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Tom Straker

Page history last edited by Alan Hartley-Smith 6 years, 7 months ago




Extracts from here


T.W. (Tom) Straker joined the Canadian Radio Propagation Laboratory (RPL) of the Defence Research Board from Cambridge, UK in 1950 to become head of the Low Frequency Group. Tom was a New Zealander and Johanian (a member of St. John's College, Cambridge, and a PhD graduate of Cambridge University).



Tom was a New Zealander who had been captured by Rommel during the desert war in North Africa and had eventually escaped from Italy to Switzerland whence he made his way to England, where he spent three years at Cambridge studying low frequency communications. Low frequencies were of considerable interest to the military for their ability to provide reliable circuits when H.F. conditions were blacked out and in the case of Very Low Frequency, for their ability to penetrate the upper layers of the ocean to reach submarines beneath the surface. Tom, along with Jack Belrose, Bob Thain, Claire McKerrow, Harold Serson and Gerry Poaps, erected a large low frequency antenna and ploughed a number of wires below the surface to form a ground plane. 


Claire recalls Straker as being "the hardest worker and the hardest taskmaster he'd ever known". Tom left a few years later to join the Marconi group in England.


In Memoriam

Straker Thomas William. Died in his bed peacefully on November 3rd 2010 at Bay Tree Court, Prestbury, Cheltenham, aged 95 years.




Comments (1)

Ian Gillis said

at 6:44 pm on Feb 15, 2016

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