1937 Bailey returns as Director - Geological Survey of Great Britain (by E.B. Bailey)

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From: Bailey, Sir Edward. Geological Survey of Great Britain. London: Thomas Murby, 1952.
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Figure 37 Current-bedding in Moine Schists, near Mallaig. (Quoted from Richey and Kennedy, Bull., no. 2, 1939 P. 32.)
Figure 38 Index to the Geological map of England and Wales. Published on the scale of One inch to a Mile. New Series. Heavy black lines outline Administrative Districts. (Quoted from Bailey, Sum. Prog. for 1937, P. 9.)
Figure 39 Woolley Edge Rock. Outcrop ornamented. Isopachytes in feet. (Compare Figure 12, p. 88.) Quoted from Edwards and Wray, Wakefield Mem., 1940, p. 80.)

1937 Bailey returns as Director[edit]

When I returned to the Survey in April, 1937, I naturally inherited the officers of District Geologist and higher rank, who have already been listed under Bernard Smith. There was only one change: McLintock, while remaining Curator and Librarian, was given the additional post of Deputy Director, thus relieving me of much administrative work. The Scientific Staff of the time may be classified as follows according to rank and function (Senior Geologists and Geologists are grouped together as Geologists):

I Director; 1 Deputy Director (holding also the posts of Museum Curator and Librarian); 2 Assistant Directors; 8 District Geologists (sense stricto, 6 in England and Wales, 2 in Scotland) with 29 Geologists; 1 Petrographer; Palaeontologist with 4 Geologists; I Museum Curator and Librarian with 5 Geologists; 1 Head of Water Unit ; Chemist (seconded from the Government Laboratories).

The following changes occurred in the upper ranks during my term of office, where E stands for England and Wales, and S for Scotland:

Retired:-1937: Dewey, Ass. Dir., E ; Pringle, Pal.; 1938: Wright, D.G., E; 1941: Wilson, D.G., S.
Promoted:-1937: Eastwood to Ass. Dir., E; 311, R. W. Pocock to D.G., E; C. P. Chatwin to Pal.; 1938: T. Robertson to D.G., E (1941 transferred to S); 1941: F. M. Trotter to D.G., E; 1944: H. G. Dines to D.G., E.

It will be seen that Dines' promotion was supernumerary (unless we take into account the vacancy that had remained unfilled since 1931). He was not promoted earlier because of the impossibility, so long as the war lasted, of weakening his day to day connection with the metalliferous field of Cornwall and Devon. In 1944 this difficulty was overcome by placing him in charge of the peninsula, organised as a temporary sub-district.

It will also be noted that in accordance with precedent the Petrographer started without any whole-time staff of Geololist or Senior Geologist rank—though it is true that A. G. MacGregor was working as part-time fieldsman, part-time petrographer in Scotland, and other Geologists were helping as occasion arose. In 1943 Miss E. M. Guppy, previously an Assistant in the Petrographical Department, was promoted Geologist, while remaining under Phemister's charge. This afforded not only a welcome strengthening of the Petrographical Unit, but also the first example of a lady attaining Geologist rank in the Geological Survey.

Similarly, the Chemical Unit was with good cause increased from one to two in 1938, thanks to the helpful acquiescence of the Government Chemist.

A proposal to enlarge the newly constituted Water Unit was in like manner confirmed at Headquarters D.S.I.R., where it was recognised as a proper consequence of underground co-operation with the Inland Water Survey Committee. Accordingly, an additional Geologist was enrolled in 1937 and another in 1938 with this object in view. It was never intended that these recruits should spend their lives isolated in the Water Unit. Instead it was planned to establish a rotation of service among junior members of the Water and Field Units.

While yet there was 'peace: water[edit]

It is a curious circumstance that the good progress made by the Water Unit of the Geological Survey soon proved to be the only thing that kept the Inland Water Survey Committee in operation. Sir Henry Lyons was incapacitated by failing health in 1938, and the Acting Chairman, Sir Clement D. M. Hindley, proposed the Committee's indefinite prorogation. He pointed out that it had been found impossible to obtain adequate financial support for proposals in regard to surface waters. On the other hand, the Geological Survey representatives demurred, since D.S.I.R., after accepting responsibility for underground waters, had loyally done its part. Accordingly, the Committee continued to function until war supervened.

At the risk of some repetition I shall at this stage outline what seem to me the main benefits that have resulted from the existence of the Inland Water Survey Committee, some accruing before, some during hostilities:

  • Recognition of the Geological Survey's position in relation to underground water.
  • Establishment and reinforcement of the Geological Survey's Water Unit.
  • Acceptance of the Geological Survey's one-inch maps as defining unit areas for cataloguing underground water data.
  • Much closer liaison between the water specialists of the Geological Survey and their opposite numbers in the Ministry of Health.
  • Much more intelligent discussion of proposals for water legislation.

Discussion of policy, mentioned under the last heading, did not officially belong to the Inland Water Survey Committee, whose real task was one of fact-finding and publication — of making available to Government Departments, water undertakers, industry, agriculture, canal owners and indeed to all who need it, information as to the yield, behaviour and quality of the country's water resources.' In addition, however, in 1937 a Central Advisory Water Committee had been set up to advise the Minister of Health for England and Wales on general water policy ; and it is unnecessary here to distinguish too precisely between the activities of these two committees. Rather let us recall a sixpenny command paper entitled A National Water Policy, which was published in 1944 by the Ministries of Health and of Agriculture and Fisheries, together with the Department of Health for Scotland. This was prepared in close consultation with the Geological Survey, who among other things contributed a four-page appendix on The Influence of Geological Factors on Water Supply in Great Britain. Mention has already been made of a detail of the two Acts that followed for England and Wales in 1945, and for Scotland in 1946. It arranged for a compulsory notification to D.S.I.R. (in practice the Geological Survey) of intention to sink a well or borehole more than 5o feet deep in search of water, and for supply of a copy of the journal of any such sinking after completion.

Only one important water publication dates from the pre-War period of my Directorate. It was written by S. Buchan and covers the County of London. Like its predecessors dealing with the London area, it was of outstanding merit, and was sponsored by the South of England Field Unit.

Survey Bulletin and National Atlas[edit]

The general field programme went steadily forward. Thus, mapping of the Forest of Dean coal and iron-ore field was completed, so that, in spite of the War, a covering memoir appeared in 1942 with Trotter as main author. A start was also made on the difficult Bristol-Somerset coalfield ; while in Scotland the magnificent opportunity offered by the current-bedded Moines of Mallaig was developed to good purpose by Richey and Kennedy in a classical paper contributed to the second number of the Geological Survey Bulletin.

It must here be explained how this Bulletin came into being as a result of nothing more than a change of name. It will be remembered that Flett developed a Geological Survey magazine to hold scientific papers such as had previously appeared as appendices bound up with successive numbers of the Summary of Progress. Unfortunately, he gave his magazine no distinctive title. Each issue was merely called Part ii or Part iii of the Summary of Progress for such and such a year—the first for 1927 and the last for 1936. To make the existence of the magazine more apparent I changed its name to Bulletin of the Geological Survey of Great Britain. Nos. and 2 appeared in 1939 before further publication was interrupted by the outbreak of war.

Another publication reform followed from action taken by a committee initiated at the Cambridge meeting of the British Association, 1938. The Chairman of the committee was Professor Eva G. R. Taylor, with Brigadier M. N. MacLeod, Director General of the Ordnance Survey, as an essential member. Its purpose was to prepare a scheme for a National Atlas of Great Britain. Its activities eventually led to the institution of a Maps Committee of the Ministry of Works and Planning (later Town and Country Planning) with the Brigadier in the chair ; and to this I was appointed in 1942.

The scale chosen for the Atlas, which up to date consists of an assemblage of separately issued loose-leaf maps, is 1:625,000. This ratio is a sixteenth of 1: to 10,000,000, and is slightly larger than the traditional one inch to ten miles or 1:633,600. Like the latter, it enables Great Britain to be accommodated on two not over-large sheets, for which an east-west junction has been selected passing near Kendal and Whitby. Another feature of the plan is that these two sheets carry a unifying ten-kilometre grid. Moreover, the same grid, or its one-kilometre equivalent, is printed on all new issues of Ordnance Survey larger-scale maps. The general intention has been twofold:

  1. to sweep away complications inherent in separate representation of England and Wales as distinct from Scotland, or of a particular county as distinct from its neighbours;
  2. to supply Great Britain with a reference grid much more easy to employ than that given by longitudes and latitudes, though the latter of course continues essential for extra-British comparisons.

The maps of the National Atlas cover a wide range of subjects, such as topography, population, mining, industry, agriculture, communications, and land-utilisation in general —so dear to Dudley Stamp. It was recognised by all on the committee that geological maps, solid and drift, were of fundamental importance in such a series. Accordingly, I agreed that the Survey should modify the Flett-Smith programme of 1:1,000,000 and 1:633,600 publication of pure and economic geology to fit in with the new 1:625,000 scheme. The War made progress slow in these matters ; but it was a great pleasure eventually to welcome the appearance of the two-sheeted map covering the solid geology of Great Britain. It arrived some three years after my retirement, in the nick of time for the London session of the International Geological Congress held in 1948.

District reorganisation[edit]

While these matters of detail were being arranged, I undertook a constructive review of the administration of Geological Survey field work, starting with England and Wales. I have always been a strong supporter of the Dis.trict Geologist organisation, which had been consolidated under Teall ; but it seemed possible that it might be improved by extending its scope. Existing districts had in practice been built up of small areas, allotted in successive annual programmes, together with a vaguely recognised hinterland. An approach to more extensive and precise definition had resulted from the establishment of branch offices to serve specific coalfields. Still, the vagueness of the scheme was well illustrated in 1933, when the Forest of Dean was coupled with the Cumbrian District, over the heads of units working in Lancashire and the West Midlands.

