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Report on the papers of Albert Percival Rowe, C. B.E. (1898-1976)


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Reference CSASC.47.1.77
Covering dates 1941 - 1974
Held by Imperial War Museum Department of Documents
Conditions of access Not all of the material is yet available to scholars.
Source of acquisition Deposited in 1977
The papers were received from Mrs. Mary Rowe (widow).
Titles and descriptions in inverted commas are those which appear on the documents.
Creators Rowe, Albert Percival, 1898-1976, scientist, mathematician and astrophysicist
Arrangement A. Biographical and Personal: CSASC.47.1.77/A.1 - CSASC.47.1.77/A.12
B. Talks, addresses, publications: CSASC.47.1.77/B.1 - CSASC.47.1.77/B.62
C. Correspondence: CSASC.47.1.77/C.1 - CSASC.47.1.77/C.16
Related information The manuscript material was (in part) conveyed in the original brief-case which Rowe used throughout the War for his documents and carried with him to all conferences and meetings. The brief-case is also held in the Imperial War Museum. The Museum already holds the originals of 14 letters of congratulation, 1941-49, on TRE work, which Rowe himself donated in 1970.
Some correspondence exchanged with Lord Blackett in 1960, when Blackett was preparing his Tizard Lecture given at the Institute of Strategic Studies in February 1960, is in the collection of the Blackett papers to be deposited at the Royal Society, London.
Note Compiled by: Jeannine Alton Harriot Weiskittel

Administrative history:
Summary of career of A.P. Row
b.1898 Launceston, Cornwall Educated Dockyard School, Portsmouth
1921 Royal College of Science (Imperial Collece of Science and Technology), London
1922 Member of Scientific Staff, Air Ministry
1925 Assistant to Harry Egerton Wimperis, first Director of Scientific Research, Air Ministry
1927-37 Part-time lecturer, Imperial College
1932 Married Mary Gordon Mathews
1935 Secretary, Committee for the Scientific Study of Air Defence
1938 Superintendent, Bawdsey Research Station
1939 Superintendent, Air Ministry Research Establishment, Dundee
1940 Superintendent, Telecommunications Research Establishment, Swanage
1942-45 Chief Superintendent, Telecommunications Research Establishment, Malvern
1942 C.B.E.
1945 Deputy Controller, Research and Development, Admiralty
1946 Medal for Merit, U.S.A
1947 Adviser, Australian Defence Department and Chairman, Defence Scientific Advisory Committee
1948-58 Vice-Chancellor, University of Adelaide (first salaried V-C of the University)
1957 Honorary Fellow, Imperial College
1958-66 Taught mathematics and astronomy at Malvern College

Contents:
There is very little material relating to Rowe's service as Superintendent of TRE (Telecommunications Research Establishment) 1938-45, though there are frequent references to this important period in the letters, and some of the talks, in the collection. Item CSASC.47.1.77/A.3 gives some of the lighter side of life at Malvern during the Second World War, and CSASC.47.1.77/A.4 contains a note by Rowe c.1968 on the background to the Committee for the Scientific Study of Air Defence ('the Tizard Committee'), corroborating the account given in his book One Story of Radar, 1948. Item CSASC.47.1.77/A.5 is Rowe's comments on a history of the development of radar as put forward by the Operations and Technical Radar Committee in 1945.
The talks and addresses in Section B give a picture of the strong principles which Rowe brought to academic life as Vice-Chancellor of Adelaide University, and his continuous endeavours to instil respect for rigorous moral and intellectual standards.



Biographical and personal (A.1-A.12)  CSASC.47.1.77/A.  [n.d.]

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/A.1  1946-1947

Contents:
3p. biographical sketch of Rowe's life and work by Denys Freeman.
Obituary by Sir Bernard Lovell, The Times.
Copy of citation to accompany the award of the Medal for Merit by the U.S.A.; typescript of press announcement of award. 1946
Letter from the Ministry of Supply on Rowe's retirement from Civil Service on appointment to Australia. 1947

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/A.2  1941; 1942

Contents:
Letter from 10 Downing Street announcing award of C.B.E. Letters and telegrams of congratulation.

[no title or date]  CSASC.47.1.77/A.3

Contents:
Misc. souvenirs of TRE, Malvern:
Letter from the Ministry of Supply on Rowe's retirement from Civil Service on appointment to Australia. 1947
Various verses and songs to be sung at TRE social functions.
Various verses and songs to be sung at TRE social functions.

