Harry Medlin

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Harry Medlin
Edwin Harry Medlin

(1920-01-02)2 January 1920
Died6 March 2013(2013-03-06) (aged 93)
Alma materUniversity of Adelaide
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Adelaide
Thesis (1956)
Doctoral advisorStanley Gordon Tomlin[1]
Doctoral studentsPeter Colman[2]

(Edwin) Harry Medlin (2 January 1920 – 6 March 2013) was Deputy Chancellor of the University of Adelaide from 1978 to 1997.[3][4]

Early life and education[edit]

Medlin was born in Orroroo on 2 January 1920. His younger brother was the philosopher and activist Brian Medlin.[5] He was sent to school in Adelaide, then studied at the South Australian School of Mines and Industries from 1936 to 1939. He worked for the Adelaide Electric Supply Company and enlisted in the Australian Army prior to Australia joining the Second World War. He was commissioned in 1939 and promoted to Captain in 1940. He was serving in the 2/1st Fortress Company on the island of Timor[6] when he was captured by the Japanese and held as a prisoner of war in Timor from 23 February 1942 and transferred to Batavia in Java in September 1942[6] until he was freed on 23 September 1945. He was awarded the Efficiency Medal and five campaign stars and medals before leaving the army in 1946.[3] He returned to Adelaide on a troop train from Melbourne on 28 October 1945.[7] He had returned to Australia on the Hospital ship Manunda after being recovered from the POW camp on 18 September and started the journey home via Singapore on 23 September 1945.[8]

Medlin studied under the Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme[citation needed] at the University of Adelaide, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1949, Honours in 1951 and a Ph.D. on X-ray crystallography in 1956.[citation needed]

Career and research[edit]

Medlin began lecturing at the university in 1951, rising to Associate Professor by 1974. He retired in 1985, but remained in the University environment, including becoming inaugural chair of the Alumni Association. He was a member of the University Senate Standing Committee from 1965 to 1980, and the University Council from 1967 to 2003. He was Deputy Chancellor of the University from 1978 to 1997.[3]

Medlin was awarded the degree of Doctor of the University in 1987, and the Centenary Medal in 2001 "For creative and productive involvement in all aspects of the work, life and culture of universities".[9]

Medlin's interests included membership and administrative roles in the University of Adelaide Staff Association, the Federation of Australian University Staff Associations, the University of Adelaide Theatre Guild, the University of Adelaide Postgraduate Students Association (APSA) and the Adelaide University Union.[3]


  1. ^ Harry Medlin (6 July 2011). "Physics at the University of Adelaide: A synopsis from 1948–1990" (PDF). School of Physical Sciences, University of Adelaide. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  2. ^ Colman, Peter Malcolm (1969). The physical structure of two parabanic acid complexes and an investigation of short intermolecular carbon-oxygen contacts. trove.nla.gov.au (PhD thesis). University of Adelaide. hdl:2440/19998. OCLC 222734513. icon of an open green padlock
  3. ^ a b c d Husband, Kate. "Harry Medlin, a remarkable man, a remarkable life". University of Adelaide. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  4. ^ Obituary, pg 3, May 2013 Newsletter, Adelaide Technical High School Old Scholars Association Inc.
  5. ^ Kovak, Anna (2015). "ASIO's surveillance of Brian Medlin". Flinders Journal of History and Politics. 31: 112–138 – via Proquest.
  6. ^ a b "S02918". Australian War Memorial. 9 December 1982. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  7. ^ "MORE MEN HOME". The Chronicle. Adelaide, SA: National Library of Australia. 1 November 1945. p. 28. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  8. ^ "2/AIF Service Record of SX 13860 Lieut. E.H. Medlin". smartsheep.org. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  9. ^ "Centenary Medal". It's an Honour. 1 January 2001. Retrieved 16 May 2015.