Record

Authorised form of nameThompson; Sir; Harold Warris (1908 - 1983); chemist
SurnameThompson
ForenamesHarold Warris
Dates1908 - 1983
Dates and placesBirth:
Wombwell, South Yorkshire, England (15 February 1908)
Death:
31 December 1983
ActivityEducation:
King Edward VII School, Sheffield; Trinity College Oxford, where his tutor waas Cyril Hinshelwood. He gained first class honours in Natural Sciences (Chemistry) in 1929. He then spent a year researching in Berlin with F. Haber before returning to Oxford to take up a Fellowship at St John's College.
Career:
Fellow of St. John's College, Oxford; Ministry of Aircraft Production during WWII
Thompson quickly established himself as one of the finest teachers in the university and many of his students went on to great scientific distinction and included F.S. Dainton, C.F. Kearton, J.W. Linnett, R.E. Richards and D.H. Whiffen, all of whom became Fellows of the Royal Society. Thompson's main research interest in Berlin had been gas reactions but on his return to Oxford he focused his research activity in the area of chemical spectroscopy and in particular work on the infrared. During the Second World War he worked for the Ministry of Aircraft Production in collaboration with G.B.B.M. Sutherland on the infrared spectroscopic analysis of enemy aviation fuels, and in 1943 he and Sutherland were members of a British scientific mission which visited the USA on behalf of the Ministry. After the war Thompson continued to play a major role in demonstrating how infrared spectra might be applied to a very wide range of chemical studies. He contributed to international science as Foreign Secretary of the Royal Society, 1965-1971, when the Society's overseas activities were greatly expanded, and as President of International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU), 1963-1966, and of International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), 1973-1975. Throughout his life Thompson gave devoted service to football, from amateur player in his youth to Chairman of the Football Association, 1976-1981.

His contributions to international science and football are extensively documented in the papers deposited with the Royal Society. There is a very full record of Thompson's Foreign Secretaryship of the Royal Society and his organisation of the European chemical conferences (EUCHEM) and substantial documentation of his work for ICSU and IUPAC, including the Commission on Molecular Spectroscopy and the Triple Commission on Spectroscopy. Thompson's contributions to international relations were not limited to science (or football) and he kept detailed records of his Chairmanship from 1972 of the Great Britain - China Committee (later Great Britain - China Centre). The football papers are substantial, particularly for the last decade of Thompson's life, and thus there is full documentation of his Chairmanship of the Football Association and of the many problems facing football at that time, including hooliganism amongst its supporters.