The strength of the District Geologist organisation up to date had resided in its concentration of field units under adequate guidance upon particular maps. This, however, led to comparative neglect of the greater part of the country. Such neglect was fortunately never complete, as shown, for instance, by the following list of national rather than district publications instituted under various Director Generals and Directors:

  • Paleontological Memoirs, Decades (De la Beche)
  • Mineral Statistics (De la Beche)
  • Memoir on the Iron Ores (Murchison)
  • Quarter-inch Maps (Murchison, restarted under Geikie)
  • Paleontological Memoirs, Monographs (Murchison)
  • Stratigraphical Monographs (Geikie)
  • Water Supply Memoirs (Geikie)
  • Twenty-five-mile Map (Teall)
  • Special Reports on Mineral Resources (Strahan) Regional Handbooks (Flett).

Provision for some of the needs of the neglected areas is also evident in the Report for 192o, issued by the newly constituted Geological Survey Board. Here it is stated that collection of records of bores made in areas not currently, assigned to a District Geologist will be arranged for by the . Assistant Director concerned ; and that ' survey work bear ing on metalliferous mining … , in areas not at present under survey, will be assigned to officers selected in each case in respect of their familiarity with occurrences of the metal in question,' and acting under the general charge of ' the District Geologist in the London District' (at that time Dewey).

In 1937 I decided to modify previous arrangements by extending and defining (in terms of one-inch maps) the existing holdings of the six District Geologists of England and Wales, so that together they should include the whole of these two countries. The names chosen for the new super-districts were: Southern England ; South Wales and Bristol ; North Wales and Midlands ; York to Suffolk ; Cheshire to Cumberland ; Northumberland and Durham.

The scope and intention of the reorganisation were, after frank discussion at a meeting of all the officers more particularly concerned, set out precisely in the Summary of Progress for 1937. Each District Geologist, it was explained, must take a personal interest in the welfare of the whole of his estate. For instance, he must arrange that contact be maintained with coalfields that have recently been revised, and in fact must strive for perennial revision wherever active development is proceeding. Also he must make a point of advising as to future annual programmes, and not merely treat them as something coming from above. To this end he must check in the field non-Survey published results, more particularly to expedite publication of official maps and memoirs in neglected areas.

On their side District Geologists agreed to aim at the production of well-balanced Sheet Memoirs, restricted in noneconomic fields to about ioo pages—leaving much detail to be recorded in unofficial papers, the Bulletin or one-inchsheet reference files, as might seem desirable.

In this plan two categories of research were in large measure lifted out of the district frame, so far as England and Wales were concerned. These were non-ferrous minerals and underground water. The first was placed under the Assistant Director, Eastwood, and the second under the Head of the Water Unit, Edmunds.

Two mineral districts were selected for 1938, with H. G. Dines continuing in Devon and J. V. Stephens starting in Derbyshire. It was arranged that these officers should keep in touch with the local District Geologist, though directly responsible in their metalliferous work to the Assistant Director. Such metalliferous work was not to occupy more than a part of any particular Geologist's field season, and its results were to be presented in special memoirs. Only brief resumes would appear in the Sheet Memoirs produced by District Geologists.

In the short trial period vouchsafed before the outbreak of war, the possibilities and difficulties of the new approach were not finally resolved. During 1938, only one District Geologist, Carruthers, realised his opportunity of helping in a neglected area. The corresponding Summary of Progress tells how he personally started and finished a revision of the old, but good, six-inch mapping of the Hexham one-inch map, Northumberland. ' The work was done on the 6-inch scale, but attention was confined to critical sections and those of outstanding clarity: mineral veins were reserved for a future and more specialised enquiry.' It is probable that some such action would have been taken before long by other District Geologists ; and dual seasonal programmes might easily have been evolved, comparable with those normal in Scotland since 1902. As regards non-ferrous minerals, the progress made was fully up to expectations. The results achieved by the infant Water Unit were also most encouraging.

Though, as just stated, the Water Unit made an encouraging start in its uphill task, war came before one could be certain of the ultimate measure of its success. From the first it enjoyed the confidence of the water engineers and borers of South-East England. It also bravely tackled the confused mêlée of well records which had been accumulating for many years in the Survey archives, together with recent accessions unloaded by the Ministry of Health. Moreover, it began to prepare a memoir on the eastern half of the quarter-inch map-sheet, No. 15. This particular area, including Oxford and Northampton, covers a large part of the catchment area of the river Nene, selected by the Inland Water Survey Committee for special study. The results eventually appeared in a Wartime Pamphlet, dated 1942. Meanwhile, it was a feature of the pre-War activities of the Water Unit that considerably more attention than heretofore was given to seasonal fluctuation of water tables.

Burden of inquiries[edit]

We now come to a vital question, namely, the effect upon the Geological Survey of outside inquiries concerning underground water. These inquiries, mostly from South-East England, are more numerous than those relating to any other branch of geology, even coal-mining. They often bring with them valuable additional information ; and their consideration is on the average highly educative. On the other hand, answering inquiries takes time ; and, before I rejoined the Survey, water inquiries had come to be one of the main impediments to normal map and memoir publication. It was my earnest hope that the Water Unit, once it had been firmly established, would take over this Survey responsibility. It could be trusted, I felt sure, to seek any necessary advice from the Field Units and in return to keep the latter cognisant of discoveries of mutual interest ; while at the same time it could free them for their essential map and memoir production.

The field staff of the time did not altogether welcome this idea. They had been reconciled for the most part to special Water Supply memoirs—although the Liverpool sheet memoir as late as 1923 includes an excellent unsegregated . water component ; but they clung tenaciously to the privilege of answering water inquiries. Most Survey men want to feel that they are useful ; and most of them get this feeling much more easily by answering an inquiry than by writing a contribution to a memoir that, experience tells them, is unlikely to appear in print for years to come.

Especially devoted to question-answering were some of ; my most trusted District Geologists, who, naturally, with long experience had become past masters in the art. Unfortunately direct answers by District Geologists are often given at the cost of co-ordination of their subordinates' publication efforts. What was I to do ? The time did not seem ripe for drastic action. The Water Unit was still in its infancy, and before it could take over more work it must grow both in experience and numbers. It had already shown great promise ; but the time did not seem ripe—and then came the War, which removed for the next few years all thought of normal map and memoir production.

The trouble I have just elaborated in relation to Field Units answering water inquiries was paralleled to some extent in the Petrographical Unit. Here much time was spent in answering problems raised, for the most part, by sister branches of D.S.I.R., such as Building Research and Road Research. As the Petrographer had, previous to the War, no staff of his own of Geologist rank, Geological Survey memoirs had in some cases to wait impatiently for their petrographical chapters. In this case the obvious remedy seemed a strengthening of the Petrographer's staff ; and as recorded above, a first step was taken in this direction in 1943.

International Geological Congress[edit]

A quite unrelated feature of the early years of my Directorate must now be recorded. In 1937 the International Geological Congress met in Moscow. It was its second visit to Russia, and it was fully time that England should act as host again after an interval of approximately 50 years. The Lord President of Council, Ramsay MacDonald, responsible to Parliament for D.S.I.R., agreed that the Geological Survey might furnish substantial assistance and that the Survey buildings might be used as Headquarters. The Geological Society then took the matter in hand and invited the Congress to London for 1940. This invitation was accepted. McLintock was selected as one of the General Secretaries, while I became Chairman of the Excursions Committee. Sir Thomas Holland, a former Director of the Geological Survey of India and Principal of Edinburgh University, was elected President-designate. His interests, especially on the economic side of Geology, and his competence in handling committee work, gave him special qualifications for the post. We worked in those dark days of appeasement for a meeting which we knew would have to be postponed. It was a struggle for all concerned. For us on the Survey there were two other tasks on hand: to run the Survey as if peace would continue, an impossible conception ; and to collaborate with scientific colleagues in preparing for inevitable war.

After the War, Holland died and Read, late of the Survey, but now Professor of the Royal School of Mines, was elected in his place. Beyond the time limits of this booklet he successfully presided in 1948 over one of the most inspiring meetings of the famous Congress, where, in spite of difficulties of money, food and transport, courage and hope found continuous expression in lively scientific intercourse.

Private research[edit]

Three important items of private research, carried out by Davidson, Kennedy and Simpson, reached partial fruition while yet there was peace.

Davidson undertook an elaborate investigation of the Lewisian Complex as developed in Harris of the Outer Hebrides. It was published by the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1943.

Kennedy, in preparing museum specimens for the move to South Kensington, had been impressed by the distribution of injection-metamorphism in the Scottish Highlands either side of the Great Glen Fault. This led him to suspect that the fault displacement was of wrench or tear type and some 65 miles in extent. He looked for independent evidence and found extremely suggestive support in similarities of two truncated outcrops of granite complexes occurring with the required separation, the one at Strontian on the north-west side of the fault, the other at Foyers on the southeast. He read a paper on the subject to the Geological Society in the spring of 1939, though he deferred full publication until 1946.

Simpson nightly studied under the microscope the pollen in Scottish coals of Tertiary and Mesozoic age. His contribution to our knowledge of the floras concerned has been exceedingly welcome. It received good mention in Sir Albert Seward's Presidential Address to the British Association meeting in 1939 at Dundee, a meeting that was dispersed by the outbreak of war. I could not be present, as by that time it was clear that appeasement had run its course.

