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Colin Latham

Page history last edited by Alan Hartley-Smith 5 years, 9 months ago




Colin started his professional career at RAE Farnborough. In 1940 he joined the RAF where he became a radar instructor which he continued to be in civilian life internationally after the war. In 1953 he joined Marconi as a radar development engineer, contributing to several major technical developments then filling a succession of senior engineering management appointments at Leicester and Chelmsford before retiring as Chief Engineer, Airspace Control Division in 1985.


Colin died in November 2012.





Extract from News and Views 1991


As can be seen from the References he wrote several books on radar, some jointly, including the excellent reprint of a series of articles first seen in the Marconi Radar company publication "News and Views" entitled "An ABC.. of Radar" which is a veritable encyclopedia of the technologies and should be required reading for all with a practical interest in radar.


One of the series of articles in "News and Views" very clearly expounds the rationale for substantiating the claim of Britain to be the first successful developer of radar into an operational defence system and as this is frequently disputed by some commentators I believe it is worth highlighting as part of our History. The article was written circa 1987 but is just as relevant today



Colin was also writing a history of No. 9 Radio School Yatesbury a place familiar to us - it was a work in progress but he kindly allowed me to post the contents to date

[Editors note - Colin is talking about WW2 times - it would be interesting to delineate the chronology of the later name changes to those more familiar to we post-war erks if anyone is prepared to do the necessary squirreling. In 1954 I did the first part of my National Service training first at the main site for basic radio techniques and then at the secure radar site. The second part was carried out at the No. 1 Radio School Locking, in my case on the Consoles (Console 64 fixed coil) course, following which I was retained at Locking as an instructor which eventually led to my career at Marconi) 


This extract is from the RAF Yatesbury Association site:

In 1938 the RAF realised it would need a large number of radio operators so built No. 2 Electrical and Wireless School, (later renamed No. 2 Radio School), the camp with the wooden huts we all knew so well. The theory of wireless and Morse code were taught on the ground and Dominie and Proctor aircraft were used for the aerial training. Over 50,000 men successfully passed out from 1939 to 1945 when the war ended.


In 1942 a heavily guarded compound was built at the Eastern end of the camp to teach the new top-secret radar. This was originally known as No. 9 RDF School but was quickly changed to No. 9 Radio School, presumably to confuse the Germans. Over 19,000 men and women were trained there.]


Colin’s 1985 interview on Essex radio commemorating the 50th anniversary of radar. [Editors note- large file]


Submission for proposed centenary History

This account was written at the solicitation of Sir Robert Telford, as one of several contributions by radar staff requested by him in 1992 to guide the content of a new Marconi History proposed to be published for the centenary celebrations in 1997. Unfortunately this never happened – another casualty of the machinations within the company managements prior to that date. However, several of the accounts have survived in the archives at Sandford Mill, and with the permission of the authors, where possible, they are being included, with minor editing, as personal reminiscences in our History. They should be read bearing in mind the context for which they were intended and the period in which they were produced.





Comments (1)

Ian Gillis said

at 6:07 pm on Feb 10, 2016

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