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KBGS Old Boys' Forum

A place to discuss Keighley Boys' Grammar School. 


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KBGS Old Boys' Forum
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Re: Blue plaque marking birthplace of Alfred Fowler FRS CBE

As I was clearing the pile of papers on top of my filing cabinet yesterday I came across a copy of a paper published by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific on 1 June 1902 entitled 'The Flash Spectrum' by S A Mitchell. Most of its 12 pages were highly technical and beyond my understanding, but my attention was caught by a sentence regarding the spectrum of the sun's atmosphere which up to that time had been observed by eye at a total eclipse, which reads:
'This question could be settled only by obtaining a permanent record of the flash spectrum by photography, which was accomplished in 1893 by FOWLER.in West Africa, and again in 1896 by SHACKLETON, in Novaya Zembla'. Incidentally the latter was the first time the complete flash spectrum had been photographed with perfect definition.
William Shackleton FRAS, ARCSc, FINsTP (1872-1921) was also an Old Boy who followed Fowler via Eastwood School and KT&GS with a Devonshire Exhibition to the Royal College of Science where he also studied and worked as an Astrophysicist. He returned to Keighley to marry Mary Helen Orr, sister of Isabella and of three others including Jane, my grandmother.
Towards the end of 1900 Shackleton was selected to accompany Scott’s first expedition to the Antarctic as physicist, and was occupied for some months with the special instruments to be employed, but almost at the last moment, to his great disappointment, he was disqualified on medical grounds.
His obituary in the Proceedings of the Optical Society says: Mr Shackleton joined the Society in 1913, and on taking office as Secretary in 1916 he spared no effort to increase its status and widen its influence. He was elected a Vice-president in 1920 and continued to take an active interest in the welfare of the Society.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1937-44

Current location (optional) Huntingdon

Re: Blue plaque marking birthplace of Alfred Fowler FRS CBE

So,David, it seems that your grandmother Jane Orr, was related to Two famous Old Boys of the School, both of whom are not as yet, on our Famous Old Boys page. I must have a word with Chris and see how that's done. Still, two excellent postings, David and well worth the reading!

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1945-50

Current location (optional) Keighley(Still)