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A Great Servant

A Great Servant Aircraft Engineering THE MONTHLY SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL ORGAN OF THE AERONAUTICAL ENGINEERING PROFESSION VOL XXII No 256 JUNE 1950 year, which I believe he was mainly instrumental in obtaining, from the Daniel Guggenheim Fund and the inauguration, as a result of N view of the personal nature of the theme, I am this month his efforts, of an Endowment Fund, the Society was soon put on its abandoning the traditional editorial 'we' and writing in the first feet and in the short space of two years the Council were once more person. in a position to engage a full-time secretary and, with great foresight, It has recently been announced that CAPTAIN JOHN LAWRENCE persuaded their Honorary Secretary to take on the job. He has, PRITCHARD is shortly resigning from the post of Secretary of THE therefore, been in charge for exactly 25 years. ROYAL AERONAUTICAL SOCIETY and as his predecessor in that post I feel that I am, perhaps, in as good a position as anyone to appraise the value of his work in Albemarle Street and, later, at 4 Hamilton Outstanding Qualities Place. PRITCHARD is a man of boundless energy and one cannot imagine him settling down into the traditional life of otium cum dignitate. Grey Beards Possibly he will revive that one-time well-known writer 'John Law­ Having myself joined the Society as a member in 1913 I can claim rence' and renew his output of detective stories. He will certainly, to be numbered among the twenty or so members of longest I think, increase the flow of light verse which has always come inter­ standing, excluding some dozen Founder Members who still survive. mittently from his agile pen. He possesses a most forceful personality During these 37 years I have known personally all those who have and a frank way of expressing his views which at times verges on the been Secretary since the beginning of the century—BADEN-POWELL, blunt; but I have never known anyone who could take offence—or HUBBARD, COOPER, FARADAY—than any of whom PRITCHARD'S task at any rate if they did who could bear malice for any but the shortest has, of course, been immeasurably more arduous and important; space of time. He can, as I know well, be a really good friend. He though tribute should, I think, be paid to the devoted efforts of was one of the first people I went to see for advice when I was under­ MAJOR B. F . S. BADEN-POWELL (an enthusiast, if ever there was one) taking the foundation of AIRCRAFT ENGINEERING in 1929 and I in keeping the Society alive during the period at the end of the received the warmest encouragement, which has been given to me nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries when interest and this paper ever since. The number of the younger members of the in balloons was at a low ebb and belief in the possibility of heavier- Society to whom he has given help and sound guidance must be than-air aircraft was a matter of faith rather than conviction. The legion and many a man owes a successful career to being put on the 'old-time' secretaries indeed had merely the pleasant occupation of right road by him at the outset. providing a rallying point for a small band of aeronautical devotees, all of whom knew one another and to most of whom aviation was a hobby quite separate from the main business of life. His Greatest Achievement During the last war it might well have been that the Society would Pleasant Associations have lapsed into a period of quiescence—possibly with a more or less automatic increase of membership from among those coming into When I became Secretary of the Society in 1920 conduct of the the industry during its period of phenomenal expansion and JOURNAL was specifically reserved for PRITCHARD, who had become activity, but content just to remain an inactive link between them. Honorary Editor the year before. This was, I suppose, a position Such a course, however, would never have suited the energetic fraught with the possibilities of friction—particularly as I had myself PRITCHARD and all of us in British aeronautics know of the invaluable just vacated an editorial chair—but it can truly be said that no work in co-ordinating and clarifying knowledge, on structures and difficulties of any sort ever arose between us. I received from the aerodynamics oustandingly, done by the various Technical Com­ very first the greatest help in the unfamiliar and, to an obscure person mittees set up under the auspices of the Society through his initiative. like myself, alarming task of trying to guide the activities of a Society, On the personality of its secretary any professional society of insti­ to which I had the greatest sentimental attachment, during what tution inevitably at all times depends for its prestige and standing in proved to be a very difficult five years. The membership, of course, the scientific world, but this is more than ever true in time of war had grown enormously during the years 1914-1918 but was, naturally, when members of Council are as a rule perforce involved in other beginning to fall off when I arrived during the period of recession matters and have little time to spare for its affairs. It is, perhaps, and shrinkage after a period of artificial activity in the industry PRITCHARD'S chief claim to enduring remembrance and gratitude that during the war. However that may be, by 1925 it became clear that during this troublous time the society immeasurably gained in the financial state of the Society did not warrant the employment of importance and repute rather than the reverse. The greatest tribute a full-time paid Secretary so I most reluctantly resigned. Fortunately to his character, perhaps, is the fact that in spite of the expansion of for the Society PRITCHARD was willing to spare time from his many the Society's membership during his regime, and the concomitant other activities to take on the job in an honorary capacity. Since enhancement of its prestige throughout the world, PRITCHARD has then it is true to say that, owing to his drive and activity, the Society remained wholly unspoilt. has never looked back. Owing to a grant of approximately £1,000 a http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology Emerald Publishing

A Great Servant

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology , Volume 22 (6): 1 – Jun 1, 1950