Coal Commission[edit]

The passing of the Coal Act of 1938 constituted a momentous happening in British life. The immediate effect upon the Geological Survey was next to nothing ; but from the first it was clear that its subsequent influence must be far reaching. Accordingly it seems appropriate to give some account of the conditions introduced.

The Act laid down that on the 1st July, 1942, previous multiplicity of privately held royalties should be ' unified ' under the ownership and control of a specially appointed public body called the Coal Commission. This meant nationalisation of all coal worked or unworked, and of all coal mines. It did not, however, mean nationalisation of coal undertakings. In future coal was to be owned by the nation, but until further notice it would continue to be worked by private enterprise. The Coal Commission would be owner,<reference>This statement may easily be misunderstood because the term coalowner continued in common use after July, 1942, in the sense of coal-leaseholder. Also, as we shall presently see, operation came under the control of the National Coal Board in 1942, though at first as a temporary war measure.</reference> not operator. It would not disturb existing leases beyond, so far as possible, simplifying those that had grown up piecemeal., and amalgamating others where this seemed in the public interest—compulsory amalgamation powers were conveyed by the Act, but were so circumscribed as to be of doubtful validity. In granting new leases the Commission would ask for as high a rent as it thought reasonable ; would aim at securing efficiency and diligence ; and would consider each proposition as part of a co-operative whole. Financed by advantageous loans guaranteed by the Treasury, the Commission would have to adjust its income to cover, not only its working expenses, but also the interest and sinking fund connected with compensation transactions. Moreover, it had very wide responsibilities for surface damage, and these were not easy to assess. No doubt at some period in its career it would invest money in exploratory boring ; but the Geological Survey was informed that such action was not likely to be taken in the initial years.

The Coal Commission on appointment consisted of five permanent members, who had to cut themselves adrift from all other connections with the industry. Their Chairman, Sir Ernest Gowers, had a long experience of administration of mining legislation, having been Permanent Under-Secretary for the Mines Department of the Board of Trade as far back as 1920.

There was never talk of confiscation. Compensation was to be based upon the hypothetical value of the fee simple of all unworked coal and of all coal mines, on the supposition that these properties were sold in the open market by a willing seller. Coal, known or unknown, which at the vesting date possessed (in the opinion of the valuators) no market value, would be taken over free of charge. Registration of existing ownership had already started under an Act of 1937. Claims for compensation had to be submitted by 1st January, 1939.

An inclusive sum of £66,450,000 was allotted by Parliament to cover compensation. Its amount had been fixed by a special tribunal on the basis of 15 years' purchase of the anticipated royalty values of 1942. The sharing of this total was entrusted to an independent, temporary Central Valuation Board under the chairmanship of Lord Reading. The first task of this Board was to divide Great Britain into ten Valuation Regions, to each of which it assigned a definite part of the whole, ranging from £13,515,000 for Northern England to £1,196,100 for Southern. These regional totals in turn were to be apportioned by Regional Valuation Boards, upon which the principal local royalty owners were to be represented. The underlying idea was that each owner could be trusted to see that any excessive claim by a neighbour would be appropriately scaled down.

Fortunately no attempt was made to divert the Geological Survey to help in gathering valuation data, except where specifically geological advice seemed desirable—as often as not where a claim was advanced in relation to unproductive formations. The Regional Valuation Boards employed mineral surveyors, who looked forward rather gloomily to a lean time bound to follow this temporary glut of employment. The work was carried on with surprisingly little postponement during the War, for it was important to get it over and done with. Vesting day actually materialised on the appointed 1st July, 1942 ; but the first regional valuation was not completed till September, 1943, and the last till March, 1945. The total valuation amounted to £64,559,559 and so on the average had to be scaled up to fit the allotted £66,450,000. The variation from region to region was considerable. For instance, in Yorkshire 24/101d. was paid per L.' of valuation, while in Kent only 14/51d. Payment was made as soon as possible in every case. In fact partial payment to account was general, since compensation carried interest from the day of vesting.

Second War Directorate[edit]

Early in 1939, D.S.I.R., the Home Office and the Office of Works came to an arrangement whereby certain accommodation in the museum-basement and office-block of the Geological Survey buildings was earmarked for Headquarters of the London Civil Defence Region. This latter was one of several administrative regions into which the whole country was divided, mainly for air raid precautions, but in extremis for local self-government till communications should be restarted. The preliminary reconditioning was carried out in good time, and, as the fateful 4th September approached, certain officers of the new organisation took up residence.

From the first I accepted the newcomers as the Survey's guests, welcome partners in what was sure to prove a life and death struggle. As time proceeded I did all I could to meet their claims for increased lebensraum, retaining for myself and staff no more than was required on an austerity basis for war efficiency.

There were at the beginning two Commissioners in charge of London Region. One of them was Sir Ernest Cowers. He was generally at Headquarters, and in quieter moments sometimes remembered that he was Britain's coalowner-inchief. The other, Admiral Evans of the Broke, was for the most part out and about, settling disputes with kindly understanding and bringing reassurance to the harassed and homeless. On one occasion, after I had been temporarily buried by a V i or Doodlebug, the Admiral visited the scene of the accident and stirred local enthusiasm by declaring the devastation to be the worst in his wide experience. I suspect it was a cliché; but a colleague had already confided that he did not know whether to condole or congratulate.

I have wandered from the starting post. The first day of war brought a sense of immediate usefulness to the Survey staff. There was urgent need for rapid reinforcement of many important buildings in the Metropolis. Sandbags must meet the emergency until, within about a year, they could be gradually replaced by bricks and mortar. A committee of all interests had considered the proposition in advance. The Admiralty had declared that sand transport must not clutter up the river, and the Army and Home Office had been equally positive that it must not block railways and external roads scheduled for military traffic and evacuation of women and children. Bromehead, representing the Geological Survey, undertook to list the London parks and open spaces that could be trusted to supply what was wanted—the requisite information was already available on the 6-inch geological maps. Excavators, mobilised in readiness, got to work as soon as war was declared.

The consequent saving of money was estimated by the Civil Defence authorities at L.125,000. This merely means that the original cost would have been some £125,000 higher if the sand had been bought from normal extra-London sources. It takes no account on the credit side of the value the sandpits presently assumed as repositories of London's bomb-debris ; or on the debit side of expenses later incurred in restoring surface. It does, however, help to indicate that the Survey played a useful part in a major operation in the initial stages of the war.

Another cause for self-congratulation was the recent appearance of the Survey's memoir on the underground water of the County of London. Here, by good fortune, was an up-to-date census of all the internal water resources of the capital, including the location and capacity of every important pump.

The experience of the previous war had been taken to heart in planning action for what was seen to be coming ; and the Survey was fortunate in having as its Assistant Directors Macgregor in Scotland and Eastwood in England and Wales, the leading geological experts of the day on the coalfields and other mineral depositories of their respective countries.

It was obvious that routine map and memoir production should cease immediately hostilities were declared and that the Survey should aim at acting in a consultant fashion to the forces and supply agencies at home and abroad, especially in regard to:

  1. home mineral resources, with a wartime importance enormously enhanced by need to economise in shiping and foreign exchange;
  2. underground water for new airfields, camps and factories; and
  3. subterranean facilities for storage and personnel.

Before proceeding further it is well to point out that in some respects the wartime prospect was very different for the Survey in 1939 from what it had been in 1914: in the first place, advances in aeronautics gave the enemy comparative freedom of access ; in the second, there was to be no admission of members of the Geological Survey's scientific staff, Geologists or Assistants, into the fighting ranks (except for F. W. Anderson, who had made certain by joining the Territorials, but was soon diverted to bomb-penetration experiments); and lastly, the 1939 War brought an immediate paper famine.

Air Risks[edit]

Amplification of air risks was responsible for the widespread call for subterranean accommodation alluded to above under heading (3). In anticipation, of the War the Admiralty, especially, had established underground storage for oil, etc., and in every case had sought advice from the Geological Survey. Similar help was frequently in demand at later stages, and in one instance, where extensive tunnels and chambers were prepared to house a factory on the Welsh Borders, a geologist was deputed for some months to act as resident consultant.

The probability of air attack brought domestic problems as well. Air raid precautions (A.R.P.), including fire watching and first aid, were installed at once, to begin with on a voluntary basis. C. F. Davidson was appointed A.R.P. Officer, and gave tireless service. In 1940, when a call came for Home Guards to defend London Regional Headquarters, the response was instantaneous. In these matters the personnel of the Survey and Civil Defence naturally cooperated.

The safeguarding of the Survey material had also to be carefully considered. The Museum was closed to the public on August 25th, although, as in the previous war, responsible inquirers, mostly from Service, Supply and other Government Departments, had access to the Offices and Library. At the outbreak of hostilities McLintock took up permanent residence. To him belonged the main responsibility for care of our property. At first it was decided to retain and protect the collections and books as far as possible within our own building, taking advantage of the strongest part of the basement. Mounting air risks, however, combined with expansion of London Regional staff led in 1941 to evacuation of everything not urgently needed for war-work. Exhibition material, unless considered irreplaceable, was stored in emptied rooms in the Victoria and Albert Museum across the way (these rooms were comparatively small and separated by thick walls) ; while what was classed as irreplaceable, whether exhibited or no, was dispatched to University College, Bangor, North Wales. Transport in the latter case was by rail and involved moving 164 great cabinets full of specimens, io,000 books, enormous numbers of micro-photo duplicates of field-maps, bore records, etc., 8,000 other negatives, and the ' standard copy ' collection of Geological Survey maps. The operation was completed within six weeks, and the evacuated material was placed in charge of a Survey officer, who was able to transmit particular specimens or books to Headquarters on demand. Similar evacuations on a less extensive scale were undertaken from the Scottish, Newcastle and Manchester offices.

