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Table of Contents

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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Warren Joins the Bureau

It appears that at the time of Warren's attachment to the Bureau, Ministers, Departmental Heads and the Public Service Board had decided that the Bureau management badly needed overhaul.

A series of weather-related fatal aircraft accidents had occurred. The anticipation of possible war with Germany was another important consideration.

From the time of its formation in 1908 the Bureau's development had been hampered by an inadequacy of manpower and financial resources. In the first two decades of the Bureau's life talented senior staff such as Griffith Taylor and Ernest Kidson left in search of greener pastures. Particularly unfortunate was the cancellation of the appointment of Henry Barkley as Commonwealth Meteorologist in 1931. Following the retirement of H. A. Hunt, the first Commonwealth Meteorologist, Watt, Assistant Director to Hunt, became Commonwealth Meteorologist when Watt's appeal against Barkley's promotion was successful.

Cornish (1996) pays tribute to Barkley's vision and talents, and describes how Barkley, more than any other in the Bureau, had agitated for more resources to improve meteorological services for civil and military aviation. Barkley's death in 1938 deprived the Bureau of a man of great vision and considerable talent, attributes which were badly needed at that time.

Warren was attached to the Bureau in 1938 to report to the Public Service Board on the Bureau's management performance. There is no doubt that the appointment of a non-meteorologist for this purpose did not find favour with many senior Bureau staff, but it seems that Watt was satisfied with Warren's performance because the latter was appointed Assistant Director (Administration) on 22 April 1939.

Cornish, Warren, Watt, Timcke and Treloar

Figure 2 A. W. Cornish, H. N. Warren, W. S. Watt, E. W. Timcke and H. M. Treloar (from left to right) at a celebration in Melbourne in January 1939 following the completion in 1938 of the first training course for Observers.

In that year a committee with representatives of the Bureau, the Navy, Army and Air Force was established to examine Departmental arrangements for control of the Bureau. Warren was the sole Bureau representative on this committee. It recommended to the Federal Cabinet that operational control of the Bureau should be transferred to the Air Board. This recommendation was approved by Federal Cabinet on the outbreak of war with Germany in September 1939 but it was not until July 1940 that administrative arrangements were finalised and the Bureau was transferred from the Department of the Interior to the Department of Air.

People in Bright Sparcs - Cornish, Allan William; Hunt, Henry Ambrose ; Kidson, Edward; Taylor, Thomas Griffith; Warren, Herbert Norman; Watt, William Shand

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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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