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0002-2667
DOI
10.1108/eb031905
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Abstract

Aircraft Engineering THE MONTHLY SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL ORGAN OF THE AERONAUTICAL ENGINEERING PROFESSION VOL XXII No 256 JUNE 1950 year, which I believe he was mainly instrumental in obtaining, from the Daniel Guggenheim Fund and the inauguration, as a result of N view of the personal nature of the theme, I am this month his efforts, of an Endowment Fund, the Society was soon put on its abandoning the traditional editorial 'we' and writing in the first feet and in the short space of two years the Council were once more person. in a position to engage a full-time secretary and, with great foresight, It has recently been announced that CAPTAIN JOHN LAWRENCE persuaded their Honorary Secretary to take on the job. He has, PRITCHARD is shortly resigning from the post of Secretary of THE therefore, been in charge for exactly 25 years. ROYAL AERONAUTICAL SOCIETY and as his predecessor in that post I feel that I am, perhaps, in as good a position as anyone to appraise the value of his work in Albemarle Street and, later, at 4 Hamilton Outstanding Qualities Place. PRITCHARD is a man of boundless energy and one cannot imagine him settling down into the traditional life of otium cum dignitate. Grey Beards Possibly he will revive that one-time well-known writer 'John Law­ Having myself joined the Society as a member in 1913 I can claim rence' and renew his output of detective stories. He will certainly, to be numbered among the twenty or so members of longest I think, increase the flow of light verse which has always come inter­ standing, excluding some dozen Founder Members who still survive. mittently from his agile pen. He possesses a most forceful personality During these 37 years I have known personally all those who have and a frank way of expressing his views which at times verges on the been Secretary since the beginning of the century—BADEN-POWELL, blunt; but I have never known anyone who could take offence—or HUBBARD, COOPER, FARADAY—than any of whom PRITCHARD'S task at any rate if they did who could bear malice for any but the shortest has, of course, been immeasurably more arduous and important; space of time. He can, as I know well, be a really good friend. He though tribute should, I think, be paid to the devoted efforts of was one of the first people I went to see for advice when I was under­ MAJOR B. F . S. BADEN-POWELL (an enthusiast, if ever there was one) taking the foundation of AIRCRAFT ENGINEERING in 1929 and I in keeping the Society alive during the period at the end of the received the warmest encouragement, which has been given to me nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries when interest and this paper ever since. The number of the younger members of the in balloons was at a low ebb and belief in the possibility of heavier- Society to whom he has given help and sound guidance must be than-air aircraft was a matter of faith rather than conviction. The legion and many a man owes a successful career to being put on the 'old-time' secretaries indeed had merely the pleasant occupation of right road by him at the outset. providing a rallying point for a small band of aeronautical devotees, all of whom knew one another and to most of whom aviation was a hobby quite separate from the main business of life. His Greatest Achievement During the last war it might well have been that the Society would Pleasant Associations have lapsed into a period of quiescence—possibly with a more or less automatic increase of membership from among those coming into When I became Secretary of the Society in 1920 conduct of the the industry during its period of phenomenal expansion and JOURNAL was specifically reserved for PRITCHARD, who had become activity, but content just to remain an inactive link between them. Honorary Editor the year before. This was, I suppose, a position Such a course, however, would never have suited the energetic fraught with the possibilities of friction—particularly as I had myself PRITCHARD and all of us in British aeronautics know of the invaluable just vacated an editorial chair—but it can truly be said that no work in co-ordinating and clarifying knowledge, on structures and difficulties of any sort ever arose between us. I received from the aerodynamics oustandingly, done by the various Technical Com­ very first the greatest help in the unfamiliar and, to an obscure person mittees set up under the auspices of the Society through his initiative. like myself, alarming task of trying to guide the activities of a Society, On the personality of its secretary any professional society of insti­ to which I had the greatest sentimental attachment, during what tution inevitably at all times depends for its prestige and standing in proved to be a very difficult five years. The membership, of course, the scientific world, but this is more than ever true in time of war had grown enormously during the years 1914-1918 but was, naturally, when members of Council are as a rule perforce involved in other beginning to fall off when I arrived during the period of recession matters and have little time to spare for its affairs. It is, perhaps, and shrinkage after a period of artificial activity in the industry PRITCHARD'S chief claim to enduring remembrance and gratitude that during the war. However that may be, by 1925 it became clear that during this troublous time the society immeasurably gained in the financial state of the Society did not warrant the employment of importance and repute rather than the reverse. The greatest tribute a full-time paid Secretary so I most reluctantly resigned. Fortunately to his character, perhaps, is the fact that in spite of the expansion of for the Society PRITCHARD was willing to spare time from his many the Society's membership during his regime, and the concomitant other activities to take on the job in an honorary capacity. Since enhancement of its prestige throughout the world, PRITCHARD has then it is true to say that, owing to his drive and activity, the Society remained wholly unspoilt. has never looked back. Owing to a grant of approximately £1,000 a

Journal

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace TechnologyEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 1, 1950

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