Lindemann, Frederick Alexander

Lindemann (1886-1957, created Baron Cherwell in 1941 and Viscount in 1956), "The Prof.", was educated at the Real-Gymnasium then at the Hochschule in Darmstadt and, finally, at the Physikalisch-Chemisches Institut in Berlin, where he obtained his PhD in 1910. During the war he was an experimental pilot and director of the Physical Laboratory of the Royal Aircraft Factory at Farnborough; in 1919 he was elected Dr Lee's professor of experimental philosophy (i.e. physics) at the University of Oxford, a chair attached to Wadham College of which he remained a fellow until his retirement. In 1921 Lindemann was also elected to a Studentship at Christ Church, where he lived from 1922, becoming Harrod's companion of long nights of discussions.

Lindemann's political views were extremely conservative. In the interwar years he was especially concerned with air defence, and on such a programme he unsuccessfully stood for Parliament for Oxford University (1935 and 1937). At the outbreak of the war he became personal assistant to Churchill at the Admiralty and head of his statistical section, of which Harrod was also a member. His friendship with Churchill began in 1921, and his influence on him was profound. Cherwell was a member of Churchill's shadow cabinet after the war, and principal opposition spokesman in the House of Lords on economic affairs. He was Postmaster General from 1951 to 53, as he had been in 1942.

See list of letters .

Source: DNB ; wwwO; Harrod, The Prof. (1959); F. E. Smith (Lord Birkenhead), The Prof in Two Worlds. The Official Life of Professor F. A. Lindemann, Viscount Cherwell (London: Collins, 1961).


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