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My parents' contribution to Hitler's downfall and how I came to be!


With war clouds looming in the 1930s, there seemed to be no defence against fast-moving airborne invaders. As a matter of urgency scientists were tasked with addressing this problem and early experiments with radio waves demonstrated that they could be used to detect aircraft by reflection.

Thus was born what we now call RADAR (Radio Direction and Ranging) but at that time, to disguise its real purpose, was referred to as ‘RDF’. It was, nevertheless, still a secret capability not fully disclosed to the public until VJ day, 17 August 1945.

This talk highlights the roles played by two of the many hundreds of RAF personnel who helped deliver this initially primitive capability to a level that ensured that a German invasion was thwarted and then provided the means to take the fight to the ‘Fatherland’ through the precision bombing of Hitler’s war machine.

After attending the Chelmsford Technical High School, Chris gained an Honours degree in Physics at Surrey University and then, following a spell of teaching science in Ghana for VSO, he joined EEV in Chelmsford as a Thyratron engineer. He retired from EEV 30 years later as Technical Director but then joined BAeSystems to manage their InfraRed facility in Southampton finally retiring from what had become Selex (part of Finmeccanica) in 2012. As well as his involvement with CSES he has taken a strong interest in Chelmsford's Marconi heritage which brought the Neale family to this town 67 years ago!

Refreshments will be available from 30 minutes before the advertised start time.

Radar and Sonar


Continuing Professional Development

This event can contribute towards your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours as part of the IET's CPD monitoring scheme.

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10 Apr 2024  

6:30pm - 8:30pm

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  • Essex Local Network

Registration information


Anglia Ruskin University Chelmsford

Bishop Hall Lane


18:30 - Refreshments 

20:00 - Lecture - room Room QUE 101





Free of charge