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/A.4  n.d

Contents:
Radar 'Note by Dr. A.P. Rowe on the Guardian article by John O'Callaghan "Radar - how it all began'", 1 p.
This 'Note' gives Rowe's account of early work on sound location, his survey in 1934 of the air defences of Britain, the setting-up of the Tizard Committee, and the first test of sound echoes in Feb. 1935 which Rowe attended as representative of the Committee.
There is also a short note by Mrs. Rowe (July 1976) in which she says 'I have a clear memory of his [Rowe's] return after the test on 26th Feb. 1935 when the result was obtained'.
Copy of Foreword by Marshal of the RAF, Lord Tedder, to Rowe's book, One Story of Radar (pub. 1948) with accompanying letter from Lord Tedder (25.5.48.). 1948
Photocopy of letter of thanks from Buckingham Palace (signed by Sir Alan Frederick Lascelles) for copy of One Story of Radar. 1949
Photocopy of letter of thanks from Buckingham Palace (signed by Sir Alan Frederick Lascelles) for copy of One Story of Radar. 1949
Misc. press-cuttings on radar and the Tizard Committee.
Obituary notice by Rowe of H.E. Wimperis, Nature, November. 1960

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/A.5  1945

Contents:
'The Story of Radar', document prepared by the Operations and Technical Radio Committee for the disclosure of radar information to the public. Extensive comments and discussion by Rowe who disagreed with both the facts and the presentation of the report. Also correspondence and comments by W.B. Lewis, and various drafts in manuscript and typescript form of Rowe's and Lewis's comments.

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/A.6  1947-58


Related information: (see also CSAC 47.1.77/C.3-CSASC.47.1.77/C.7).

Contents:
Biographical material re service as Vice-Chancellor at University of Adelaide, and retirement: includes press-cuttings, photographs, published text of Commemoration Address given at Adelaide University by the Chancellor, Sir Mellis Napier, with reference to Rowe and his work as Vice-Chancellor

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/A.7  1957

Contents:
Misc. photographs of Rowe and colleagues.

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/A.8  1950-65

Contents:
Misc. biographical material - programme of Imperial College Commemoration Day (1958) at which Rowe was made an Honorary Fellow of the College; press-cuttings, memorabilia, and letter written by Rowe to his wife (n.d. but probably 1957) describing his visits to Sir Henry Tizard and other friends.

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/A.9  1976

Contents:
Letters of condolence to Mrs. Rowe, with tributes and recollections of Rowe.

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/A.10  1974

Contents:
Programme of Royal Society Discussion on 'The Effects of Two World Wars on the Organization and Development of Science in the United Kingdom', 28 March 1974, organized by R.V. Jones. Note to Rowe written by Jones and signed by participants in the discussion. Letter from J.A. Ratcliffe written before the dinner.

[no title or date]  CSASC.47.1.77/A.11

Contents:
One folder of humorous writings and verse: 'Animals I Remember', 'Steve of the Jolly Sailor' (published in East Anglia Magazine (1964). Typescript and printed version of 'The Debunking of Good King Wenceslas', published in the Malvern Mercury with letter in reply.

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/A.12  1970; 1948

Contents:
'The Microwaves of Malvern', article on the work of TRE published in Warwickshire and Worcestershire Life, August 1970.
'T.R.E.' article published in Discovery, July 1948.
Both of these articles contain numerous references to Rowe's work.

Talks, addresses and writings (B.1-B.62)  CSASC.47.1.77/B.  [n.d.]

Talks and speeches.  CSASC.47.1.77/B.1-B.48  [n.d.]

Contents:
The following were given by Rowe as Vice-Chancellor of Adelaide University, and are presented in chronological order as far as ascertainable; some are accompanied by correspondence. Unless otherwise indicated they are in typescript with ms. revisions and underscorings.

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.1  1947

Contents:
Note of introduction (perhaps press release) on 'New Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor for the University', with, on verso, notes in red pencil by Rowe on his views of the university (perhaps for speech).

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.2  June 1948

7 pp.

Contents:
'Commemoration Evening Talk', heavily revised and underscored, with letter to editor of On Dit (Adelaide University newspaper).

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.3  Oct. 1948

6 pp.