In the event Survey material in Survey care suffered no war loss, if we disregard comparatively trifling damage to buildings: the Office Block at South Kensington received a direct, though glancing, hit on September 10th, 1940, which broke half the windows of the combined building ; and the Museum endured a very near miss on April 19th, 1941, which broke the ,remainder. The glass roof had long since been replaced, so that the second bomb completed out deglazing ; and the two of them were so timed that the process cost us not a single casualty! It was indeed a happy day when we realised that the last of the plate glass was gone, though it was some weeks before cloth windows and black curtains allowed of lights other than flashlamps in the greater part of our home. Fortunately, before this, London Region operational work had been safely transferred to a bomb-proof citadel sunk to groundwater level alongside the Museum.

In other directions we came to sad grief. Our stocks of unissued maps and un-issued memoirs, in the care respectively of the Ordnance Survey and the Stationery Office, were almost completely destroyed by bombing. The loss was indeed heavy, but the plates and stones from which the maps had been printed escaped undamaged.

Retention of staff[edit]

In expectation of war, the Government entrusted registration of scientists to the Royal Society. I felt bound to agree to the treatment of professional geology as a reserved occupation, from which active combatants could not be drawn. It was probably wise from the all-country impersonal standpoint ; but it caused cruel heart-burnings for many within and without the official circle. Presently, however, the escape of the Army from Dunkirk, and the sense of partnership engendered by the bombardment of London brought a considerable degree of comfort.

The Army took very few, I think too few, geological consultants on to its staff, preferring in large measure to come to the Survey with specific problems. We have already seen how Professor W. B. R. King, no longer on the Survey, was invited back to the Army as soon as war was declared. He was Head Geologist to the Army, especially concerned with the Western Front. He occupied a room in the Survey Offices when in England, and needless to say could rely on any assistance he desired. F. W. Shotton, a University lecturer, unconnected with the Survey, accompanied the Desert Rats. He was associated with the geological high-light of the war, which helped in planning of Alamein by revealing the existence of a considerable and readily available pocket of underground water lying right on the route of the projected advance. J. V. Stephens, with engineering as well as geological qualifications, secured the only post offered to the Survey, and did good work throughout the Italian campaign. I myself had the great privilege of six short weeks in Malta during the early part of 1943. The trip was planned before Alamein, to see whether increased water could be obtained for irrigation to lessen the food-load carried by heroic convoys; but before my arrival Alamein had been fought, and the Desert Rats on one side and Stalingrad on the other kept the enemy fully occupied. My visit was one of a series made by scientists flown in to help, if possible, in the island's struggle for existence. Before I left a Nuffield Professor had arrived to do what he could to stop a troublesome epidemic of infantile paralysis.

Let us return to Britain. To maintain the Geological Survey's strength, the age limit was suspended for the duration, and a few experienced external geologists were enlisted on a temporary basis.

Paper famine[edit]

Immediately war was declared, publication of normal Geological Survey memoirs was postponed; so that during hostilities only three examples, all of special economic significance, made an appearance. These were Macgregor's Synopsis of the Mineral Resources of Scotland, Edwards, Wray and Mitchell's Geology of the Country around Wakefield and Trotter's Geology of the Forest of Dean Coal and Iron-Ore Field. In addition, electrotype copies were taken of certain memoirs which were ready for printing off in 1939 ; and then the ordinary type was broken down and used in other connections. This fate overtook Flett's second edition of Lizard and Meneage, W. J. Arkell's Weymouth—a successor to Strahan's Purbeck of 1898—and ,Richardson's Witney. The two latter were instances of Survey memoirs written more or less completely by outside experts, and they owed their inception to Bernard Smith.

It was still open to the Survey to meet the war situation by planning a succession of printed memoirs comparable with Strahan's Special Reports on Mineral Resources; but such memoirs would have taken long to write and longer still to print. Accordingly it seemed preferable to accept an alternative based on an offer of the Stationery Office to produce a quick succession of multigraphed reports, short but adequately illustrated.

The resultant Wartime Pamphlets, as they came to be called, dealt with restricted subjects and received consecutive Arabic numbers for the sake of ready reference—all except the first few carried lists of previous issues. The Arabic numbering was determined by the expected date of appearance of the first part of any particular pamphlet.

Often, however, pamphlets consisted of several separate parts. Thus Wartime Pamphlet No. 4 appeared in Parts i to vi published in 1st edition from June to September, 1940. In such a case, Roman numbering was allotted to the individual parts as determined by natural sequence in the planned treatment of the subject concerned.

There are in all 47 numbers with 107 parts. Each part on the average carries 42 pages, mounted in semi-stiff covers, and measures 13 inches by 8 inches. Their only drawback is a propensity to lie hid, whether on bookshelf or table. Apart from this bad failing they are of very serviceable size for tabular matter, maps and other illustration. Also their limitation of subject made it easy to supply information to inquiring specialists without waste of paper on collaterals which, for the time being, might be wanted only by somebody else. Moreover, it allowed of intensive preparation by one or more members of staff, working with the exhilaration that comes from a prospect of immediate publication. This welcome tonic was supplied by a splendidly co-operative spirit that animated all ranks in a newly established branch of the Stationery Office, whose sole purpose was rapid, accurate copying of war-worthy material.

Wartime Pamphlets[edit]

Wartime Pamphlets continued to appear till 1949, but as t3 of the total of 107 parts dated from the actual period of hostilities in Europe, ending in April, 1945, they fully justified their pugnacious title. These 93 parts may be roughly classified as follows:

Water, 48 ; Scottish Limestones, 8 ; Coal and Oil Shale, 7 ; Refractories, 7 ; Iron Ores and Magnetic Survey, 5 ; Phosphates, 3 ; Felspar, 3 ; Mica, 2 Sand and Gravel, 2 ; and Barytes, Diatomite, General (for the Lothians), Glauconite, Ochre, Peat, Slate, Tin, one apiece.

Not only did these pamphlets supply many immediate needs, but also they insured that a great mass of carefully co-ordinated facts would be handed on from war to peace, when normal memoir production could be resumed.

Enough has been said of conditions governing war work. Let us turn to a few definite aspects of the Survey's achievement. It was, I believe, just of a kind the Country had a right to expect, useful though non-spectacular. The story is easy to put together, for McLintock, my successor as Director, has already given an excellent summary, appended to the annual Report of the Geological Survey Board for 1945.


As already indicated, the position of the Geological Survey in relation to underground water had been materially strengthened in consequence of the initiation of the Inland Water Survey Committee in 1935. On the outbreak of hostilities a bold plan, proposed by Eastwood, was put into immediate operation. A hitherto impossible concentration of man-power was diverted from other subjects to set in order all available information in anticipation of demands which were bound to follow. Actually, between 1940 and the end of the war in Europe, the Geological Survey reported on 305 sites for the Air Ministry, 252 sites for the War Department, 163 for the Ministry of Works, and 15 for the Admiralty, besides many others for various public and private undertakings. Characteristic activities were: preparation of emergency schemes for the populations of London and East Anglia in the event of widespread disruption of water mains ; provision of maps showing prospects of underground water throughout the whole region of the Army's Southern Command ; and siting of bores to supply six American camps in the Midlands.

The preliminary work, which started in September, 1939, amounted to much more than methodical filing of information already in the Survey's possession. Well-drillers and consultants readily opened their books, and all their records were collected. Moreover, field parties were organised and systematic correspondence undertaken to mark sites precisely on 6-inch maps and to obtain surface levels, water levels, casing details, pumping facilities, yield, etc.

These results, combined with critical summaries of the strata pierced, furnished the bulk of the 48 parts of Wartime Pamphlets dealing with water. Here are found introductory remarks on the hydrogeology of the district concerned, followed by orderly catalogues of annotated well records, with adequate site-maps, each catalogue and map covering a Geological Survey one-inch sheet. In England 12,800 well records in 110 one-inch sheets are thus recorded ; and in Scotland the corresponding figures are 83o in 27 (though the English one-inch sheets are smaller than the Scottish, the country they represent is much more dependent on underground water). For many sites, separate records of associated wells are quoted ; but where this is the case each group-record has been counted merely as one in the above enumeration. Also no records of wells under 20 feet in depth have been reproduced.

The 48 parts cover much of the South of England, East Anglia, the Midlands, Lincolnshire, Lancashire, Yorkshire and Co. Durham, together with the east coast of Scotland from Berwick, through Edinburgh and Dundee to Banchory. Norfolk is not included with the rest of East Anglia as it was made the subject of a less fully checked report supplied at the urgent request of the War Office in 1940.

Twenty Geologists (2 temporary) and 7 Assistants (4 temporary) are named as authors on the title pages of these pamphlets. The value of work done by Assistants was a very welcome feature of the campaign. The Water Unit was responsible for about half the output, with A. W. Woodland, assisted by J. Lee, as mainstays of the operation. Among the many outside the Water Unit, who co-operated in the good work, Buchan deserves special mention. Collection of detailed evidence extended far beyond the limits reached at any time by publication, and supplied reliable advance information for the answering of inquiries.

Edmunds was for the most part busy with consultant work, and the advice he was able to give with the Survey organisation behind him was, I think, the most important war-contribution made by anyone on our staff. He showed a thorough understanding of the outlook of the practical man, and was ever ready to discuss matters on the site itself. Five District

Geologists were at the same time largely concerned with water inquiries, and especially valuable service was given by Dinham and Bromehead. Business was thus transacted quickly and surely, without any accumulation of arrears.

