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Walter Geoffrey Duffield (1879–1929)

from Advertiser

The death occurred at Canberra last night of Professor Walter Geoffrey Duffield after a brief illness. He had been suffering from influenza, with pneumonic infection, and his brother, Mr. Kenneth Duffield, of Glenelg, and his wife, left Adelaide on Wednesday night by motor car for Canberra.

Professor Duffield was Director of the Commonwealth Solar Observatory at Canberra, which position he had held for about six years. He was born at Gawler, and was a son of Mr. D. Walter Duffield, of Glenelg, and a grandson of the Hon. Walter Duffield, one of the original members of the Legislative Council of this State. He was educated at Oxford House School, Queen's School, and St. Peter's College. He graduated in science at tbe University of Adelaide in 1900, and received the degree of doctor of science in 1908. At Trinity College, Cambridge, he graduated as Bachelor of Arts, and was a Research Fellow at the Manchester University. He was formerly Mackinnon student of the Royal Society, London, research assistant at the National Physical Laboratory, England, and professor of physics and Dean of the Faculty of Science in the Reading University College. He served in the Great War, and held a commission in the Royal Flying Corps.

When Professor Duffield returned to Australia in 1923 it was to conduct investigations for the British Association on the force of gravity over the ocean. He was largely instrumental in inducing the Commonwealth Government to provide an observatory at Canberra for solar observation. He did all the pioneering work at the Mount Stromlo Observatory, the building of which completed a chain of observatories around the world.

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'Duffield, Walter Geoffrey (1879–1929)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 June 2024.

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