Contents:
'The Choice' (English Speaking Union), and ensuing correspondence

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.4  1948

Contents:
Copies of misc. news items based on Rowe's speeches and broadcast on ABC news service.

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.5  Jan. 1949

8 pp.

Contents:
'Address to Teachers Conference', heavily revised.

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.6  March 1949

5 pp.

Contents:
'Talk to Graduates'

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.7  May 1949

1 pp.

Contents:
'Foreword' for Science Journal

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.8  May 1949

4 pp.

Contents:
'On Stopping progress', for Science Journal.

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.9  August 1949

6 pp.

Contents:
Address on 'Change', given at meeting of Victoria League, printed copy

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.10  Oct. 1949

3 pp.

Contents:
Address at Trafalgar Day Commemoration Service

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.11  Dec. 1949

5 pp.

Contents:
Prize Day speech, Prince Alfred College

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.12  Dec. 1949

6 pp.

Contents:
Legacy Club talk

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.13  Oct. 1951

2 pp.

Contents:
Script for broadcast on ABC, on pictures in the Australian National Gallery

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.14  n.d; 1958

3 pp.

Contents:
Speech at opening of Exhibition of Australian Contemporary Art,; newsletter of Contemporary Art Society with thanks to Rowe for his support.

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.15  n.d

4 pp.

Contents:
'Your university - and others'

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.16  n.d

6 pp.

Contents:
'J.C.C.'

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.17  Jan. 1952

8 pp.

Contents:
'Summer School Opening', ms and typescript

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.18  March 1952

10 pp.

Contents:
'Woodside', ms. and typescript

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.19  April 1952

11 pp.

Contents:
'Television'

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.20  May 1952

2 pp.

Contents:
'Half-price universities'

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.21  August 1952

4 pp. (3 copies)

Contents:
'Australia', speech to Commercial Travellers Association

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.22  March 1953

5 pp.

Contents:
'Scots Church'

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.23  March 1953

Contents:
Notes and letter on 'University Finances', in Adelaide Advertiser.

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.24  April 1953

5 pp.

Contents:
'Any News?' - a talk on universities

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.25  Sept. 1953

2 pp.

Contents:
Dinner speech

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.26  ? July 1954

Contents:
Incomplete text (pps.6, 7, 8) probably of broadcast on religion in the university, July 1954, with letter of appreciation from a listener.

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.27  Feb. 1955

5 pp.

Contents:
'Before the cock crows', address in Town Hall, Adelaide

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.28  March 1955

2 pp.

Contents:
Speech at opening of extension of Adelaide University

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.29  March 1955

3 pp.

Contents:
Article in Sunday Advertiser on American and Australian Universities, written following Rowe's visit to the U.S.A. on a Carnegie grant.

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.30  April 1955

Contents:
Speech, probably for Toc.H. (p.5 only).

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.31  Dec. 1955

7 pp.

Contents:
Address to Brighton High School

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.32  Dec. 1955

7 pp.

Contents:
'Seven Sins?', address to the Rotary Club of Adelaide, 2 copies of published speech

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.33  Jan. 1956

6 pp.

Contents:
Address at the opening of the Summer School

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.34  Feb. 1956

6 pp.

Contents:
Speech at opening of Summer School of Business Administration

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.35  April 1956

Contents:
'Anzac', commemoration speech, Xerox of published text.

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.36  May 1956

2 pp.

Contents:
'Talk to dentists', notes for talk to university students in School of Dentistry

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.37  Dec. 1956; n.d

4 pp.

Contents:
'Pulteney Grammar School Speech'
Typescript of talk to girls' school.

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.38  Jan. 1957

4 pp.

Contents:
'Views on Australian University Grants Committee

[no title or date]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.39-B.46

Contents:
Rowe's annual 'Talks to Freshers' at Adelaide University 1948-56 (1951 missing):

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.39  1948

8 pp.

Contents:
Talks to Freshers

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.40  1949

6 pp.

Contents:
Talks to Freshers

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.41  1950

7 pp.

Contents:
Talks to Freshers

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.42  1952

10 pp.

Contents:
Talks to Freshers

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.43  1954

2 pp.

Contents:
Notes.

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.44  1955

2 pp.

Contents:
With 1 further page of welcome to freshmen for publication in On Dit, and two letters of appreciation of the address.

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.45  1955

2 pp.

