Oliver John Whitley

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Oliver John Whitley (1912 – 2005), son of J. H. Whitley, was a broadcasting administrator who worked for most of his life for the BBC.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Born 12 February 1912 in Halifax, Yorkshire, the third child and second son of John and Margherita Whitley. Like his father, Oliver was a boarder in Wiseman's House, Clifton College where he was resident between 1925 and 1930. He went on to read History and Law at New College, Oxford and qualified as a Barrister.[2] He married Elspeth Catherine Forrester-Paton in May 1939 and they had four sons and one daughter.[3]


Oliver joined the BBC in 1935 and, at the outbreak of World War II moved to the Monitoring Service at Wood Norton monitoring Nazi broadcasts. He resigned in 1941 following a dispute over the proposal to move the unit to Caversham Park.

He enlisted with the RVNR, serving in Europe including the Dieppe raid and the Normandy landings and the Far East in the Malaya landings[3] and liberation of Singapore.

On demobilisation in 1946, he rejoined and remained with the BBC until his retirement. He had a long and influential career, much of which was with the External Services[2][4]

Later life[edit]

He retired in 1972, with his wife, to Oban. He died on 22 March 2005 in Benderloch, Argyll,[1] at the age of 93.


  1. ^ a b The Independent, 24 March 2005: Obituary of Oliver Whitley
  2. ^ a b Old Cliftonians Magazine 2005: Obituary of Oliver J. Whitley
  3. ^ a b Malcolm Bull's Calderdale Companion
  4. ^ BBC World Service FAQ