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Churchill contains:
<-- See earlier
CHPH Churchill Press Photographs
CHPN The Papers of Guy Chapman
CHRS The Papers of Group Captain Malcolm Christie
CHTY Commemorative issues of magazines and newspapers 1897, 1953, 1965 and various
CHWL Chartwell Manuscripts
CKFT The Papers of Sir John Cockcroft
CKFT AS Cockcroft Associated Material
CLBK The Papers of Major General Richard Clutterbuck
CLKE The Papers of William F Clarke
CLNS The Papers of Joseph Collins
CLRK The Papers of Sir Richard (Otto) Clarke
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The Papers of Sir John Cockcroft

Title The Papers of Sir John Cockcroft
Reference GBR/0014/CKFT
Creator Cockcroft, Sir John Douglas, 1897-1967, Knight, nuclear physicist and first Master of Churchill College
Covering Dates 1872–1985
Extent and Medium 124 archive boxes
Repository Churchill Archives Centre
Content and context

John Douglas Cockcroft was born in Langfield, Yorkshire, 27 May 1897, the son of John Arthur Cockcroft and Annie Maude Fielden. He was educated at Todmorden Secondary School, 1909-14; Manchester University, 1914-15; Manchester College of Technology, 1919-20; and St John's College, Cambridge, 1922-4. He married Eunice Elizabeth Crabtree, 1925, with whom he had two sons and four daughters.

He was a signaller in the Royal Field Artillery, 1915-18, and an engineering apprentice at the Metropolitan-Vickers Company, 1920-22. He worked as a research student in the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge University, 1924-8, and subsequently held posts there as a Demonstrator and a Lecturer, 1928-39, taking charge of the Royal Society Mond Laboratory, Cambridge, 1935. From 1928, he worked on the acceleration of protons by high voltages and, in 1932, he and Ernest Walton succeeded in splitting atomic nuclei.

He was a fellow of St John's College, Cambridge, 1928-46, and Jacksonian Professor of Natural Philosophy, Cambridge University, 1939-46. He was Assistant Director of Scientific Research in the Ministry of Supply, 1939-40, working on the application of radar to coastal and air defences; Chief Superintendent of the Air Defence Research and Development Establishment, 1940-4; Director of the Montreal and Chalk River Laboratories, Canada, 1944-6; and Director of the Atomic Energy Research Establishment, Harwell, 1946-58.

He was Chairman of the Defence Research Policy Committee and a scientific adviser to the Ministry of Defence, 1952-4; a full-time member of the Atomic Energy Authority, 1954-9; and a member of the Advisory Council on Scientific Policy, until 1963. He was the first Master of Churchill College, Cambridge, 1959-67.

He was an honorary fellow of St John's College, Cambridge, 1946-67; President of Manchester College of Science and Technology, 1961-7; and Chancellor of the Australian National University, 1961-5.

He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics, 1951. He was awarded the CBE, 1944, a knighthood, 1948, the OM, 1957, and created KCB, 1953.

He died at Churchill College on 18 September 1967.

His publications include: editor, "The Organization of Research Establishments" (1965).

Papers comprising laboratory notebooks, articles, lectures, correspondence and photographs.

Also includes records of the Kapitza Club, 1922-58 and 1966, and copy papers of the Maud Committee, 1940-1.

With offprints of papers by Ernest Rutherford, 1872-1913.

The papers were bequeathed to Churchill Archives Centre by Sir John Cockcroft and received here, 1966-7. Subsequent additions have been made by Lady Cockcroft, 1967-8, Christopher Cockcroft and Jocelyn Blackburn, 1997-8, and various donors, 1970-09.

Most of Sir John Cockcroft's papers were received from the Master's Lodge at Churchill College. His original filing system has been retained with only minor amendments to bring together files on the same subject and correspondence with the same individuals. In the later years of his life he had begun work on an autobiography and removed papers from the filing system to refresh his memory. These papers have been kept together and form section 25 of the catalogue.

Access and Use

The collection is open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge. Churchill Archives Centre is open from Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm. A prior appointment and two forms of identification are required.

Researchers wishing to publish excerpts from the papers must obtain prior permission from the copyright holders and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.

Please cite as Churchill Archives Centre, The Papers of Sir John Cockcroft, CKFT

Further information

Papers about Sir John Cockcroft received from other donors have been added to Cockcroft Associated Material (reference: GBR/0014/CKFT AS).

Copies of the collection level description and catalogue are available for consultation at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge, and the National Register of Archives, London.

This collection level description was prepared by Sophie Bridges, September 2004. The collection was catalogued, 1970, a substantial later accession was box listed in 1997, plus a further addition catalogued in 2009 (CKFT 12/90). The catalogue was retro-converted by Sandra Marsh in 2008, with additional entries added to several series. Biographical information was obtained from "Who's Who 1897-1996" (A and C Black); Sir John Cockcroft's obituary in "The Times", 19 September 1967; and the websites of the Nobel Foundation and the "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography".

Index Terms
Nuclear Bomb
Nuclear Disarmament
Nuclear Energy
Nuclear Physics
Nuclear Warfare
Cockcroft, Sir John Douglas (1897-1967) Knight, nuclear physicist and 1st Master of Churchill College
Atomic Energy Research Establishment, Harwell
United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority
Churchill/CKFT contains:
1 Laboratory notebooks.
10 files.
31 Mar 1927–19 Apr 1946
2 Theses.
4 files.
3 Lectures and speeches.
19 files.
4 Preparatory material for lectures.
41 files.
5 Articles.
18 files.
6 Manuscript articles.
8 files.
7 Kapitza Club.
6 files + 1 item.
8 Offprints.
39 files.
9 Lecture notes.
3 files.
10 Maud Committee.
2 files.
11 Visits.
24 files.
12 Churchill College.
90 files.
13 Manchester College of Technology.
4 files.
14 Australian National University.
5 files.
15 Ghana Academy of Sciences.
15 files.
16 Science in the Commonwealth.
11 files.
17 Scientific training and policy.
16 files.
18 Atomic energy.
33 files.
19 Obituaries.
17 files.
20 Correspondence.
66 files.
21 Personal papers.
11 files.
22 Diplomas.
48 files.
Jul 1914–1964
23 Honours.
10 files + 1 item.
24 Biographical material.
8 files.
25 Autobiographical material.
28 files.
26 Photographs.
22 files.
27 Letters of congratulation.
15 files.
May 1932-May 1961
28 Liberal Party.
6 files.
29 Miscellanea.
10 files.
30 Files deposited by William Hawthorne.
18 files.
31 Cavendish Laboratory equipment records.
8 files.
II Additional Papers.
17 files + 6 items.

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