AIM25 : Click here to go back to the AIM25 homepage
Archives in London and the M25 area

Gallop, John Winston (b 1910)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0120 GC/160
Held at: Wellcome Library
  Click here to find out how to view this collection at ›
Full title: Gallop, John Winston (b 1910)
Date(s): 1949-1980
Level of description: Collection level
Extent: 8 boxes
Name of creator(s): Gallop | John Winston | b 1910 | engineer
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

John Gallop born 1910; Junior posts with the Bournemouth and Poole Electricity Supply Company, 1932-1936; Technical Assistant, Bournemouth and Poole Electricity Supply Company. Designed and installed the company's first multiple earthing scheme, 1936-1942; Technical Officer, Telecommunications Research Establishment, Malvern - Deputy Leader of team developing radar transmitters for the RAF, 1942-1946; Senior Scientific Officer, Ministry of Supply Atomic Energy Research Establishment, Harwell - leader of team developing the synchrotron, 1946-1948; Senior Cyclotron Engineer, MRC - organising recruitment of the Radiotherapeutic Research Unit's cylotron team at Hammersmith Hospital, and supervising the design and construction of the first medical cyclotron, with accompanying laboratory buildings which also contained an 8 MeV linear acceleration, 1948-1958; Senior Executive Research Engineer in charge of Gas Discharge Physics at the Nelson Research Laboratories, English Electric Co., Stafford (part of the High Temperature Physics Team under Dr R Latham at Imperial College, London), 1958-1971.

Chronology of the Cyclotron Project: Dr Constance Wood's work at the Radium Institute on comparison of radium and 22 kV X-Rays indicated that higher voltages of radiation give the best dose distribution, c 1940; 2 MeV Van de Graaff generator designed and built at Hammersmith Hospital by J W Boag for the MRC's Radiotherapeutic Research Unit, directed by Constance Wood. By 1945 the machine was near completion, but design had been overtaken by new accelerators such as the linear accelerator, 1941; Dr L H ('Hal') Gray joined the Hammersmith Hospital team to include radiobiology in the Unit's programme. He discovered that X-radiation is less effective than neutron bombardment unless oxygen is present, and since tumours tend to be anoxic, a cyclotron was needed to produce neutrons, 1945; The MRC decided to install both a 10 MeV Linear Accelerator and a 60" or 65" cyclotron at Hammersmith, the latter to provide the facilities for research into neutron therapy, radiobiology and isotope production. JWG was appointed Senior Cyclotron Engineer, having worked on the team at the Telecommunications Research Establishment, Malvern, which produced the first synchrotron, 1948; Gallop put together a team to build the cyclotron themselves, with Derry Vonberg in charge of the vacuum system, Bill Powell of the magnetic field and ion source, and Peter Waterton to design the v.f. system, based at a former Prisoner of War camp on Scrubs Common next to the hospital; Gallop undertook tour of existing cyclotrons in the USA, 1950; Proposal to cancel the whole project due to excessive quotation for building led to redesign. Sir Harold Himsworth, MRC Secretary, convened an advisory committee chaired by Sir Ernest Rock Carling, which, under the guidance of Professor Mayneord, approved the building of a 45" cyclotron; After disagreement with L H Gray, Wood submitted a report discounting all purposes for the cyclotron other than neutron therapy. Gray and J W Boag resigned and Gallop continued with the original programme: to build a machine to be used primarily for radiobiology with isotope production as a possibility.


Scope and content/abstract:

Journal kept by John Gallop during the building of the MRC Cyclotron Unit, Hammersmith, 1949-1956, plus reports, correspondence and photographs, regarding the MRC cyclotron and many in American institutions. The 'MRC Policy' files contain reports and correspondence generated during the planning and execution of the cyclotron project, and give a good picture of the background negotiations as well as the day-to-day administration. Gallop's tutorial to the Stafford Hospital Postgraduate Medical School (G.1) summarises his view of the process. Both Gallop and J W Boag sent detailed reports of the cyclotrons which they visited in the USA in 1949-1950 (C.1-6), which Gallop prepared for publication (C.7) and lectures (C.8). The correspondence in Sections D and E contains further reports, and the personal correspondence (Section F), especially the letters from Boag, includes further thoughts on cyclotron development and use.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The collection is divided into sections as follows: A Gallop's 'Journals' Mar 1949-Sep 1956 B 'MRC Policy' files 1949-1957 C Tours of American cyclotrons, 1949, 1950 D American Universities: correspondence, etc., re US cyclotrons E Correspondence with institutions outside the USA F Personal correspondence G Writings H Photographs I MRC Cyclotron Silver Jubilee, 1955-1980.

Conditions governing access:

Open. The papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopies/photographs/microfilm are supplied for private research only at the Archivist's discretion. Please note that material may be unsuitable for copying on conservation grounds, and that photographs cannot be photocopied in any circumstances. Readers are restricted to 100 photocopies in twelve months. Researchers who wish to publish material must seek copyright permission from the copyright owner.

Finding aids:

Wellcome Library catalogue online.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

These papers and photographs were given to the Contemporary Medical Archives Centre by Gallop in two accessions, the first via J W Boag, Professor of Physics as Applied to Medicine at the University of London, in November 1993, and the second via Dr Anne Andrews in April 1994. A copy of the Cyclotron Unit Silver Jubilee history (1980) was added to this collection at Gallop's request (GC/160/I).

Allied Materials

Related material:

Of specific relevance to this collection are the records of the operation of the MRC Cyclotron Unit and Radiotherapeutic Research Unit (SA/MCU) and the papers of Constance Wood (GC/95). Other collections of general relevance to radiotherapy are listed in an Archives and Manuscripts department sources leaflet.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Entry compiled by Barbara Ball from the Wellcome Library online catalogue.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
January 2009

Related Subject Search

* To search for other records with similar subjects, tick any subjects above then click "Run New Search"

Related Personal Name Search

* To search for other records with similar names, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"