Contents:
Talks to Freshers

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.46  1956

3 pp.

Contents:
Talks to Freshers

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.47  1948

Contents:
'Report on the Financial Position of the University together with Proposals for a Short-Term Plan', October 1948, with 8 pp. introductory note and summary by Rowe as Vice-Chancellor containing his recommendations and criticisms.

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.48  1952

10 pp.

Contents:
'Religion and the Community', duplicated typescript of talk delivered in November 1952.

[no title or date]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.49-B.58

Contents:
Writings on university reform:

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.49  1960

Contents:
If the Gown Fits, Melbourne University Press: reviews, including one by Sir Mark Oliphant in The Sydney Morning Herald, 13 April 1960 (typescript and printed version with covering letter from Oliphant). See also CSASC.47.1.77/C.1, for correspondence from readers.

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.50  c.1960

Contents:
'Red Brick and Whitewash' (reprint).

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.51  1960

Contents:
'Dry Rot and Redbrick' as printed in The Listener (24 November 1960) following Rowe's broadcast on BBC Third Programme. See also CSASC.47.1.77/C.1 for correspondence from the general public following the broadcast.

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.52  1960

Contents:
'A Case for University Reform', London School of Economics Oration, December 1960 (reprint).

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.53  c1960

Contents:
'The Problem of Freedom and Efficiency in Universities', reprint of Rowe's remarks at discussion sponsored by the Committee on Science and Freedom, with leader in The Times Educational Supplement commenting on his speech, 1 p note 'Mr. Rowe and University Efficiency' by Prof. Bruce Williams, and Rowe's reply to Prof. Williams as published in 'Science and Freedom', December 1960.

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.54  n.d

Contents:
'A Beeching for the Dons?': typescript and printed article (differing versions).

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.55  1962

Contents:
Remarks at Conference of the British Association for Commercial and Industrial Education, Nottingham, October: typescript notes and report in The Guardian.

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.56  1964

Contents:
'From scientific idea to practical use' (reprint).

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.57  1964

Contents:
Report in The Daily Telegraph, 11 November 1964, on Rowe's evidence to the Franks Commission.

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.58  1965

Contents:
'Training for research' editorial in The New Scientist: typescript and correspondence in the letters section.

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.59  n.d

Contents:
Various sets of typescript notes on university reform.

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.60  1967-71

Contents:
Astronomy and Cosmology, Thames and Hudson, 1968: correspondence with editor and publishers, reviews.

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.61  c1967-71

Contents:
One folder of notes and drafts on astronomy and cosmology prepared by Rowe for General Studies Association project 'Man's Place in the Universe' (see CSASC.47.1.77/C.14 for correspondence re the project). Lecture notes, ms. and typescript drafts, including the titles. 'Quasars and Pulsars', 'Measurement of Distances', 'The Expansion of the Universe', 'Spectroscopy', 'The Solar System', 'The Ages of Constituent Members of the Universe'. Rowe's material was edited and printed as a 13 p. booklet 'Cosmology'. The file also includes another booklet Cosmology for Non-Specialists. Notes on the Teaching of Astronomy and Cosmology to Non-Scientists at Malvern College' by Rowe describing methods of teaching and material covered in the course.

[no title or date]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.62

Contents:
Book Reviews by Rowe:

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.62/1  1961 - 1965

Contents:
The Question of Astrology, Derek Parker and The Case for Astrology, J.A. West and J.G. Toonder (ms. and typescript).

[no title or date]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.62/2

Contents:
Astrology and Science, Michel Gauquelin (typescript).

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.62/3  1961

Contents:
The Prof in Two World, Earl of Birkenhead (Typescript).

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.62/4  1965

Contents:
Tizard, Ronald Clark (typescript and printed version).

[no title or date]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.62/5

Contents:
Science and Government, C.P. Snow (typescript).

[no title or date]  CSASC.47.1.77/B.62/6

Contents:
Einstein, His Life and Times, Ronald Clark (typescript and printed version; see also correspondence with Clark in CSASC.47.1.77/C.12).

Correspondence (C.1-C.16)  CSASC.47.1.77/C.  [n.d.]

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/C.1  1960-62


Related information: (See also CSAC 47.1.77/B.49 and CSASC.47.1.77/C.51.)

