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Doug Clements

Page history last edited by Ian Gillis 2 years, 6 months ago


Doug Clements in Grand Canyon



Note from Owen H

I have just been informed that Doug passed away last night (1/10/2021) at the age of 96.

Amongst many other projects he will be well known from his Rivenhall days.




From Robin W

So sorry to hear that. Yes, those Rivenhall days were memorable! He also was involved with the Grand Canyon S511 installation as I was with Alan Cheesewright et al. Fond memories.

Rest In Peace Doug.


From Barry F

Doug was one of the first people I met when I joined Marconis in 1962 and spent 3 months in hut 28, Rivenhall. I spent a lot of time working with Doug, getting to know the S244 height finder. He was a great guy and will be missed by all who knew him. 


From Alan M

I was very sad to hear that Doug Clements is no longer with us.

In around 1957/8 when I was working on the design of the display system for the S244 heightfinder (big oily Noddy) in hut 28, Doug was there working on the mechanics.

I had gone there on my Douglas motorcycle and Doug asked if he could have a ride on it.

I trusted him with anything mechanical, so off he went round the peri-track, but when he came back he was standing on the seat with his arms out, saying afterwards how much he admired the machine's stability - you could fix the twist grip on most of the old British bikes for cruising !

He was a great character and working with him was always a very happy experience.


From Malcolm M

I would like to say how sorry I am to hear about Doug, who I knew from our work at Rivenhall. He was a tower of strength, who was generous with his help on a large number of projects both in the UK and abroad over many years. 


From Robin P

I was saddened to hear that Duggie has passed away. I have very fond memories of the humour, kindness and friendship he gave me over the years since I first met him at Riv in 1961. Rest in peace Duggie.


From Geoff M

As an Apprentice and then as a young Development Engineer I spent many days at Rivenhall, in Hut 28, working on the development of the Secondary Surveillance Plot Extractor and have very fond memories of tea break with Joe Corfield, Doug Clements and Jeff (don't recall his last name but he cycled in every day from Clacton and was quite the thrifty character) plus a constantly changing group of characters, including the likes of Harry (Ten Men) Willson. At that time tea, and listening to the stories of these characters, was the highlight of my day as the work on the Plot Extractor was not going that well and I was constantly cold, as no matter how much heat was provided by electric heaters, they were turned off at night, the cement floor of the Nissan Hut never appeared to get above freezing (early 70's). The equipment was in a cage to eliminate interference but it was found that the fluorescent lights, which were installed in the cage, were a significant cause of interference. Dough always had a smile on his face and it appeared as if nothing ever phased him. The banter between him and Joe was priceless and a constant source of entertainment for me, a young impressionable Engineer. 


From Nigel C

So sorry to hear of the demise of Doug, he was a lovely man; always had a smile and was always willing to help and on top of that he was extremely competent. I recall drinking with him in a pub near Rivenhall where he pointed to a beautifully engined copper smoke shield over the fire place which he confessed to knocking up during a quiet moment at Rivenhall. He really will be sadly missed.


From John B

I was very sorry to learn of the death of Doug. Like many others I first met him at Rivenhall — in my case in 1959.

Our two, new, military radars, the S247 surveillance and the S244, had been erected; the NATO Early Warning Chain would be the launch project of both.

The requirement specification for the S244 was for a high-data-rate height-finder, which was already proving a severe challenge to the technology and its component parts. Doug ran through all of this with me; what I found to be infectious was his enthusiasm and keen interest in the project.

Eighteen months later we were both on the first site — Kletkovfjell — some 3,000ft up in North Norway, within the Arctic Circle, often in snow blizzard conditions. Doug was now part of the Felling mechanical engineering team: none of his enthusiasm had evaporated, however the challenges were significant. Parts which had only recently been fitted — including the hydraulic-operated antenna elevating ram — had often to be dismantled, manoeuvred down the snow-covered mountain and then shipped back across the North Sea to Felling for modification. This was to keep pace with the continuing development work taking place on the prototype at Rivenhall. None of this ever seemed to faze Doug. 

He had had an incredibly long career of loyal service with the Company, from the ROTOR sites, Christmas Island, NATO sites and, later, on the Apollo project on Ascension Island.

Doug, thank you for all your skills, enthusiasm, humour, and your friendship: RIP.



Comments (1)

Steve Eborall said

at 7:03 pm on Oct 3, 2021

I am very sorry to hear that Doug has passed away. He used to come and help us put up the Martello antenna modules on the test towers at Rivenhall. It was always a pleasure to work with him, and he had a great sense of humour and made the work fun. He was always willing to help, and we did many of these test projects together. Rest in Peace Doug, and my condolences to your family.

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