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The FAQ (part 6 of 6)
Section - C5.6 Other...

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Top Document: The FAQ (part 6 of 6)
Previous Document: C5.5 Humour
See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
Rewi Alley (helped rebuild China after the revolution)
Chris Amon (motor racing)
Robert Davidson (apiarist)
Al Deere (pilot, ace (Battle of Britain), Wing Commander - Air Commodore(?))
Sir Roger Douglas (accounting?)
Sir Harold Gillies (pioneering plastic surgeon, 1)
Ernest Godward (inventor of the carburettor)
Hone Heke (Maori 'politician')
Sir Edmund Hillary (mountaineering, aid work, ambassador)
Bernard Freyberg (soldier, Governor-General of NZ, 4)
Fred Hollows (eye surgeon, honorary Australian?)
Dennis Hulme (motor racing)
Vaughan Jones (mathematics, Fields Medal winner (theory of knots))
Sir Archibald McIndoe (pioneering plastic surgeon, 1)
Bruce McLaren (motor racing)
Colin Murdoch (inventor of the disposable syringe)
Air Marshall Keith Park (Commander, Battle of Britain, Defence of Malta)
Richard Pearse (first powered flight (probably))
Lord [Ernest] Rutherford, 1st Baron of Nelson and Cambridge (Nobel Prize,
 Chemistry, 2), (1871-1937)
Mark Todd (equestrian)
Captain Charles Upham (farmer, veteran soldier, VC and bar, 3)


MJ Pickering wrote: (more details may be available from her)

"New Zealand surgeons practically invented the process of reconstructive
surgery.  Well, that's not quite true - there were many instances of
reattaching noses and ears and such in Italy and India and a few other
places.  But the first world war resulted in plenty of cases to work on and
by the time the second world war rolled around, a phenomenon called
Airman's Burn where pilots who disobeyed orders and removed their goggles
and gloves due to the heat in their cockpits suffered extensive burns to
their faces and hands when shot down meant that skin grafting really took

"In the time between the two World Wars there were 4 full time
reconstructive surgeons - three were New Zealanders (working in Britain of
course).  Sir Harold Gillies was the first one and pioneered many of the
techniques.  Rainsford Mowlem was another but the most famous was Sir
Archibald McIndoe who started the Guinea Pig club of his patients which
some of you may have heard aboout.  By the time of the WWII more pilots
were surviving crashes due to better constructed planes and penicillan
ensured a greater survival rate so there were more men for him to work on.
Gillies tended to work of the canon fodder of the front in WWI.  The Guinea
Pig club still meets every year.  MacIndoe was not only at the forefront of
"holistic" medicine in that he treated his patients' minds and their trauma
as well as their bodies - he wouldn't let them go back into service until
he was sure their minds had recovered also, but he was the one to make the
connection between the recovery rate of burns victims who had fallen into
the sea and the concept of saline baths for burns victims.  Prior to that
an oil solution was used on their burns."

2   Ernest Rutherford

After receiving a master's from Canterbury College, Chistchurch, Rutherford
went to Cambridge in 1885 to work under Sir JJ Thomson at Cavendish

He took up a physics professorship at McGill, Montreal, in 1898, worked
with Soddy and in 1902-3 identified radioactive half-life, moved to
Victoria University of Manchester in 1907 and was awarded the Nobel Prize
in Chemistry in 1908 for his work on radioactivity.  He worked with Geiger
in 1908 and in 1909 used alpha particle bombardment of thin foils to lead
to his 1911 description of atomic structure.

He was knighted in 1914, then succeeded Thomson at the Cavendish Laboratory
in 1919.  He was elevated to the peerage in 1931.  His other awards
included an Order of Merit in 1921, the Copley Medal of the Royal Society
in 1922, and he was President of the Royal Society from 1925 until 1930.
In 1931 he was created Baron Rutherford of Nelson.

Tony Williams adds:

 In 1897-98 he discovered two components of radioactivity, alpha and beta 
 rays.  In 1898 he moved to McGill University, Montreal, as a professor 
 and did much work in partnership with Frederick Soddy into radioactivity 
 and transmutation.

