Oral history of British science

Moreton, Roger (Part 2 of 8). An Oral History of British Science.

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  • Subjects

    Materials Science

  • Recording date


  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home, Fleet

  • Interviewees

    Moreton, Roger, 1935- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Lean, Thomas (speaker, male)

  • Abstract

    Part 2: Roger Moreton [RM] remarks on: RM and Mrs RM on how they met and RM's personality, competitive at sports; inheritances from parents and aspects of personality whilst growing up, reserved, enjoys solving problems; [5:40] competitive in some ways; winning county scholarship for university; influence of school house master in choice of Cambridge University; deferment due to National Service. [08:08] Remarks on National Service: training at Oswestry and Tonfanau as an anti-aircraft gunner; training in surveying on Salisbury Plane at Larkhill; surveying for army at Dortmund, Germany; similarities with other surveyors; details of surveying enemy artillery with sound, competition with radar; [13:27] common interest of maths and physics amongst surveyors; similarity of army to boarding school; feeling happy to do national service; anecdote about driving Bren gun carrier; enjoying army sports; social life; failing to learn fluent German; service 1954-56, worries over Suez Crisis disrupting demobilisation; feelings amongst comrades about National Service; demob report; enjoying exercises. [21:30] Remarks on: relations between British soldiers and Germans in Dortmund; Cold War concerns; conditions in Germany, shortages; enjoying recreation, skiing and sport in Army; aspects of army life that RM disliked, food; [28:00] Gunner rank, avoiding responsibility to some extent; anecdote about working with electronics in sound ranging equipment; benefits of National Service to RM, meeting lifetime contact Keith Kent, later of RARDE; feelings on leaving army; continuing education in National Service through courses; similarity of first year university to A-level; [35:45] doing better in exams than he suspected; RM's conciseness in answers, with examples of school debating society and need to convince people in meetings. [40:40] Remarks on: school societies; starting university after leaving army, reputation of Cambridge in science subjects; description of Selwyn College, Cambridge. [44:45] Remarks on Natural Science degree: mix of first year subjects, specialising in metallurgy in third year; physics; distinguished metallurgy lecturers Alan Cottrell and Anthony Kelly; anecdote about note taking differences between good and bad lecturers; [50:40] tutorials with Anthony Kelly; Alan Cottrell and Anthony Kelly's books and influence on Cambridge teaching of metallurgy; difference between process and physical metallurgy, theory of dislocations in materials; [54:50] Kelly speciality in ceramics, Cottrell in metallurgy and carbides; lectures from Cottrell; teaching methods, appearance of electron microscopes and new ideas; RM attracted to metallurgy due to practical applications; RM knowledge of Farnborough by reputation from childhood.

  • Description

    Life story interview with materials scientist Roger Moreton.

  • Related links

    Visit this interviewee's page on the 'Voices of Science' web resource

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