As was inevitable, the growth of aerodromes and camps raised problems of sewage disposal, to ensure that underground sources of water should escape contamination. Here naturally the Geological Survey often co-operated with their opposite numbers in the Ministry of Health.

Before leaving the subject of water, I may perhaps refer to a difficulty which confronts the Army, and might at any time develop in the sister services. Several Army officers and other ranks believe in the practical value of water divining or dowsing. On the other hand, the majority, among those who matter most, think that water divining is as unsubstantiated as the soothsaying upon which our military forefathers, in a remote past, set considerable store. Disagreement between the supporters and opponents of the dowsing technique did to an appreciable extent hamper military operations during the recent War, for provision of water is as vital for fighting as is that of food, clothing or weapons.

On various occasions our patriotic Press comforted home readers with accounts of the wise use our army was making of dowsers. This not unnaturally brought a strong protest from the Head of the Water Unit of the United States Geological Survey which I transmitted through the usual channels. At the same time I persuaded an Honourable Member to ask a question on the subject in the House of Commons. Below is given the result, dated 19th January, 1942:

Question: To ask the Secretary of State for War to what extent the War Office is relying upon dowsers for advice on water supply, and in what theatres of war ; whether this action has been taken with the approval of the Government's Scientific Advisers ; and whether he has any information regarding the reliability of advice given by dowsers during the course of the present War.
Answer: The War Office does not rely on dowsers for advice on water supply in the United Kingdom, and so far as I know the only place where they have been tried is the Middle East. The report of their performance showed a very small percentage of successes, and orders were issued that scientific methods only were to be used.

The non-dowsing faction of the Army derived considerable pleasure from this interchange, which may have had something to do with my subsequent elevation to Honorary Membership of the Royal Engineers.


Current coal mining[edit]

Since coal had been for long the main peace-time occupation of the Survey, it was felt that its interests could temporarily be entrusted to a reduced proportion of the staff. This view antedated the superfluity of coal output, which followed the collapse of the French market. Without doubt new armament factories would prove very hungry customers ; but a vast amount of co-ordinated knowledge was already in existence, upon which it would be easy to draw. Obviously, important bores must be visited and interpreted, and problems raised by particular colliery managers must be examined ; but field work might for a time be reduced to a minimum so as to free staff for other subjects.

Only four Wartime Pamphlets appeared on coal before hostilities in Europe closed, two dealing with Scotland, and two with England. They all made a feature of the practical advantages that result from study of fossils. In this respect Macgregor and Richey, the Survey authors for Scotland, cooperated with paleontologists of Glasgow University ; while Mitchell in England was supported by Stubblefield and Crookall.

Coal Board[edit]

We must now turn aside for a moment to an event of great national importance that occurred in the year 1942. A Ministry of Fuel and Power developed out of the Mines Department that had been established in the Board of Trade in 1920. This new Ministry, acting through a National and several Regional Coal Boards, undertook responsibility for policy and general conduct of mining operations, but not for day to day details of management. It also assumed control over allocation of coal supplies.

Thus in 1942 British coal found itself permanently nationalised under the Coal Commission, while British coal mining and selling were temporarily, according to first intentions, nationalised under the Coal Board. It lies beyond the timescope of this booklet to tell how in post-War days the Coal Board has become permanent and has absorbed its predecessor, an early associate now practically incognito.

Opencast coal[edit]

Broadly speaking mineral exploitation proceeds in stages from the outcrop to further and further subterranean depths. War needs, however, led to a curious temporary reversal of practice in relation to coal. In 1941 someone raised the question of possible worth-while near-surface reserves of coal still extant in our country. There are only very incomplete records of outcrop working in past centuries, and mining has for long tended to avoid shallow depths, so as to escape special problems of surface damage, risks of flooding and general uncertainty as to extent. When consulted as to prospects I confess I held out little hope that the ' old men ' had spared enough to repay the cost of gleaning. Fortunately, however, the Mines Department decided to investigate; and several districts, especially in the NottsDerby-Yorkshire field, have since proved amazingly fruitful.

In this great eastern coalfield, not only have the ' old men ' left untouched an unexpected proportion of near-outcrop coal, but the seams themselves are characterised by a low and steady dip which renders them ideal subjects for opencast working with modern mechanical excavators. Even so, working costs are high in terms of money, though not of man power ; and in most localities extraction would not be justified except in days of combined coal and man-power shortage.

Wartime opencast working was started in 1941 by the Mines Department of the Home Office. Sites were chosen in Warwickshire in positions suggested by Geological Survey maps. The operation was entrusted to Professor J. A. S. Ritson, of the Royal School of Mines. At an early stage it was reported that ' a very large number of sites have to be abandoned owing to old workings.'

Control was transferred in 1942 to the new Ministry of Fuel and Power and, thanks largely to the initiative of F. S. Sinnett, Director of Fuel Research, it has continued, since July, 1942, to be for the most part carried out in close contact with both Fuel Research and the Geological Survey.

There was naturally some confusion to begin with. The new Ministry soon decided that the mechanical fieldwork belonged to civil, rather than mining, engineering, and deputed the production side of the venture to the Ministry of Works, while retaining disposal of output in its own hands. The man in command at the Ministry of Works was Major-General K. C. Appleyard, and he was furnished with a considerable staff of his own coupled with outside boring and excavating contractors. At first Appleyard was a little out of touch with scientific departments, and left it to the boring firms to prospect. If they presented an acceptable proposal they secured a contract to bore. Soon, however, the Geological Survey was regularly called in at the initial stage to indicate likely areas, after which the opencast staff made local inquiries—the fact that the Geological Survey was known and trusted by colliery officials helped considerably to moderate not unnatural antipathies.

The amount of assistance given by the Geological Survey steadily increased. In most areas officers started by adding surface advice to their more normal coalfield duties; but from the latter half of 1942 Edwards and Buchan had to devote themselves extensively to crop investigation, working from Wakefield and Chesterfield respectively. Mitchell, at the same time, was heavily engaged in the Midlands. They all thoroughly enjoyed the mining camp atmosphere of the adventure. Naturally they not only gave advice, but also recorded information afforded by the consequent temporary exposures. In Yorkshire the Survey was able at once to suggest suitable prospecting areas, two of which yielded over 1,000,000 tons apiece. In the Notts-Derby area, not recently revised, a special set of wartime prospecting maps was prepared for the Directorate of opencast mining.

Fuel Research's most vital contribution consisted in reporting on the quality of coal found in exploration bores, and in indicating the depth at which this quality became good enough to warrant extraction. Other important matters dealt with in relation to any particular occurrence included the washing requirements of the coal as quarried, and its keeping possibilities.

In spite of urgent wartime need for coal production and at the same time for economy of man power, opencast working was strictly regulated to prevent, so far as possible, the production of permanent unsightly deserts. It was laid down that consent must be obtained from the Ministries of Agriculture and of Town and Country Planning before any specified site might be opened up ; and to avoid vexatious disturbance no coal under 3 feet in thickness was to be considered.

In practice the soil was stripped and kept separate from the rest of the overburden, and replaced after re-levelling of the worked area—this cost about 71d. per ton of coal. From November, 1941, to December, 1944, the total tonnage of coal excavated amounted to 14,375,000 (by August, 1945, this figure had risen to 29,000,000), and involved the handling of about eight times as much overburden. The total cost (including transport) averaged about 40/- per coal-ton.

Major Lloyd George, speaking as Minister of Fuel and Power in the House of Commons in 1945, said that he could not agree that land was being destroyed. He had inspected many sites and had consulted many farmers, and had found satisfaction with the measures of rehabilitation. He had even found one farmer who assured him that his land had been returned to him in better heart than ever before. On the other hand, the common man does hear farmers continually grumbling, and is assured by them that their grievance extends beyond the time limit of present devastation.

It was fortunate for the country that on the 1st July, 1942, when coal in general became national property, coal available for opencast working changed ownership free of charge. Scarcely any of it could have been claimed on the ist January, 1939, to affect the market value of the land where it lay. Presently, in 1944, the Government as a temporary war measure took possession and control of land where coal was likely to occur.

Coal in the future[edit]

Partly for immediate war purposes, but largely for a planned post-War future, Fuel Research about 1943 started a nation-wide survey of the quantitative distribution of the various qualities of British coal. They received great assistance from the information recently collected by the Valuation Boards, now handed over to the Coal Commission, and also, of course, from the Geological Survey.

At about the same time, Eastwood, on the latter's behalf, set in motion the preparation of a series of separate one inch to the mile seam-maps for each major coal seam in England and Wales. These maps show outcrop, principal faults, variations of thickness, depth contours, limits of working and shaft and bore records. Their production often involves correlation of a multiplicity of coal names, which may in the past have been attached to a single seam worked from a number of collieries. Such correlation has always been a Survey aim, and has become increasingly important with unification of ownership. Good progress was made with these seam-maps, copies of which were supplied on completion to Fuel Research, the Coal Commission and the Ministry of Fuel and Power.

Another example of taking thought for the morrow was furnished in 1942 by the appointment by the Secretary of State for Scotland of a Scottish Coalfield Committee:

  1. to consider the present position and future prospects of coalfields in Scotland and to report# what measures should be taken to enable the fullest use to be made of existing and potential resources in these coalfields ; and
  2. in this connection, what provision of houses and other services will be required for the welfare of the mining community.

