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Schonland, Sir Basil Ferdinand Jamieson, 1896-1972 (Knight, physicist)

 Person

Dates

  • Existence: 1896-1972

Schonland, Sir Basil Ferdinand Jamieson (1896-1972), physicist and meteorologist, was born at 1 Francis Street, Grahamstown, Cape Colony, southern Africa, on 2 February 1896, the eldest of three sons (there were no daughters) of Selmar Schönland (b. 1860), botanist and curator of the Albany Museum of Grahamstown, and his wife, Flora, daughter of Professor MacOwan, rector of Gill College, Somerset East, Cape Colony. Schonland attended St Andrew's College School and then in 1914 took a BA degree in physics at Rhodes University College, Grahamstown. He entered Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, in 1914, gained a first class in part one of the mathematical tripos (1915), and was elected to an exhibition. Immediately after the examination he enlisted in the Royal Engineers, and as a second lieutenant was placed in charge of a team learning to lay communication cables. Early in 1916 he went to France with his team as officer in charge of the Royal Engineers' 43rd airline section, and for two years without a break he endured the gunfire and mud of Flanders, receiving severe concussion at Arras. He was mentioned in dispatches for bravery, appointed OBE (military), and finished the war as an acting major with the rank of captain and chief instructor, wireless communications. He was demobilized in March 1919 and completed part two of the natural sciences tripos (physics, first class, 1920), winning the Francis Schuldham plate of the college and a George Green studentship for research. He then worked for two years in the Cavendish Laboratory, on the scattering of beta particles. He also discussed atmospheric electricity and thunderstorms with C. T. R. Wilson, a world authority on the subject.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

 Fonds

Lady Isabel Marian Schonland: papers, photographs and printed material relating to South African affairs

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8703
Scope and Contents Papers and correspondence and research materials concerning Schonland's authorship of parts of the narrative of the 'Union War Histories', her work in promoting harmonious race-relations in South Africa and further material relating to nuclear physics and the work of her husband Sir Basil Schonland.
Dates: 1939-1964 (Circa)
Conditions Governing Access: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Fonds

Sir Basil Schonland: Scientific papers

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8702
Scope and Contents 'Notes on spark discharge', 2 volumes; 'Lightning on earth', 1 volume; 'General scrapbook of notes', 3 volumes; papers and notes on atmospherics, lightning; letters and notes on visits to India, South Africa, U.S.A.; personal and professional correspondence and notes.
Dates: 1930-1970 (Circa)
Conditions Governing Access: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).

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