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This page is to record any biographies we have been given by the families.
You will also find some biographies published in the annual Newsletters.

When we have been given dates for a funeral we will publish this on the front page up until the date of the funeral.

 

18th April 2018
Bernard de Neumann

We are sorry to report that the mathematician , who worked at Baddow for several years, died on the 18th April 2018 at the age of 74 years.

A brief summary of his career can be found at http://marconiradarhistory.pbworks.com/w/page/39893825/Bernard%20de%20Neumann

7th June 2017
Ted Pegram
There is an autobiographical article by Ted athttp://marconiradarhistory.pbworks.com/w/page/118791537/Ted%20Pegram

30th April 2017

Alan Cushing

The following appreciation of Alan from John Conrad, ex Marconi Radar and who now lives in Tennessee was received by MOGS:

I have fond memories of Alan Cushing who I worked for from about 1975 to about 1982 as a young engineer.  He taught me a lot about getting things done outside the “system”.  It is a skill I have used throughout my subsequent career with Textron, a US Defence Contractor, and continue to use as a retiree, managing volunteers.

Alan was single-minded in running the “Cushing Cottage Industry” and overcoming obstacles on a daily basis.  He was dedicated to maintaining/upgrading RAF radar systems along the east coast and RAF West Drayton.  He would take on challenges and then figure out how meet those challenges using whatever resources he could “acquire.”  I thoroughly enjoyed my time working with Alan and my colleagues Roy Wellsteed, Brian Martin, Ivan Newman, Ken Coates and others I cannot remember.  I moved on to work on the S713 Martello before leaving the company in 1984.

I consider Alan Cushing one of a few mentors in my life who really shaped my professional career and my approach to life. Taking responsibility for getting things done with or without cooperation from those around us.

24 October 2016

Lester Bearcroft

The following appreciation of Les has been provided by his family.

Lester was born in India in 1931 and came to the UK with his family when he was 16.  He did his National Service in the RAF and was posted to Malaysia.  After that he moved to London and got a job as an inspector in a clock factory and then a company making meters.  He met Morreen Gunn in London and they were married and moved to Chelmsford where he got a job at Marconi’s in 1965.  He worked there until he retired.  

As a family we knew how much he loved his work and as a true engineer he would spend lots of time in his shed fixing radios, listening to radio stations from around the world, making circuits and repairing TV’s.  He enjoyed the camaraderie at Marconi’s and had great respect for his colleagues.  He liked a laugh, the Goons were a favourite, he was a good story teller and was very knowledgeable about most things in life.

Sadly missed by his family Linda, Paul and Diane.

17th Jan 2016

Mr H N C Ellis-Robinson OBE, CEng, FIEE (known as E-R)

ER, as he was always known was born in 1924, educated at Speedwell Prep School and Clayesmore School, Dorset.

In WW2 at the age of 17½ he volunteered and was accepted for aircrew in January 1942 but was rejected because of eye astigmatism and not called up again until he was 18 this time for non-aircrew. During this period worked as a laboratory assistant for Cyril Fogg at Signals Research & Development Establishment (SRDE), Christchurch on RDF so had his first contact with radar. When recalled to the RAF this was noted and therefore taken on as an RDF Mechanic (Ground).  Later in the war he had a special duties posting as an attachment to Telecommunications Research Establishment (TRE) working on a new Mobile Calibration Unit (MCU) being set up for special tracking at bombing ranges.

He finished the war at Yatesbury as an instructor on Ground Radar, whilst also maintaining equipment and building simulators.

After the war he returned to Southampton University to complete formal qualifications in electronics and physics, graduating in 1949. He then applied for a job with Marconi, being the only company in the south of England manufacturing ground radar sensors; he was interviewed by H J Wassell, who had recently been given the task of setting up a new department – the Radar Development Group (RDG)- to carry out the work required for the VAST project and was offered a job on radar transmitter design. He started in New Street, Chelmsford at the beginning of July 1949 and by the end of the first week was involved in a new magnetron transmitter and modulator for Types 13 and 14, which went into production in early 1951. Shortly after this the department moved to a refurbished site at Broomfield where it stayed until 1959.