The Committee started circumspectly, for its Chairman and Secretary travelled to London to call upon Edward Appleton, Secretary (that is Chief) of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. On my recommendation they were promised unlimited aid from Macgregor and his Edinburgh staff. The resultant Report, issued as a command paper in 1944, is an extremely valuable and broadbased publication with four main headings: Geology; Present Position and Future Prospects; Housing; Subsidence. It is pleasant to find in its Introduction that D.S.I.R. is singled out for special thanks:

We are particularly indebted, the acknowledgement continues, for the assistance given by Dr. Murray Macgregor, Assistant Director of the Geological Survey of Great Britain, whose services have been continuously at our disposal ; his expert and detailed knowledge of the coal resources of Scotland has been invaluable, and the ungrudging manner in which he has co-operated with us throughout our investigation must be recorded. Our thanks are also due to him and to the staff of the Scottish office of the Geological Survey of Great Britain for the maps, diagrams and descriptions which are included in this Report.

The example set by the Secretary of State for Scotland stirred the Minister of Fuel and Power to emulation. In 1945 and 1946 ten Regional Survey Reports appeared dealing with the coalfields of England and Wales. Their general scope is much the same as that of their Scottish forerunner, but they sometimes include an additional section on Drainage. In all cases, though in varying degrees, important help was supplied by officers of both the Geological Survey and Fuel Research.


Owing to the special wartime importance of oil a detailed revision of the West Lothian oil-shales was undertaken on Macgregor's advice as soon as war commenced. Richey, as District Geologist, took a large share in this work. With two Geologists and two Assistants he produced three parts of a Wartime Pamphlet that will, I hope, provide a model for future interim reports on mining regions that are undergoing active development. The illustrations include geological maps, which with their representation of bore sites and underground features are almost equivalent in utility to new editions of the existing published 6-inch maps. A particularly refreshing feature of this oil shale revision was its careful planning. For instance, more than usual advantage was taken of the capacity of available Assistants.

Low-phosphorus iron ore[edit]

The division between low-and high-phosphorus is set at 0.02 per cent. P, on a basis of 5o per cent. Fe. In our country the low-phosphorus ores that are worked occur as veins or replacements, and the high-phosphorus ores as bedded sediments. Immediately before the war the Survey had completed map revisions of the hmatite replacements found in Cumberland and the Forest of Dean. The Geology of the Iron Ore Field of South Cumberland and Furness was issued in 1941 as a Wartime Pamphlet; while the Forest of Dean was covered, as we have already noticed, in a normal memoir in 1942.

In 1934 a University lecturer, J. T. Whetton, had found detectable magnetic effects in relation to certain small, proved, unworked lodes of haematite near Millom in Cumberland, though as is well known pure hrematite is practically non-magnetic. Four years later Hallimond, investigating for the Survey, obtained similar results. Accordingly, Whetton and Hallimond co-operated in presenting a detailed report on this trial area to Bulletin No. 2 of the Geological Survey. In this it was demonstrated that, with due precautions taken, a hematite vein 15 feet wide could be detected under 60 feet of cover.

This preliminary investigation had the unanimous support of the Geological Survey Board. It established the possibility of profitable geophysical exploration, while leaving it to the operating companies to follow up the matter through private agencies. When war broke out I thought that a new position had arisen, and that the Survey ought to use its knowledge and personnel to prospect. Output of hematite had been falling off, and a find of new veins would have greatly helped the country. Here alone among my various wartime proposals, I met with a certain amount of opposition from the Geological Survey Board ; though eventually magnetic prospecting was permitted. It was carried out by Geological Survey teams acting under Hallimond and H. Shaw, the latter freely lent by the Science Museum. To my great disappointment no addition accrued to the mineral resources of our country. In fact, the only benefit that could be claimed was that certain areas were shown to be barren of shallow ore without incurring the expense of a boring campaign.

In the Pennines Dunham by more normal geological research reinvigorated the working of a group of sideritic replacements, fed laterally into hospitable beds of limestone from fissure veins (see Wartime Pamphlet No. 14, 1941). Jointly with the Home Ores Department of Iron and Steel Control of the Ministry of Supply, he supervised a drilling campaign involving 15,000 feet of cored boring which resuited in the location of a new ore-body containing 100,000 tons.

In Scotland the Home Ores Department investigated three Geological Survey pre-War discoveries of magnetite, in the Shetlands, Tiree (phosphatic) and Skye. The two former are parts of ancient schistose complexes; the Skye occurrence is a reaction product of Tertiary igneous activity. The Shetland magnetite seems to amount to 18,000 tons, of which 1,000 were brought to the surface during development. Further progress was arrested, since it was not considered wise to incur the cost of installing shipping facilities.

High-phosphorus iron ore[edit]

The bedded iron ores of Britain occur mainly in the Carboniferous and Jurassic, and also to a small extent in the Cretaceous. Among the Mesozoic ores only those of Cleveland receive notice in the Geological Survey Memoir on The Iron Ores of Great Britain, published 1856-1862. Their fellows farther south are, however, included in vols. xii, 1920 (general occurrence), and xxix, 1925 (petrography and chemistry), of the Special Reports on the Mineral Resources of Great Britain. The petrographical account by Hallimond in vol. xxix is of great theoretical and practical value ; but here I must focus attention on vol. xii. In it Cleveland ores, for the most part worked from mines, were described by Lamplugh, whose task was made relatively easy by the pre-existence of good Geological Survey six-inch maps. The ores south of the Humber, mostly worked opencast, were described by Wedd and Pringle, who had to base their investigations mainly on one-inch maps. It is these southern occurrences which today supply most of Britain's iron ore.

On the outbreak of war Eastwood asked for and obtained a revision of the Jurassic ores of England. In Cleveland the six-inch mapping of the past sufficed for immediate purposes, and revision amounted to little more than bringing Lamplugh's figures and estimates up to date. This was done in Wartime Pamphlet No. 23. Total reserves were estimated at 370,000,000 tons

The areas south of the Humber received much fuller attention. By 1944 some Boo square miles had been mapped on the six-inch scale by a team of eight Geologists under Whitehead as District Geologist. Close contact was maintained with the Controller of Home Ores ; and operating companies were supplied with manuscript maps and typed reports, as well as verbal discussion on such matters as the planning of working faces and of exploratory boring. Naturally fossil bands in the cover proved of considerable value. Their outcrops, when mapped, furnish natural contour lines defining the depth at which iron ore is to be expected at any particular locality. Reserves were estimated at 2,300,600,000 tons, with a further 838,500,000 tons according to the nature of future demand.

The rocks of the Midland ironstone field include a considerable proportion of mobile clays. They have accordingly often adjusted their disposition, with production of minor folds and faults, to meet changes in distribution of load introduced, very gradually, by erosion of the present day valley system. Much additional insight into these adjustments was obtained, with results which were definitely helpful to the quarry managers concerned. The scientific implications were dealt with in a paper published by the Geological Society in 1944 with S. E. Hollingworth as its main author.

Apart from its wartime value the six-inch mapping of the iron ore fields south of the Humber will serve as a welcome nucleus for post-war publication of maps and memoirs in a relatively neglected tract of England. The memoirs will, of course, include special volumes giving a full treatment of the ores themselves.

Non-ferrous ores and minerals[edit]

In 1940 a Non-Ferrous Ores Committee was set up by the Ministry of Supply and met regularly at short intervals for more than two years in the Geological Survey conference room, under the Chairmanship of Sir William Larke. W. C. C. Rose, of the Survey Staff, was whole-time Secretary, and Eastwood and Macgregor Assessors. Following the loss of Malaya this Committee gave birth early in 1942 to a corresponding Non-Ferrous Minerals Development Control, which moved to quarters of its own in the City. Rose now became an Assistant Controller, and R. O. Jones, also seconded from the Survey, took his place as Secretary. The Geological Survey continued in closest liaison, and reported on almost every project which came up for consideration.

In Ireland Eyles, of the Scottish branch of the Survey, undertook an investigation of bauxite deposits known to be interbedded among the Tertiary basalts of Antrim ; and was the first Survey man to be entrusted with the organisation of a boring campaign carried out by contractors. He found considerable supplies, which, though somewhat ferriferous, were accepted under protest at aluminium factories, thus contributing to the easing of shipping difficulties. Two hundred and fifty thousand tons were mined before the war ended, and a further reserve of 500,000 tons was proved.

In Cornwall and Devon, Dines and his associates did all they possibly could to maintain production of tin and tungsten. A higher output of the latter was reached in 1944 than in any year except 1916. This tungsten success was essentially due to installation of a new mill at Hemerdon, near Plymouth, to deal with a large low-grade deposit, already worked during the 1914-1918 War. It was a subject that could be tackled opencast, and so did not require highly trained miners.

Within the present century, war experience has emphasised twice over the difficulty of bolstering up at short notice a decadent mineral industry. A glorious past means only too often that the more readily proved and accessible material has already been taken to limits set by rock or water. Once a mining company finds its property on the downgrade, it naturally feels less and less disposed to spend money on exploration and equipment. It prefers to take what is certain rather than risk the dropping of a bone for the sake of a shadow. Meanwhile, skilled labour seeks other employment, and recruits hang back. In fact, to swell wartime output it is often requisite to have pre-war proof of reserves coupled with a pool of skilled personnel. Fortunately, however, the value of information gathered under war conditions, and eventually published, may in the future prove to be very considerable. A decision may some day be taken to nationalise non ferrous metals, and to treat their further exploration on such a scale that inevitable failures are likely to be cancelled out by an occasional discovery.

