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The Papers of Reginald Victor Jones

Reference Code: GBR/0014/RVJO

Scope and Contents

This collections comprises correspondence; papers relating to awards and honours; wartime documents including copies of the Air Scientific Intelligence reports he wrote during WWII, copies of intelligence reports he received, and captured German documents; papers relating to Jones' research topics and scientific interests; publications; conferences, lectures, and speeches.


  • Creation: 1928 - 1998


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge.

Material in this collection is open to researchers unless otherwise marked in the catalogue.

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

Reginald Victor Jones (known simply as R.V.) was born in Dulwich, London on 29 September 1911. He attended Sussex Road Elementary School, Brixton and won a scholarship to Alleyn’s School, Dulwich. In 1929 Jones was awarded an Open Exhibition in Natural Science to Wadham College, Oxford, where T.C. Keeley was his tutor, and graduated with first class honours in physics in 1932. In 1935 Jones took part in trials to detect aircraft by infrared. As a result of these trials the Air Ministry’s Committee on Air Defence, chaired by Sir Henry Tizard, employed Jones from January 1936 to work at the Clarendon Laboratory on the development of an airborne infrared detector which could be mounted on night fighters. In September 1939 he was attached to the intelligence services to investigate the German application of science to air warfare. Jones proceeded to play a key role during the Second World War in identifying and counteracting German weapons developments. In 1946, despite promotion to Director of Intelligence, Jones decided to leave Government service an applied for the chair of Natural Philosophy at the University of Aberdeen and was successful. At the request of Churchill in 1952 he returned briefly to intelligence work as Director of Scientific Intelligence at the Ministry of Defence but he returned to his academic duties in Aberdeen at the end of the following year. Jones wrote and lectured extensively on defence and intelligence issues, education, the history of science and a variety of science-related issues. Jones played an active role in public life after the Second World War, acting as chairman of numerous government committees and other bodies. These include the Infra-Red Committee of the Ministries of Supply and Aviation, 1950-1964 and the Air Defence Committee Working Party of the Ministry of Defence, 1963-1964. For his intelligence work during the War he received the CBE in 1942. Jones was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society in 1965. He died on 17 December 1997.


203 archive box(es)

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

A copy of this finding aid and box lists to part of the collection are available for consultation at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge and the National Register of Archives, London.

Former/other reference

CSAC 2.73 (Contemporary Scientific Archives Centre) NCUACS 95.8.00 (National Cataloguing Unit for the Archives of Contemporary Scientists)


This collection and series level description was prepared by Katharine Thomson of Churchill Archives Centre in January 2015 from an existing catalogue from the National Cataloguing Unit for the Archives of Contemporary Scientists.


Jones, Reginald Victor, 1911-1997, physicist and intelligence scientist

2020-03-23 09:29:21+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