O.M K.C.B C.B.E Sc.D F.R.S
First Master of
27th May 1897
18th Sept 1967
Whose love was his strength
son of John
and Elizabeth Cockcroft
Jan 26th 1927 Oct 11th 1929
Oct 26th 1898
Aug 4th 1989
John Douglas Cockcroft was a British Physicist who shared the Nobel Prize in Physics for splitting the Atomic Nucleus with Ernest Walton in 1951. Cockcroft was instrumental in the development of Nuclear Power.
John was born on 27th May 1897 at Todmorden, W.Yorkshire, England. His family had been Cotton Manufacturers for several generations.
He studied mathematics at Manchester University in 1914 and served as a Signaller in the Royal Field Artillery during the First World War. He then returned to Manchester and studied electrical engineering and after an apprenticeship with Metropolitan Vickers Electrical Co. he went to St. John's College Cambridge and took the Mathematical Tripos in 1924 and became a Fellow of St.John's in 1929.
In 1925 he married Eunice Elizabeth Crabtree and had six children, John Haslam ~ known as Timothy was born 29th January 1927 ~ 86 years ago today, but died at the age of two years old. He is buried with his Father and Mother in the Ascension Burial Ground, Cambridge.
John and Elizabeth had four daughters and another son.
He worked on the acceleration of protons in 1928 and was joined by Ernest Walton.
In 1929 he became a Fellow at St.John's and in 1939, Jacksonian Professor of Philosophy.
In that same year he took a war~time appointment as Assistant of Scientific Research in the Ministry of Supply and started work on Radar to Coast and Air Defence problems. After which he was appointed Head of the Air Defence Research and Development Establishment.
In 1944 he went to Canada and took charge of the Canadian Atomic Energy Project and returned to England in 1946 as Director of the Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Harwell. From 1954 to 1959 he was scientific research member of the U.K. Atomic Energy Authority.
In 1959 he became First Master at Churchill College, Cambridge and Chancellor of the Australian National University, Canberra. From 1960 to 1962 he was President of the Institute of Physics, the Physical Society and that of the British Association for the Advancement of Science from 1961 to 1963.
John Cockcroft recieved honorary doctorates from some 19 Universities and a fellow or honorary member of many Principal Scientific Societies.