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The Papers of the Naval Radar Trust

Reference Code: GBR/0014/NVRT

Scope and Contents

The papers gathered by the members of the Naval Radar Trust mostly consist of reminiscences by over 150 staff who worked on British Naval Radar during WWII. These reminiscences survive in letters and transcripts of interviews, as well as some original technical papers retained by interviewees. The Trust also gathered material from other sources such as the Public Record Office and publications, therefore copies survive here of relevant material held elsewhere. The collection also includes the papers of the pioneering radio engineer Eric Megaw, a key figure in the development of the magnetron and cavity magnetron.


  • Creation: 1928 - 1997

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for consultation (except where items are inaccessible for conservation reasons) by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Biographical / Historical

The Naval Radar Trust was formed in 1985 with the intention of assembling a set of archives on British Naval Radar. The plan was that this would form an historical record of this aspect of WWII. The Trust was supported by Professor John Coales and many other influential scientists and naval personnel associated with WWII radar. The Trust was wound up c1998 shortly after the deaths of John Coales and Derek Howse.


91 archive box(es)

Language of Materials



The papers remain in the order in which they were deposited.

Other Finding Aids

A copy of this finding aid and a box list are available for consultation at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge, the National Register of Archives, London and on the Janus website.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers of the Naval Radar Trust were deposited at Churchill Archives Centre by Professor J. F. Coales in 1995 and 1999.

Related Materials

Other papers relevant to the history of Naval Radar can be found in the Naval Radar Trust Associated (ref. NVRT AS) collection at Churchill Archives Centre.


This collection (fonds) level description and catalogue was prepared by Louise King of Churchill Archives Centre in November 2003 using information from a box list created by Mr Stanley Thomas in 2000 and from the papers themselves. A list of 19 further boxes was produced by Katharine Thomson in 2007.


Naval Radar Trust, fl 1935-1994

2003-10-29 16:21:46+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Churchill Archives Centre Repository

Churchill Archives Centre
Churchill College
Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB3 0DS United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 336087