 In 1903 became professor of physics in the University of Manchester (uk).
 Many of the brightest minds in physics at that time visited him and some
 even stayed to work for him, in the gloomy basements of the university.
 Much basic work in particles and collisions and nucleii was done during
 this period by Rutherford and his team.

 In 1918 Rutherford took over as Cavendish Professor at Cambridge (uk), a 
 post he 'inherited' from his old friend and mentor J.J. Thompson.  The 
 team of researchers that ensued at the Cavendish over the next ten years 
 under Rutherford did much of the fundamental work in atomic physics.

 Various photographs from that time show a casual roll-call of names of
 people who were to become the giants in this field, all eager to visit
 and work with Rutherford.

 One very interesting photograph shows Rutherford, a big burly man with a
 fag hanging out of one side of his mouth, standing in Vivian Bowden's
 laboratory.  There is an illuminated sign saying "Talk SOFTLY Please"
 just above Rutherford's head.  Apparently Bowden had this sign built
 specially, because the ionisation apparatus was microphonic, and
 Rutherford's loud booming voice could easily ruin experiments.

 As for the existence of the Victoria University of Manchester, Richard
 Kingston offered:
 "Strangely enough, I possess a book called 'Rutherford at Manchester'. 
 It's copyright to the Victoria University of Manchester, 1962, so I guess 
 it must exist :-)

 This comes from the preface

   "Ernest Rutherford, later Baron Rutherford of Nelson, the acknowledged
   founder of nuclear science, was Langworthy Professor of Physics at the
   Victoria University of Manchester from 1907 to 1919"

3  Charles Upham

Howard Edwards wrote:

"Captain Charles Upham (retired), New Zealand's most decorated soldier and
veteran of World War Two, died last Tuesday and was buried with full
military honours after a service in Christchurch cathedral on Friday.
Upham was awarded two Victoria crosses for exceptional bravery during WWII.

"A modest hero.  Upham never saw himself as anything other than a New
Zealander doing his duty.  He refused to accept any land offered to
returning servicemen after the war, and also turned down a knighthood.  He
spent the remainder of his years on his North Canterbury farm and avoided
the spotlight of fame which the media oocasionally tried to shine upon


Lyndon Watson wrote:

"I took my father, who served with Charlie Upham in the 20th, to the
funeral on Friday, and I found the subject too close to many emotions to
write about for all the world to read.

"Upham's battalion, the 20th, was, in my biased opinion, the most
distinguished of all New Zealand regiments in the Second World War.
Together with the other battalions that comprised the 4th Brigade (the 18th
Auckland, 19th Wellington and 20th South Island battalions), it was made up
of the first and keenest men who volunteered in 1939, and it bore the brunt
of the actions in Crete (where Upham won his first V.C. for attacking and
destroying machine-gun posts in face of their fire), at Belhamed, and at
Ruweisat Ridge which was, like Stalingrad in the same year, one of the
crucial battles of the war (and where Upham won his second V.C. for running
in the open at advancing tanks and attacking them with hand-grenades).  At
each of those battles the 20th was nearly destroyed, and it was rebuilt
each time around the survivors who somehow kept its extraordinary spirit
alive.  Its third Victoria Cross was won by Sergeant Jack Hinton, who died
in June 97.

"When Upham returned from the war, the people of Canterbury raised
10,000 pounds by public donation to buy him a farm.  That was enough to
buy a very good farm, but Upham declined and had the money put into an
educational trust.  He eventually bought a houseless block with a rehab.
loan and turned it into a farm with his own hard work."


Charles Upham died in November 1994.

4  Bernard Freyberg

James Lawry wrote:
 Started as a Morrinsville dentist, distinguished himself at Gallipoli,
 3 DSOs and a VC (for personal valour in the battle for
 Beaucourt). Major-General in WWII commanding 2nd NZ Epeditionary
 force. As Lieut. General Sir Bernard Freyberg he was Governor-General
 of NZ for 6 years.



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