Honours:
CBE 1959; Kt 1968
Royal Society activityMembership:
Fellow
Election Date:
21/03/1946
Medals/Prizes:
Davy Medal 1965
Council:
VP 1963-1964, 1965-1971; For Sec 1965-1971
SourcesAssocMaterial:
NCUACS 2/1/88. Papers deposited in the Royal Society Library, London
Obituaries:
Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 1985 vol 31 pp 571-610, plate, by Sir Rex Richards
References:
Edmund J Bowen, 'The Balliol-Trinity Laboratories, Oxford 1853-1940' in NR 1970 vol 25 pp 227-236
R W Home, 'The Royal Society and the Empire: the colonial and Commonwealth Fellowship. Part 2. After 1847' in NR 2003 vol 57 pp 47-84
J S Rowlinson, 'The war time work of Hinshelwood and his colleagues' in NR 2004 vol 58 pp 161-175
Notes:
President of International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) 1963-1966; President of International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) 1973-1975
Royal Society codeNA5973
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
GLB/65/101/7Brown to H W Thompson, St John's College, Oxford13 February 1965
GLB/66/14Report on a visit to China, 22 September to 8 October 1962 by H W Thompsonc1962
GLB/65/101/8H W Thompson, St John's College, Oxford to Brown15 February 1965
EC/1946/21Thompson, Sir Harold Warris: certificate of election to the Royal Society
IM/004544Thompson, Sir Harold Warrisnd
HF/1/17/1/35/44Lindor Brown, Department of Physiology, Oxford to H W THompson13 February 1965
IM/004543Thompson, Sir Harold Warrisnd
IM/GA/WRS/8682Thompson, Sir Harold Warrisnd
IM/GA/GRS/6268Thompson, Sir Harold Warrisnd
RR/70/247Referee's report by Harold Warris Thompson, on a paper 'Measurements in the reaction zone of a Bunsen flame' by H Klaukens and H G Wolfhard1947
RR/34/12Referee's report by Harold Brewer Hartley, on a paper 'An apparently unimolecular reaction.—the homogeneous decomposition of gaseous propionic aldehyde' by Cyril Norman Hinshelwood and Harold Warris Thompson20 August 1926
RR/40/110Referee's report by Robert Robertson, on a paper 'The influence of nitrogen peroxide on the combination of hydrogen and oxygen' by Harold Warris Thompson and Cyril Norman HinshelwoodMarch 1929
RR/47/78Referee's report by Eric Keightley Rideal, on a paper 'The explosive oxidation of carbon monoxide at lower pressures' by G Hadman, Harold Warris Thompson and Cyril Norman HinshelwoodJuly 1932
RR/47/79Referee's report by Eric Keightley Rideal, on a paper 'The oxidation of carbon monoxide' by G Hadman, Harold Warris Thompson and Cyril Norman HinshelwoodApril 1932
RR/72/68Referee's report by Derek Ainslie Jackson, on a paper 'Vibration-rotation bands of some polyatomic molecules' by A R H Cole and Harold Warris Thompson1949
RR/57/24Referee's report by Thomas Martin Lowry, on a paper 'The absorption spectra of some polyatomic molecules containing methyl and ethyl radicals' by Harold Warris Thompson[March 1935]
RR/62/52Referee's report by William Edward Curtis, on a paper 'The absorption spectra of polyatomic molecules containing methyl and ethyl radicals—III' by Harold Warris Thompson and John Wilfrid Linnett[1936]
RR/71/251Referee's report by Alfred Gordon Gaydon, on a paper 'Infra-red spectra and state of aggregation. II' by Rex Edward Richards and Harold Warris Thompson1948
RR/70/161Referee's report by William Edward Curtis, on a paper 'Infra-red spectra and the solid state: measurements with polarized radiation' by J Mann and Harold Warris Thompson1947
RR/71/116Referee's report by Harold Warris Thompson, on a paper 'The influence of diffusion on flame propagation' by Alfred Gordon Gaydon and H G Wolfhard[1948]
RR/69/119Referee's report by Harold Warris Thompson, on a paper 'The spectra of flames containing oxides of sulphur' by Alfred Gordon Gaydon and G. Whittingham1946
RR/70/23Referee's report by Meredith Gwynne Evans, on a paper 'Intensities of vibration bands. I. Bending vibrations of benzene derivatives and the dipole of the C-H link' by Ronald Percy Bell, Harold Warris Thompson and Eva E Vago1947
RR/69/255Referee's report by Harold Warris Thompson, on a paper 'The vibration spectrum and molecular configuration of cyclo-hexane' by Donald Allan Ramsay and Gordon Brims Black Mcivor Sutherland1946
RR/72/123Referee's report by Harold Warris Thompson, on a paper 'Spectroscopic studies of low-pressure flames. II. Effective translational and rotational temperatures from CH bands' by Alfred Gordon Gaydon and H G Wolfhard1949
RR/68/505Letter from John Jacob Fox, to Harold Brewer Hartley, regarding two papers 'The infra-red spectra of polymers and related monomers. I' and 'The infra-red spectra of polymers and related monomers. II' by Harold Warris Thompson and P Torkington28 July 1944
RR/71/117Referee's report by Harold Warris Thompson, on a paper 'Spectroscopic studies of low-pressure flames; temperature measurements in acetylene flames' by Alfred Gordon Gaydon and H G Wolfhard[1948]
RR/68/506Second letter from Harold Brewer Hartley, to Alfred Charles Glyn Egerton, regarding two papers 'The infra-red spectra of polymers and related monomers. I' and 'The infra-red spectra of polymers and related monomers. II' by Harold Warris Thompson and P Torkington31 July 1944
RR/72/198Referee's report by Derek Ainslie Jackson, on a paper 'Vibration-rotation bands of allene' by C H Miller and Harold Warris Thompson1949
RR/71/64Referee's report by Harold Warris Thompson, on a paper 'The ignition and flame reactions of ethylene oxide' by F A Burden and J H Burgoyne[1948]
RR/72/125Referee's report by Harold Warris Thompson, on a paper 'Spectroscopic studies of low-pressure flames IV. Measurements of light yield for C2 bands' by Alfred Gordon Gaydon and H G Wolfhard1949
RR/72/9Referee's report by Harold Warris Thompson, on a paper 'The use of polarized infra-red radiation in the study of doubly oriented long-chain polymers' by E J Ambrose, A Elliott and R B Temple1949
RR/72/225Referee's report by Harold Warris Thompson, on a paper 'The far ultra-violet absorption spectra of the hydrides and deuterides of sulphur, selenium and tellurium and of the methyl derivatives of hydrogen sulphide' by William Charles Price, J P Teegan and Arthur Donald Walsh1949
RR/72/126Referee's report by Harold Warris Thompson, on a paper 'Spectroscopic studies of low-pressure flames III. Effective rotational temperatures and excitation mechanism for C2 bands' by Alfred Gordon Gaydon and H G Wolfhard1949
RR/71/261Referee's report by Harold Warris Thompson, on a paper 'Vibration spectra of hydrocarbon molecules I. Frequencies due to deformation vibrations of hydrogen atoms attached to a double bond' by Norman Sheppard and Gordon Brims Black Mcivor Sutherland1948
IM/004545Thompson, Sir Harold Warrisnd
RR/62/53Referee's report by Alfred Fowler, on a paper 'The spectrum and photochemistry of carbon suboxide' by Harold Warris Thompson and N Healey[June 1936]
RR/62/56Referee's report by John Edward Lennard-Jones, on a paper 'The absorption spectra and photochemistry of poly­atomic molecules containing alkyl radicals - V—Vibration frequencies and structure' by Harold Warris Thompson and John Wilfrid Linnett[February 1937]
RR/62/55Reply to the referee by Harold Warris Thompson and John Wilfrid Linnett, on a paper 'The absorption spectra and photochemistry of poly­atomic molecules containing alkyl radicals - V—Vibration frequencies and structure' by Harold Warris Thompson and John Wilfrid Linnett[March 1937]
RR/68/504Letter from Harold Brewer Hartley, to Alfred Charles Glyn Egerton, regarding two papers 'The infra-red spectra of polymers and related monomers. I' and 'The infra-red spectra of polymers and related monomers. II' by Harold Warris Thompson and P Torkington22 June 1944
RR/68/507Referee's report by Edmund John Bowen, on two papers 'The infra-red spectra of polymers and related monomers. I' and 'The infra-red spectra of polymers and related monomers. II' by Harold Warris Thompson and P Torkington[1944]
HWTProfessional papers of Harold Warris Thompson1934 - 1984
MDA/A/12/228Copy letter from Harold Warris Thompson to Robert Robinson, St John's College, Oxford19 December 1947
RR/57/23Referee's report by Alfred Fowler, on a paper 'The absorption spectra of some polyatomic molecules containing methyl and ethyl radicals' by Harold Warris Thompson[March 1935]
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