Away from Cornwall and Devon, mineral veins attracted most attention in the North Pennines, where Dunham did outstanding work. Mining brought no increase to the annual output of lead and zinc ; but sampling of zinc ore on dumps in the Alston Moor area justified the erection of a treatment plant capable of handling i,000 tons per day, and this helped matters considerably in 1944.

Barytes was in a better position. During the twenty years preceding 1939 average production in Britain had been about 50,000 tons, and consumption 90,000. From 1939 to 1945 average production mounted to about 90,00o tons, and met essential needs. The North Pennines supplied half the British total. The largest single producer, however, was at Gass Water in Ayrshire. Scottish sources were dealt with during hostilities in Wartime Pamphlet No. 38 by MacGregor.

Perhaps Dunham's most immediately valuable service was to give warning of an impending shortage of fluorspar, resulting from the increasing output of steel. Fluor, like tungsten, has only become of value in comparatively recent times. Before 1890 it was either left in lead and zinc mines or thrown on to refuse dumps. Since then it has become an essential flux in certain steel processes (unfortunately reducing the agricultural value of basic slag), and also a commercial source of hydrofluoric acid. From 1919 to 1939 annual output (partly for export) had averaged 36,000 tons. From 1940 to 1944 this was stepped up to 46,000.

It has recently been estimated that proved reserves of readily worked fluor are equally distributed in mines and dumps. During the accelerated attack of the war years both sources were drawn upon. One important bit of help given by the Survey was a reinterpretation of the shape of a particular fluor body in Derbyshire. In this connection miners drawn from the Royal Canadian Engineers rendered good service, for they were able to teach home miners a useful Canadian technique.

Here for a moment I must turn aside to express gratitude to Colonel Colin Campbell and the Royal Canadian Engineers under his command. The assistance they rendered, free of charge, to the British Ministries of Supply and Air in their efforts to win minerals and water was one of the many wonders of the War. Colonel Campbell at home was Canada's Minister of Public Works, and his Commanderin-Chief, General Macnaughton, was head of the same great country's Department of Scientific and Industrial Research —which undoubtedly explains a good deal.

It will be recalled how for long the Canadian troops were held in impatient reserve in Great Britain. Their engineers, however, were busy from the first. They brought with them a fund, raised, I believe, among mining companies, to enable them to help with any experiment which aimed at strengthening the fighting efficiency of the Empire. Several times I attended inspections at Aldershot and elsewhere, and witnessed their brilliant execution of directly combatant exercises. Again and again I heard of their boring and mining explorations ranging from Shetland to Cornwall—my Survey colleagues were often partners in these enterprises.

One tough proposition was presented by the portage of a compressor of about a ton in weight from the sea shore of Loch Nevis in Knoydart, near Mallaig, up to a mica-pegmatite located by Kennedy on an abrupt slope at a height of 1,800 feet. This heavy load had to be manhandled by some fourteen men with block and tackle, hauling it on log rollers over an unprepared surface.

I did not see this Canadian victory, but later on in Septtember, 1943, I stumbled on British troops in action on the same site. I had been celebrating Mussolini's fall by taking four days with a colleague in Rhum, where a visit was required to look at some olivine rocks of possible value as refractories. On two of the four days the weather had been equinoctial with rain horizontal. The weekly steamer returned us to Mallaig in time to charter a motor launch to look at the Knoydart mica quarry, only nine miles distant. Imagine our amazement to find the place in the hands of a commando. To train for the Normandy beaches our troops had made a zig-zag pack-horse trail up to the quarry. It had taken them a fortnight, where Scotland's weather is at its worst ; and their only shelter for night was provided by sleeping bags and waterproof sheets!

The Knoydart pegmatite was the richest source of mica found by the Scottish surveyors in an intensive search, the results of which were made the subject of a Wartime Pamphlet by Kennedy and Lawrie. The books of mica run up to eighteen inches, and very exceptionally two feet, in diameter. The quality is excellent.

Mica is an essential wartime mineral for electric apparatus used in aeroplanes. The Non-Ferrous Mineral Development Control, for whom the Geological Survey prospected, was able to produce a small. but useful contribution from the Scottish Highlands ; but the cost was acknowledged to be prohibitive as soon as extreme urgency abated. It was much cheaper at any time to fly in supplies from India, if planes could be spared.

A more bulky return, for no labour at all on the part of the Geological Survey, was secured in connection with potash felspar required for the manufacture of pottery. Pre-war supplies had come from Scandinavia. An early inquiry answered by the Survey led to a successful quarry being opened on a pegmatite in Harris in the Outer Hebrides. The material took more hand-picking than was desirable, and most of it did not give a pure white product ; but for the war period it made our country self-sufficient. The tonnage shipped amounted to 17,530.

Limestone belongs to a different category, since in regard to it Britain, as a whole, has never been dependent on outside supplies. On the other hand, Scotland is relatively poorly endowed. Accordingly, on Macgregor's suggestion, the Scottish staff made a careful survey of local resources.

Several members, including Robertson, Simpson and J. G. C. Anderson, contributed to eight parts of a Wartime Pamphlet covering the country as a whole. Full field information was supplemented by no less than 218 chemical analyses specially made for the purpose at the Macaulay Soil Institute—a fine example of co-operation.

It was not found possible to maintain the immediately pre-War output, which had risen since agricultural liming had received a subsidy ; but in several cases useful sources were opened up or further developed where transport from England or Wales was particularly costly. Instances are afforded by shell sands near John o' Groats and crystalline limestones near Fort William, Blair Atholl and Dufftown.

Enough has been said to give a general idea of the Survey's wartime activity in the Mineral field. We may perhaps add one other example because it is of a kind dear to the heart of the scientific apologist. In 1872 and 1878 Judd announced his discovery of Upper Cretaceous deposits in the Hebridean area. Among other occurrences he noted a white sandstone at Loch Aline on the mainland side of the Sound of 11,1u11. When the area came to be mapped by the Geological Survey this outcrop was carefully traced, but at the time it was not realised that it might have economic value. Presently, however, in 1922, I visited the Lochaline exposure to follow up a clue I had found in Mull. I suspected that the sand making the white sandstone had originally been blown into the Chalk sea from an adjacent desert shore —thus throwing a new light on the remarkable absence of river-borne mud which is characteristic of the Chalk of England and France. I found the evidence strongly corroborative, and was also much impressed by the extreme purity of the friable sandstone. A percentage analysis showed 99.69 SiO2 with only 0.02 Fe203. Thus Britain had at last a first class optical-glass sand, and one that was ideally located for transport by sea (the sandstone has so little cohesion that 6o per cent. disintegrates on blasting for extraction).

The information was published in Survey memoirs and communicated to successive landlords, and also on several occasions to the Admiralty. The latter need optical glass for their instruments and had long been anxious to learn of a native source of sand suitable for its production. For years, however, practically nothing happened. Under normal conditions optical-glass sand can be shipped in quantity from Holland, Belgium and France.

It came, therefore, as a great relief to hear from the Admir alty, when Hitler overran the Channel ports in 1940, that a Glasgow firm had interested itself in the Lochaline deposit, and that all promised well. The promise was fulfilled, for on the 12th March, 1946, My Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty formally communicated their thanks to the Secretary, D.S.I.R., and informed him that the Lochaline sand had been used in large quantity and had been found ' after treatment superior in quality to that [previously] obtained from continental sources.'

As a sand mine the Lochaline working is unique. The deposit lies at a low angle, and is 20-25 feet thick with a 4-foot roof of Tertiary mudstone overlain by a great thickness of basalt lavas, constituting part of the Mull volcano, the whole cut by occasional basalt dykes. The main mine has been driven 1,000 feet into the hillside from the outcrop, and from its galleries the sandstone is worked in rooms 15-20 feet high, 30-40 feet wide and 120-130 feet long. No timber is required for support. After washing the sand shows an average Fe2O3 content of only 0.011 per cent. In 1941 some 21,000 tons were shipped, and by he Autumn of 1948 the total exceeded 250,000 tons.

Anyone passing up the Sound today sees the processing, storage and loading equipment at Lochaline pier, overlooking a conspicuous strand of white spilt sand. On the grassy slope above are clustered a couple of dozen prefabs built by the County Council to house the immigrant employees.

Hydro-electric power[edit]

In 1926 the Electricity Act established Electricity Commissioners and a Central Electricity Board for Great Britain as a whole. The Commissioners were to divide the country into districts, and to plan intercommunicating grid schemes. The Board in turn was to control generation and high-tension transmission within the several districts. Before long the system was in working order for all districts except Northern Scotland, defined to include a small proportion of Scottish Lowlands together with all the Highlands and Islands to the north and west.

In 1931 the Commissioners did indeed prepare a scheme for Northern Scotland, but it was never put into action. Instead, what has been called an unofficial adaptation of certain features,' was negotiated. Most of the District south-east of the Caledonian canal and some small part to the north-west of the same were to continue to be developed by undertakers already vested with parliamentary powers ; while the remainder was left for later consideration. Only two undertakers were of real importance in this matter, so far as public supply was concerned. They were the Grampian Company, relying mainly on water power, and, a long way behind, the Aberdeen Corporation, with a coal installation. To help the Grampian Company to finance its local distribution, and at the same time to benefit the country at large, the Central Electricity Board contracted to take a very substantial part of the company's output for use farther south. The company already had an independent contract for export in the same direction.

