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E-R (H N C Ellis-Robinson)  OBE, CEng, FIEE

Page history last edited by Ian Gillis 3 years, 9 months ago




E-R career details - culled from various sources - AHS11/12


Born 1924, educated at Speedwell Prep school and Clayesmore Public school.


Volunteered and accepted for aircrew aged 17½, January 1942. Sent back out, because of eye astigmatism, until 18 for non-aircrew. During this period worked as a laboratory assistant for Cyril Fogg at SRDE Christchurch on RDF so a first contact with radar. When recalled to the RAF this was noted and therefore taken on as an RDF Mechanic (Ground). Ab initio at Cranwell  then on to a ROM Course (CH, CHL, CD/CHL, GCI). Posted to RAF Southbourne (CH on Hengistbury Head and CHL at the Needles) as a holding unit while destined for special duties posting. This was an attachment to TRE on a new Mobile Calibration Unit (MCU) being set up for special tracking at bombing ranges starting with the Magnum Range off Bridge End in South Wales.

This unit moved to many different sites (Sennen, Carn Brae, Clee Hill, Upper Heyford) to establish or calibrate the accuracy of blind bombing systems (Oboe, H2S, H2X for the USA) using specially modified GLII’s, GL3B’s and Type 271 equipments. remained with this unit until VE Day (see article here).

Subsequently moved to Yatesbury (Airborne Radar courses) then Cosford (Gee, Rebecca, Eurica, H2S etc), RAF Henlow decommissioning Mosquitoes and setting up EVT courses, finally back to Yatesbury as an instructor on Ground Radar, also maintaining equipment and building simulators for CH, CHL and Type 7 until demob.
Returned to Southampton UC to complete formal qualifications in electronics and physics, finished in 1949. Applied for a job with Marconi, being the only company in the south of England manufacturing ground radar sensors, my preferred discipline; interviewed by H J Wassell, recently given the task of setting up a new department - the Radar Development Group (RDG)- to carry out the work required for the VAST project, who offered me a job on radar transmitter design. Started in New Street, shortly moved to a refurbished site at Broomfield until 1959.

Started at the beginning of July 1949; by the end of the first week was involved in a new magnetron transmitter and modulator for Types 13 and 14 which went into production in early 1951.


By 1952 became a Senior Engineer responsible for new 200MHz transmitter for Types 15 and 7 and team leader for complete Type 15 radar. Successively promoted through 1950s to Section Leader posts with increasing responsibilities, becoming Group Chief in 1960.

In 1959 RDG work and staff transferred to Research at Baddow, until 1965 when Marconi Radar Systems Ltd (MRSL) was formed.


Manager Engineering Division MRSL 1969


Development Manager MRSL 1975


Retired 1986.


Died 17 January 2016




A comprehensive paper was produced by E-R which is very relevant to the History:



There are also several presentations of which this is one example:



A response to a request in 2000 for information from an academic, Jeremy Marwell, from Clare College, Cambridge on detachment from Yale University, USA working towards a dissertation for a PhD in History on the History of Radar Technology in Britain 1945/1965. So far I have been unable to trace this. 





Comments (1)

Ian Gillis said

at 2:58 pm on Feb 11, 2016

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