24th June 1909 – March 3rd 1991
William George Penney of
He originally lived in “ The Hut “ at Rushenden and first wife was Adele Minnie Elms from Queenborough married 1935 she died 1944 . They had two children , he then married Eleanor Joan Quinell from Brentwood Essex no issue.
(His sister married Leslie Norman Hogan from Scarborough Drive Minster )
His coat of arms was the first of the Arms to consist of modern day symbols , Electrons etc.
He was born in Gibraltar where his father William Alfred Penney was born Jan 23rd 1881 ,and he died Sept 24th 1979 (aged 98)at Blair Park Sittingbourne, he was a Sergeant in the Army Ordnance Corp and his father was George Penney a joiner/shipwright born 1848 in Sheerness ,he died 1925 aged 75.
Lord Penney ( he always preferred to be called
“Bill “ ) was educated at Sheerness Technical School ,Imperial College London (B.Sc with 1st class honours at age 20) then
University of Wisconsin for his Masters Degree (1931-1933) then to Trinity College Cambridge for his Ph.D.
(1933-1936) .he then returned to
Imperial College London as Assistant
Professor of Mathemetics
(1936- 1945).Scientific work for Ministry of Home Security and Admiralty(
1940-1944). Department of Scientific and
Industrial Research at LosAlmos Laboratory , New Mexico (1944-1945 ),Chief
Superintendent Armament Research
Ministry of Supply (1946- 1952) .Fellow of the Royal Society 1946 , O.B.E.,1946. Knighted 1952, Director of Atomic Weapons Research
Establishment Aldermaston 1953- 1959.
Member for Weapons R.& D 1954- 1959. Treasurer for
The Royal Society 1956- 1960. Vice President 1957- 1960.
Member for Research U.K Atomic Energy Authority 1951-1961. Deputy
Chairman 1961- 1964. Chairman 1964- 1967.
Created Baron Penney 1967..Rector of
William George Penney was a British physicist who was responsible for the development of British nuclear technology .A mathematician by training , he became an expert on wave dynamics.He was one of the worlds leading authorities on the effects of nuclear weapons .
During the early years of World War 2, he was loaned out to the Home Office and the Admiralty. He designed and
supervised the development of
the Mulberry harbours that would be placed off the Normandy Beaches during the D-Day
Invasion. In 1943 he was released from his duties at
In July of 1946 he was invited to be present at the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands and wrote the after action reports on the effects of the two A-Bomb detonations His reputation was further advanced when , after the sophisticated test apparatus of the Americans failed, he was able to determine the blast power using observations from his specially placed piles of discarded oil drums.
The first British nuclear bomb test ,Operation Hurricane , conducted 3rd October 1952 off the west coast of Australia in the Monte Bell Islands was organised and directed by William Penney.
was 10 times greater than the first
W.G.Penney also served on the Target Committee which met in April and May 1945 to select the Japanese cities upon which to drop the Atomic Bombs and he was an observer at the 16th July bomb test at Trinity site in New Mexico and on 9th August 1945 he witnessed the bombing of Nagasaki from one of the observation planes that accompanied the Nagasaki mission bomber ENOLA GAY. He was a member of the U.S. team of military and scientific analysts who entered the rubble of Hiroshima to assess the effects of the Atomic Bomb of August 6th 1945 .After completion of the Bikini tests Dr. Penney returned to England to undertake development of the first Atomic Bomb
In January 1947 Clement Attlee appointed him Chief Superintendent of Armament Research and placed him in charge of designing , producing , and testing the British A-Bomb
( Mainly taken fron Wikipedia , the free enclycopedia )
On one of my visits to Blair Park to see Bill’s father William Alfred he was very upset as he had received letters from people who called him nasty rude names for having a nasty son who helped to kill and main thousands of Japanese people.
SONS OF SHEPPEY yet to come are ;-
Hooker ,who worked with Mitchell on the Spitfire during the War to increase their attack speed.
Charter Mayor of
Any suggestions also ,please.
In the early days at
Tony Clenaghen was also a lab assistant at the same time as Bill Penney and tells the tale that in either the Chemistry Laboratory or in Room 7 at the top of the main staircase I forget which , there was a chimney that led to the roof and Bill managed to climb inside this funnel to the top and sign his name – this was a very difficult thing to do and over the years only a few boys were able to follow his example.
When the school was being demolished ( shame !!) I tried to find this signature but I was too late , it was lost among the rubbish.
Sheerness Times Guardian in September 1939 lists
PENNEY W.G (DR) THE HUT Rushenden as an Air Raid Warden
When the Prime
Minister Macmillan visited the
Bill’s father William Alfred was the Master of the Sheerness De Shurland Lodge Of Freemasons and on his death Bill gave his fathers Masonic Jewels back to the Lodge to be passed on to another Master. This was appreciated by the members of the Lodge.