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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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Return to Civvy Street

With the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in August 1945, most servicemen, their families, and the general public were looking forward to the end of wartime restrictions. The transfer of servicemen to civilian status was popularly called "a return to Civvy Street".

There had been tremendous technological advances during the war. Before the war many households did not own a motor car, washing machine, hot water service or refrigerator, these 'luxuries' being generally found only in the more affluent homes. As we will see later, technological advances were to revolutionise the manner in which the Bureau operated, with the introduction of radiosondes, radar winds, radar weather watch, Hollerith punch-cards, sorters and tabulators, automatic weather stations (AWS), satellites and solid state computers.

One of the first peacetime actions of the Australian Government was to have the Department of Post-war Reconstruction dismantle wartime rationing and restore primary and secondary industry to a peacetime footing. There was an enormous demand for new housing, motor cars, clothing and household appliances. However it took time for industry to tool up to meet peacetime needs.

The growth in the civilian population resulting from the demobilisation of servicemen, a surge in the birthrate and changes in attitudes of the general public all contributed to the emergence of a national character much different from that in Australia in the 1930s.

The notion of a British Empire had evaporated. Australia had found it necessary to look to the US for assistance in fighting the war against Japan. Our links with England, although still emotionally strong for most of the population, were seen to be no longer those of economic or military dependence. The idea of a British Commonwealth gradually emerged, with the British Empire being replaced by a group of independent nations with historical association with the United Kingdom. The main preoccupation of the general public, State and Commonwealth Governments, industry and commercial enterprises was to restore the peacetime structure of the nation.

Let us now trace the effect of the return to Civvy Street on the Bureau. H. N. Warren had anticipated that his first tasks would be to arrange the demobilisation of the RAAF Meteorological Service and to prepare a plan for the reorganisation of a reconstituted Bureau.

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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