scientific Horizon
Research, Development and Special Investigations
Analysts' Conference, April 1950
Instruments and Observations
Radar Winds and Radar Weather Watch
Climate and Statistics
The Universities
Achievements of the Warren Years

Chapter 2: International Meteorology

Chapter 3: The Timcke Years, 1950 to 1955

Chapter 4: A Year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Chapter 5: The Dwyer Years, 1955 to 1962

Chapter 6: A Springboard for the Future

Appendix 1: References

Appendix 2: Reports, Papers, Manuscripts

Appendix 3: Milestones

Appendix 4: Acknowledgements

Appendix 5: Summary by H. N. Warren of the Operation of the Meteorological Section of Allied Air Headquarters, Brisbane, 1942–45



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Chapter 1: The Warren Years, 1946 to 1950

From the time of its formation in 1908 until the present day the impact of Herbert Norman Warren on the development of the Bureau of Meteorology was as great as that of any other individual.

The extent of his impact was the result of a remarkable combination of circumstances. When Warren joined the Bureau in 1938 the possibility of the outbreak of World War II was becoming more and more threatening. The urgency of the need to improve meteorological services for aviation in general, and the Royal Australian Air Force in particular, had become obvious.

Warren had the administrative ability to reorganise the Bureau to provide the meteorological services needed during the war years, and to undertake a further reorganisation to cope with vastly changed circumstances in the post-war period. They were times of change and Warren was the man for the times.

Warren the Man

H. N. Warren was born in Melbourne on 6 April 1888 and educated at Albert Park State School, at O' Hara's College and at the University of Melbourne. He was a member of the Victoria Scottish Regiment from 1906 to 1908. He married Edna Rhodes on 30 March 1914 and in that year joined the Electoral Office of the Commonwealth Department of Home Affairs (later to become the Department of the Interior). During World War I he served as Company Commander of 5/22 Battalion, Australian Military Forces.

After the war Warren returned to his position in the Electoral Office of the Commonwealth Public Service and was appointed to the position of Returning Officer for the electorate of Denison in Tasmania. While in that position he was involved with a Board of Enquiry charged with the reorganisation of the Commonwealth Public Service. He was appointed Commonwealth Electoral Returning Officer for Tasmania in 1934 and later served as Public Service Inspector for Tasmania.

I first met Warren during my time as a trainee weather officer in the headquarters of the Bureau in 1940. I remember him as a neatly-dressed, sturdily-built man of medium height with a business-like manner and an air of authority. Later I was to discover he also had a delightful sense of humour, was a man of compassion, but one who did not suffer fools gladly.

People in Bright Sparcs - Warren, Herbert Norman

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Gibbs, W. J. 1999 'A Very Special Family: Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology 1946 to 1962', Metarch Papers, No. 13 May 1999, Bureau of Meteorology

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