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Biographical entry Coombes, Lawrence Percival (1899 - 1988)


9 April 1899
Madras, India
3 June 1988
Aeronautical scientist


Lawrence Coombes was the first Chief Superintendent of the Aeronautical Research Laboratories firstly under CSIR 1938-1948 and then under the Department of Supply 1949-1964. During part of 1919 he was a pilot with Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith.


Born 9 April 1899. Died 3 June 1988. CBE 1964, DFC ca 1918. Educated City and Guilds Engineering College, London (BScEng). Royal Navy Air Services and Royal Air Force 1917-19, C.A.Parsons & Co., Newcastle-on-Tyne 1920-24, Scientific Officer, Aerodynamics Department, Royal Aircraft Establishment 1924-25, first scientific officer, Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment, Felixstowe 1925-30, in charge of Seaplane Tank, Royal Aircraft Establishment 1930-38, Chief, Division of Aeronautics, CSIR 1938-48, Chief Superintendent, Aeronautical Research Laboratory, Department of Supply, Melbourne 1949-64. Lawrence Hargrave Memorial Medal 1957, Kingsford-Smith Memorial Medal 1962, Kernot Memorial Medal 1968.

Related Corporate Bodies

Archival resources

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Corporate Records and Archives Strategies

  • Lawrence Percival Coombes - Records, 1938 - 1948; Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Corporate Records and Archives Strategies. Details

State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection

  • Lawrence Percival Coombes - Records, 1900 - 1988; State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection. Details

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions


  • Johnson, Mandy; Scillio, Mark; Taylor, Angela; Buchanan, Rod; O'Sullivan, Lisa; McCarthy, Gavan, A Guide to the Records of Lawrence Percival Coombes, Australian Science Archives Project, Melbourne, 1993, 86 pp. Details

Online Resources

See also

Digital resources

Lawrence Percival Coombes


McCarthy, G.J.