Home Bright Sparcs
Biographical entry

Home | Browse | Search | Previous | Next
Be a Bright Sparcs Supporter

Malcomson, Thomas James (1909 - 1994)

Archival/Heritage SourcesPublished Sources
Born: 10 May 1909  Collingwood, Victoria, Australia.  Died: 7 November 1994  Preston, Victoria, Australia.
Thomas James Malcomson was a member of the Ministry of Munitions for over thirty years. In 1940 he joined the Engineering Division and was Project Manager in the Ordnance Production Directorate for four years during the war. In this role Malcomson helped establish an Optical Munitions Industry which produced previously unavailable precision optical components and assemblies for weapons for use by the British and Australian troops. In 1946 he left the Ministry for the private industry but returned eighteen months later as an Engineer (Grade 1) at the Ordnance Factory in Maribyrnong. In 1953 Malcomson was promoted to Senior Engineer and at some time during the next eight years spent three-and-a-half months as Acting Engineer-in-Charge at the Sydney office of the Ordnance Section. However, in 1961 due to a major restructure at both the Bendigo and Maribyrnong Ordnance Factories Maclomson was demoted to Technical Officer because of a technicality and his lack of formal qualifications. Despite this, he continued with the Ministry and even spent the first few months training his replacement. In 1967 the Director of the Ordnance Supply Branch made a formal request to have Malcomson re-instated as an Engineer, but the outcome of this request is unknown. In 1972 Malcomson was retired on medical grounds by the Commonwealth Medical Officer and he and his family moved to Seaspray in Victoria’s Gippsland region.

Career Highlights

1933 - 1937Fitter at Johns & Waygood Ltd., South Melbourne
1937 - 1938Fitter(?) at Holeproof Ltd., Brunswick
1938Fitter at Filtration and Water Softening Pty. Ltd. (five months)
1938 - 1939Moved to New Zealand for eight months and worked as a Fitter at Reid New Zealand Rubber Mills Ltd (three months)
1940 - 1941Engineer in the Tool and Jig Section of the Engineering Division at the Government Ordnance Factories
1941 - 1942Assistant Project Supervisor of Optical Munitions at the Production Division of the Government Ordnance Factories
c. 1942Attended the Optical Munitions Panel Meeting at the University of Sydney
1942 - 1943Project Supervisor (Grade 1) of Optical Munitions at the Government Ordnance Factories
1943Project Supervisor (Grade 2) of Optical Munitions at the Government Ordnance Factories (five months)
1943 - 1946Member of the Scientific Instruments and Optical Panel
1943 - 1946Senior Project Supervisor of Optical Munitions at the Government Ordnance Factories
1944 - 1946Secretary of the Optical Industry Advisory Panel (Secondary Industries Commission)
1945Notes on the Australian Optical and Fine Instrument Industry report written
1946 - 1947Works Manager at the F. & R. Tough works in Perth (18 months)
1948 - 1951Engineer (Grade 1) at the Ordinance Factory in Maribyrnong, Victoria
1951 - 1952Engineer (Grade 3) at the Ordnance Section Central Office (five months)
1952 - 1961Senior Engineer with the Ordnance Section Central Office
1961 - c. 1967Technical Officer then Senior Technical Officer at the Mechanical sub-section
1972Retired from the Ministry on the Commonwealth Medical Officer's recommendation


Structure based on ISAAR(CPF) - click here for an explanation of the fields.Prepared by: Annette Alafaci
Created: 5 October 2005
Modified: 19 October 2005

Published by The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre on ASAPWeb, 1994 - 2007
Originally published 1994-1999 by Australian Science Archives Project, 1999-2006 by the Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre
Disclaimer, Copyright and Privacy Policy
Submit any comments, questions, corrections and additions
Prepared by: Acknowledgements
Updated: 26 February 2007

[ Top of page | Bright Sparcs Home | Browse | Search ]