Updated 25 Mar 2008
WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900
Sir Frank Watson Dyson FRS 1868-1939.
Frank Watson DYSON 1868-1939.
Frank Dyson lived in St Johns Street, Wirksworth from the age of
1 to 3 years. He was born in Measham to Watson and Frances Dyson,
and moved out of Wirksworth in 1871.
He went on to become Astronomer Royal and the man who proved Einstein
was right by looking at the stars during an Eclipse in 1919. Today he
is best known as the man who introduced the six pips on the radio,
the Greenwhich Time Signal.
His father Watson was a Nonconformist
minister who preached for a time at the Baptist chapel in Wirksworth.
Later the family moved to Halifax, where Frank won a scholarship to
Bradford Grammar school and studied mathematics at Cambridge University.
In 1924, as Astronomer Royal at Greenwhich and with the help of the BBC
he introduced the Greenwich Time Signal. He died in 1939, 4 years
after retiring from Greenwich, on a sea trip to Australia and was buried
He has a crater on the moon named after him, and an asteroid too.
Einstein's General Theory of Relativity predicted that the mass of
the sun would warp space-time sufficiently to bend light from distant
stars. This effect, though very small, was first seen and measured at
the 1919 eclipse in Brazil. Sir Frank declared:
"After a careful study of the plates, I am prepared to say that there
can be no doubt that they confirm Einstein's prediction."
Honours and memorials
Fellow of the Royal Society - 1901
President, Royal Astronomical Society - 1911 - 1913
Knighted - 1915
President, British Astronomical Association, 1916 - 1918
Royal Medal of the Royal Society - 1921
Bruce Medal - 1922
Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society - 1925
KBE - 1926
Entry in 1871 Census for Wirksworth
#25---St John Street---[Wirksworth]---
Watson DYSON Head M 33 M Baptist minister Stalybridge LAN
Frances DYSON Wife M 31 F Long Breadon BKM
Frank Watson DYSON Son 3 M Measham
Ethel Mary DYSON Dau 2 F Measham
Edgar Hamew DYSON Son 9m M Wirksworth
Harriett GORDIONI U 13 F General servant Wirksworth
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