W. B. R. King

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Professor W.B.R. King
Born William Bernard Robinson King
(1889-11-12)12 November 1889
West Burton, Yorkshire[citation needed]
Died 23 January 1963(1963-01-23) (aged 73)
Institutions University of Cambridge
British Geological Survey
Alma mater Jesus College, Cambridge[1]
Notable awards Fellow of the Royal Society[1]

William Bernard Robinson King, OBE MC FRS[1] (12 November 1889 – 23 January 1963) was a British geologist.


King was educated at the University of Cambridge graduating a first-class Honours degree in Geology in 1912


He joined the British Geological Survey and distinguished himself on field studies in Wales. In 1914 he was commissioned as a second-lieutenant in the Territorial Army and in 1915 was rapidly trained as a hydrologist and sent to France to assist the Chief Engineer of the British Expeditionary Force establish potable water supplies from boreholes.

The most senior of the three military geologists at the start of World War II, Major King was sent to France in 1939.[2] where he later advised on suitable sites for airfields and the D-Day landings. He was awarded a Military Cross in 1940.

In 1943 he became Woodwardian Professor of Geology at the University of Cambridge.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society[1] in 1949. His candidacy document read

Woodwardian Professor of Geology; during two wars field-geologist R. E. serving with the British Army. As stratigrapher has mapped and worked out the Upper Ordovician Shelly succession through Sedgwicks classic ground along the Welsh Borderland and in Ribblesdale. As Palaeontologist has described new trilobites and correlated Cambrian faunas from Iran and The Salt Range. A co-worker with Marr on Cambridgeshire gravels has successfully applied the Abbe Breuil's Somme Valley flint-implement typology in England. And presented an acceptable synthesis of the Pleistocene succession in the valley of the Lower Thames. His war-time responsibilities included (1) underground hydrography for emergency water-supplies in France, (2) surface and sub-soil hydrology for selection of airfield sites in France and Belgium, and (3) "D Day" beach intelligence.[3]


Further reading[edit]

  • Military Geology in War and Peace Edited by James R. Underwood, Peter L. Guth