Lord Rutherford on the Golf Course
Published by the author with assistance from Trinity College 1976
33 pages. Soft Cover.
6 black/white plates
The last few copies are available to collectors from
AAS Publications (books (at] ask-a-scientist.net).
NZ$50, US$50, UER40, BP30, C$55 (World-wide airmail included).
My Comments on This Book
During the 1920s and the 1930s, Ernest Rutherford played golf most Sunday mornings at the
Gog Magog course. The changing group were all Fellows of Trinty College and, if not then
then later, Fellows of the Royal Society. These included Rutherford's son-in-law Ralph
Fowler, Francis Aston, Charles Ellis, Geoffrey Taylor, Richard Southwell, Francis Roughton
and Charles Darwin. Frederick Mann, a member of the Gog Magog club since 1923, was an
occasional member of the group, more so in later days.
This delightful little book tells of this boisterous group; progressing round the
course, exerting one-upmanship, and discussing science. It gives a rare insight into
Rutherford's nature, but also Ashton's and Fowler's.
In an addendum Frederick Mann recounts two insightful stories involving Rutherford not
at the golf course; the cow's tail story as told by Rutherford and the aftermath of
Kapitza's detention by Russian. Frederick Mann is the only Cambridge person who recorded
that he had heard Ern reminisce about his life in New Zealand but regrettably by the time
I interviewed him in December of 1979 he had gone senile. The onset had occurred prior to
him writing the book.
p28-9 The cow's tail story has several discrepencies from the first hand account told by Jim Rutherford.