By 1952 became a Senior Engineer responsible for a new 200MHz transmitter for Types 15 and 7 and team leader for the complete Type 15 radar. He was successively promoted through the 1950s to Section Leader posts with increasing responsibilities, becoming Group Chief in 1960.

In 1959 RDG work and staff transferred to the Research Department at Baddow, until 1965 when Marconi Radar Systems Ltd (MRSL) was formed.

He became Manager, Engineering Division MRSL in 1969 and Development Manager MRSL in 1975.

He retired in 1986.

28th July 2015

Ken Perry, C Eng, MIET

The following obituary was posted on the MOGS forum by Don Halstead using information also published in the Guardian and by the IET.

Ken Perry, C Eng, MIET June 1930 – July 2015

“The man crucial to Marconi’s success”

Ken Perry was born in Harrogate on 7 June 1930. He was evacuated during the Second World War to Blaenau Ffestiniog in North Wales. In 1948, he was called up for national service with the RAF, based at Lossiemouth on the Moray Firth.

He studied Physics with Mathematics at the University of Newcastle, after which he was taken on at Marconi. In 1956, he met Ann McEntee and in 1958 they were married at Brentwood Cathedral.

Ken worked for Marconi Radar Systems, under the leadership of Managing Director J W Sutherland CBE MA FIEE. Marconi’s Silver Jubilee publication (1994) states: “…. intruding aircraft could fly just a few feet above the sea …. below the cover of microwave defence radars.”  In order to track this threat, Ken Perry oversaw the development and production of a high frequency surface wave ‘over-the-horizon’ radar. Former colleague Gerry Valentine tells us: “Prior t0 1983 he was the Group Chief and expert on microwave components, designing them and manufacturing them for high-powered radar systems.”

In 1988, when Marconi Radar Systems registered interest in the Jindalee Operational Radar Network, Ken was instrumental in securing the contract for collaboration with Telecom Australia. Ken’s wife, Ann, remembers a phone call from the late J W Sutherland, in which he said that Ken had saved the company.

Ken continued to work with Marconi Radar Systems for seven years after his 65th birthday, being named as the inventor of the ‘near-vertical incidence HF radar’ on a patent application in 2001. After departing from Marconi in 2002, he continued to give lectures there for many years. He also gave lectures at the IET, and annually in support of his wife’s homoeopathic interests.

Ken died on 28 July 2015. He is survived by his wife Ann, four daughters Karen, Alison, Rachel and Nina, and nine grandchildren.

5th Aug 2015

Alan Boswell

These tributes to Alan were added on 21 October 2015

Alan was born on 10 October 1943.  He began his love affair with ships, Morse code, etc as he watched the ships sailing out of the Tyne when growing up at Tynemouth, Northumberland.  He started learning Morse code in his early teens and took out his radio license –  call sign – G3NOQ.

He moved to Great Baddow, Essex, after university to start working for Marconi at Great Baddow as an electrical engineer.   Marconi became BEA Systems and Alan retired from them when he was 65. Alan had many other interests being a talented organist, madrigal and choral singer and in later life, speaker of Norwegian.  He used his new found learning to translate Norwegian articles into English and made many new friends in Norway.

Alan developed asthma which developed in more recent years into COPD with complications.  In late July he was rushed to hospital and seemed to be making a good recovery but suffered a relapse the day before he was due to be discharged.  Alan is sadly missed by his son Joe, his siblings Andrew and Nora, their families and his many friends.

Tribute by Dr Brian Austin, G0GSF
“Alan Boswell, G3NOQ was one of the RSGB’s most respected Members. Until his death on 5th August 2015 he was an active member of the RadCom technical panel. He had particular skill in vetting articles on antenna matters. I knew Alan well from our joint involvement with the IEE (now the IET), where we met at conferences and often interacted on technical issues to do with antennas. As recently as last year we collaborated in publishing an article on small loops, along with another retired engineer and radio amateur in South Africa (Mike Perks, ZS6BIM). It appeared in the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Magazine last August.

Alan’s passing will leave a huge void in the professional antenna community where he was very highly regarded.”

 

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