Contents:
Correspondence from readers and listeners re If the Gown Fits and 'Dry Rot and Redbrick'.
Selectively indexed. Includes one letter from Kenneth Mellanby (December 1960) in his capacity as Chairman of the Consultants to advise the Western Nigerian Government asking if Rowe would consider becoming Vice-Chancellor of a Nigerian university.

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/C.2  1960-65

Contents:
Correspondence on general matters of educational and university policy, including letters from Sir James Mountford, Lord Beveridge, Lord Snow, Lord Wolfenden, among others.

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/C.3  1955-58

Contents:
Correspondence re Australian university affairs during Rowe's service as Vice-Chancellor of University of Adelaide.
File includes some letters written on the occasion of his retirement.

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/C.4  1966-75

Contents:
Correspondence re portrait of Rowe commissioned by the University with text of speech by Frank Borland at the presentation of the portrait to the Union. Invitation to Rowe to attend University's Centenary celebrations (1974).
Correspondence re naming of committee room after Rowe.
File includes photographs of room and of portrait.

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/C.5  1972-74

Contents:
Correspondence with officials of Adelaide University following Rowe's retirement.

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/C.6  1955-74

Contents:
Correspondence with Sir Mark Oliphant re Australian university affairs.

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/C.7  1959-72

Contents:
Correspondence from Australian colleagues or re Australia (see also CSASC.47.1.77/C.15).

[no title or date]  CSASC.47.1.77/C.8

Contents:
Correspondence re Malvern College and with colleagues and pupils there.

Personal and scientific correspondence from UK scientists and colleagues (in alphabetical order):  CSASC.47.1.77/C.9-C.11  [n.d.]

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/C.9  1944-1974

Contents:
B-J

[no title or ref.]  1972-74

Contents:
Bowden, Bertram Vivian (2 letters, 1 card)

[no title or ref.]  1946

Contents:
Brundrett, F.

[no title or ref.]  1974

Contents:
Cockburn, Robert

[no title or ref.]  1944

Contents:
Cripps, Isobel

[no title or ref.]  1971

Contents:
Hill, Archibald Vivian

[no title or ref.]  1970

Contents:
Hodgkin, Alan

[no title or ref.]  1974

Contents:
Jones, Reginald Victor

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/C.10  1965-1975

Contents:
L-P

[no title or ref.]  1970

Contents:
Liddell Hart, Kathleen

[no title or ref.]  1965, 1970, 1971

Contents:
Lovell, Bernard (3 letters)

[no title or ref.]  1971, 1975

Contents:
Macfarlane, George (2 letters)

[no title or ref.]  1973-74

Contents:
Millar, George (6 letters)

[no title or ref.]  1970

Contents:
Nabarro, Gerald

[no title or ref.]  1965-1975

Contents:
Palmer, H. P. 1967

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/C.11  1945-1973

Contents:
R-W

[no title or ref.]  ?1945

Contents:
Ratcliffe, John Ashworth

[no title or ref.]  1968, 1973

Contents:
Roskill, Stephen Wentworth (3 letters)

[no title or ref.]  1965

Contents:
Ryle, Martin

[no title or ref.]  1972

Contents:
Snow, Charles Percy

[no title or ref.]  1968

Contents:
Taylor, Alan John Percivale

[no title or ref.]  1958

Contents:
Tedder, Arthur William

[no title or ref.]  1971

Contents:
Wallis, Barnes

[no title or ref.]  1945, 1959

Contents:
Wimperis, Harry Egerton

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/C.12  1972-74

Contents:
Correspondence from Ronald Clark re his book Einstein, His Life and Times (see also D.62 for Rowe's review of this work).

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/C.13  1969, 1971

Contents:
Correspondence from Guy Hartcup re his book The Challenge of War, photocopies of reviews, typescript of Foreword by Lord Bowden.

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/C.14  1969-73

Contents:
Correspondence with John Baker and Anthony Wilson re project 'Man's Place in the Universe' sponsored by the General Studies Association (see CSASC.47.1.77/B.61 for Rowe's notes and drafts).

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/C.15  c.1955-60

Contents:
Correspondence from Sir William Mitchell (Chancellor, University of Adelaide) re Rowe's broadcasts and publications.
Most of the letters are not dated; one is 1960.

[no title]  CSASC.47.1.77/C.16  1966-75

Contents:
Misc. personal correspondence; several of the letters are re broadcasts.

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