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Table of Contents

Memories of the Bureau, 1946 to 1962





Chapter 1: The Warren Years, 1946 to 1950

Chapter 2: International Meteorology

Chapter 3: The Timcke Years, 1950 to 1955
A Period of Consolidation
Aviation Services
Services for the General Public
Rockets and Atomic Weapons
Instruments and Observations
Climate and Statistics
International Activities
Central Analysis and Development
The Universities
The Meteorology Act
Achievements of the Timcke Years

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 3: The Timcke Years, 1950 to 1955

Edward Waldemar (Tim) Timcke was a thin man who stood over two metres in height. As well as the sharp contrast in physical appearance between Timcke and Warren there were also distinct differences in their attitudes and personalities. Warren was brisk, decisive and adventurous. Timcke was deliberate, extremely cautious and for him decision-making required long and careful consideration. He was an ideal deputy to Warren in that he was hard-working, conscientious and loyal. During Warren's frequent absences overseas, or when Warren was at home ill, Timcke acted as Director of Meteorology.

Acting as Director must have been difficult for a man such as Tim because he took great care in making decisions, particularly when those decisions related to Warren's attitudes on how the Bureau should be managed and to Warren's plans for the future. Tim's cautious nature would have made it difficult for him to make decisions in Warren's absence.

Born in Adelaide on 2 April 1890, E. W. Timcke (two years younger than H. N. Warren) saw active service with the AIF in France in World War I. I have heard that in France during the war he assisted E. Gold of the UK's Meteorological Office in making meteorological observations near the front in relation to the use of poison gas.

Tim had joined in the Bureau's Divisional Office in Adelaide in about 1911 as a meteorological assistant. As was usual at that time, more senior staff would have instructed him in making meteorological observations. An item in AMM No 8 of March 1955 reports that after World War I Tim worked for six months in the UK Meteorological Office.

On his return to Australia in 1919 he recommenced work in the Bureau in the Sydney Divisional Office. In 1929 he moved to the Bureau's Central Office where he worked in the Aviation Section. As recalled by Cornish (1996), who joined the Bureau in 1929, Timcke and John Hogan (1896–1970), assisted by various younger members of Bureau staff, made regular pilot balloon flights, the results of which were passed to aviators flying the Melbourne-Sydney, Melbourne-Launceston and Melbourne-Adelaide air routes in the 1930s. Cornish recalls that when he joined the Bureau pilot balloons were filled with hydrogen in that room (Timcke's office) because outside the window was the spiral metal staircase leading to the platform on the roof from which the upper air observations were made. Two or three hydrogen cylinders were kept in that room. So much for the safety procedures in balloon filling at that time!

People in Bright Sparcs - Cornish, Allan William; Hogan, John; Timcke, Edward Waldemar; 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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