As will be readily understood, the difficulty of fitting. Northern Scotland into the framework of the 1926 Act depended on the fact that its characters are extreme. It has a superfluity of water power considered from the local standpoint, and an attenuated population. Although these features recur to some extent in Southern Scotland, Lakeland, Wales and the tideway of the Severn, they do not in these places characterise a region comparable in extent with Northern Scotland. Broadly speaking, therefore, Britain electrically consists of two contrasted divisions:# the bulk of Great Britain, where electricity production depends essentially on coal, and where it is reasonable to aim at a rough balance between district production and consumption ; and

  1. Northern Scotland, where electricity production depends essentially on water and topography, and where domestic supply, of even a considerable part of the whole, can only be undertaken economically if it is possible to attract electro-metallurgical or electro-chemical industries into the District, or, alternatively, to export a profitable stream of power southward out of the District.

The earliest developments of Northern Scotland's hydroelectric possibilities were undertaken by manufacturers of aluminium, with little or no thought of public supply. Here we find the Foyers scheme, which went into production in 1896 ; the Kinlochleven scheme, 1909 ; and the Lochaber scheme, 1929. Of these, the Lochaber scheme was geologically much the most important, since it involved the driving of three tunnels, the longest of which leads from Loch Treig to Fort William, a distance of fifteen miles.

In relation to the Lochaber scheme, at any rate, the Geological Survey received far more than it gave. Many visits were made to the great tunnel while under construction, during which mutually useful discussions occurred and specimens were taken ; but the detailed record was compiled by the resident engineers, as section by section the funnel face was washed free of dust preparatory to lining with concrete. One of these engineers was Ben N. Peach, jun., son of the great Survey geologist of former days. Looking back upon this investigation, I wonder if the Survey had any right of access. These tunnels were not mineral mines, and were not, I have since been informed, inspected for safety by the Mines Inspectorate. At any rate the question of trespass was never raised.

The next developments in Northern Scotland were undertaken for public supply, and were due to the Grampian Company, responsible for schemes at Rannoch and Tummel, which came into operation in 1930 and 1933. Meanwhile, the first Scottish scheme for public supply had come into being at the Falls of Clyde in 1926; but this belonged to Central Scotland. The subsequent Galloway scheme, operating more or less in partnership with the Central Electricity Board, was situated in Southern Scotland.

In 1941 the Secretary of State for Scotland appointed a Committee on Hydro-Electric Development in Scotland. It gave most attention to Northern Scotland, where alone conditions were notably anomalous. It reviewed carefully the performance of the Grampian Company, and decided that this great undertaker would not have done better for the country if it had been working as a non-profit-earning public corporation. Much greater progress might, indeed, have been made. with immense advantage to the country's peace and war potential ; but, as the Committee puts it, successive Governments and Parliaments seem to have been determined neither ' to develop the resources themselves nor allow anyone else to do it.'

Under all the circumstances the Committee found existing conditions unduly muddled. ' At present,' they said, ' there is no policy for the development of the water power resources nor any authority to frame one and to ensure that it is carried out.' It therefore advised the separation, at Board level, of Northern Scotland from the rest of Great Britain.

This and concomitant recommendations of the Committee were adopted in the Hydro-Electric Development (Scotland) Act of 1943. The North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board was set up to work with, but not under, the Central Electricity Board. To maintain close liaison, the latter provides one of the five members constituting its new companion.

The North of Scotland Board's first duty was to provide a Development Scheme. This, after approval by the Electricity Commissioners, was confirmed by the Secretary for State for Scotland in 1944. It has been added to as time proceeds.

The Board's development schemes cover all proposals up to date for new production within the district, and for resultant distribution:# to ordinary consumers within the District—using Authorised Undertakers, such as the Grampian Company, as middlemen in previously allotted portions of the District;

  1. to any large power users subsequently entering the District ; and
  2. to the Central Electricity Board for use farther south.

The Northern Board has to give priority to furnishing supplies to ordinary consumers of its District; but it also has to make its schemes pay their way as a whole. This latter condition will be essentially determined by sales to large users attracted to the District and to the Central Electricity Board. To avoid price-cutting, the charges to the latter are fixed by those paid to the most efficient steam-power plant in Britain (hypothetically transferred to Central Scotland and supplied with Scottish coal). A Treasury guarantee of dividends on money raised for expenses enables the Board to finance itself at a low rate of interest, and to face initial losses with confidence, although it is a condition that all Treasury advances must eventually be repaid.

The Board is furnished with two independent Committees to ensure that Amenity and Fishery interests will be kept prominently in view at all stages of its work. Altogether, consideration of schemes has been made much simpler, quicker and cheaper than heretofore.

Broadly speaking, the Board's distribution area is equal in area to that of the Grampian Company, and lies, with minor exceptions, to the north-west of the same. The development schemes confirmed up to the end of 1945 include the provision of eight new hydro-electric power stations, half of them in the Board's own distribution area, and half in that of its Grampian neighbour. They also include eight distribution schemes, all, of course, in its own area.

In framing its programme the North of Scotland Board receives assistance from the Meteorological Office and the Geological Survey. The former supplies rainfall maps, discusses drought possibilities and assists in enlisting voluntary rainfall observers in the higher, less inhabited parts of the District. The Geological Survey furnishes reports on suggested sites for dams, power stations, tunnels and aqueducts. In return it has been promised all possible facilities for making observations and records.

The activities of the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board cannot on any basis be reckoned as war work. They were started as a contribution to the hard struggle which was bound to follow eventual victory. The organisation of the Geological Survey's small but useful share was left in the hands of the Assistant Director, Murray Macgregor.


Reference has already been made to occasional difficulties that have arisen between the Geological Survey and Headquarters of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research on the subject of repayment and accountancy. In the early years of the Second War these difficulties became acute. Other branches of D.S.I.R. were doing splendid war work that was paid for by Service or Supply Departments ; whereas, measured by the yardstick of financial receipts, the Geological Survey's direct war work was small.

This last circumstance was easy to understand. When the Survey was asked to give advice on any matter that I considered of military importance I saw to it that the advice was given in the shortest time possible, only asking for travelling expenses from the party concerned. If my men had passed out of my control for a noteworthy period, it would have seemed reasonable to require repayment for their services, including salary, costs and overheads. My interpretation, however, of what should be charged for and what should not was inclined to be more generous than that of D.S.I.R. Headquarters ; and this sometimes led to strong differences of opinion between me and Headquarters officers in the interpretation of the financial instruction to the Department that it should charge the Defence Ministries for services rendered.

My position never became quite untenable. I had always the support of the Geological Survey Board, and eventually my Chief, Appleton, for whom I had unbounded respect, came to my rescue with a judgment reminiscent of the wisdom of Solomon. Inquiries addressed to the Geological Survey must henceforth be divided into two halves, called major and minor. The major must be paid for by the Department that benefits. The minor may be undertaken at the Director's discretion. From that time on the Survey continued its good work without more blame than attached, perhaps, to the following aphorism: ' My Geological Director,' Appleton used to say, ' is different from the rest. The others break some of the rules some of the time, but he breaks them all without ceasing.'

Looking back, I think that most of the difficulties that have arisen between the Survey and the Headquarters of D.S.I.R. were due to differences in the ages of the two organisations. We, with a history of over a hundred years, could not help, sometimes, regarding D.S.I.R. as being relatively immature and apt, in the early stages, to impose too little confidence in the Director of the survey. I remember my surprise when I returned to the Service to find two apparently innocent examples of Flett's audacity spoken of in hushed whispers at Headquarters. Towards the end of the First World War he had, without waiting for orders, gathered relevant geological data in regard to schemes for a Channel tunnel and a Forth to Clyde ship canal. For three-quarters of a century the Geological Survey had been expected to be able to answer geological questions put to it by the Government ; and to Flett it had seemed mere common sense to equip himself with evidence on these two questions, in regard to which so important a public Department as the Admiralty had already expressed an interest.

Be this as it may, in 1944 I had a refreshing experience, when Headquarters itself became increasingly involved in uranium. Very naturally they turned to the Geological Survey for counsel in regard to sources of supply. Forgetting my orders, I did not ask what arrangements would be made about accountancy of pay, pension and overhead expenses, I merely placed Davidson at their disposal. He had already shown high competency in supplying information in regard to military aspects of the geology of many overseas areas. Now he was flown across the Atlantic, to return covered with appreciation. Today he is in charge of a new Atomic Energy Division of the Geological Survey.


Towards the close of 1944, victory was well in sight. Optimists expected to be in Berlin by Christmas, but progress was a little delayed by Rundstedt's offensive in the Ardennes. I felt it was time for me to go, for two good reasons. Firstly, drastic reorganisation was in sight, and those who were young enough to look forward to functioning under the new conditions should be given maximum opportunity to help in their framing. Secondly, I knew there was a strong desire on the part of the juniors to say goodbye to the older generation.

Already before the Second World War had burst upon us there had been a block in promotion, owing to the quasi-simultaneous enrolment of sixteen Geologists following the close of hostilities in 1918 ; and this had since been accentuated by the wartime retention of a number of seniors beyond the normal age limit. The impatience of the younger members was partly determined by a laudable desire to try their prowess at higher levels while in the prime of manhood ; and partly by a very natural hope in home circles for an increase in pay.

A chance offered, when a leading firm of Consulting Engineers told me that they had an important irrigation and power scheme in hand in Iran, to which the Foreign Office attached high priority as affording an opportunity of exchanging service for sterling. The firm had been asked by the Iranian Government to supply a geological report, and it wanted me to suggest some suitable geologist who would be willing to go. With the ready consent of Headquarters I offered myself ; and so had the exhilarating experience on retirement in April, 1945, of stepping into an aeroplane instead of an arm chair.

'Why did he go?', said Appleton in reply to a question from a young friend, 'Why did he go ? Adventure, boy, Adventure.'

So our story ends, though not its subject.