National Records of Scotland

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Marion Ross (1903-1994)

Marion Ross (1903-1994)

Physicist

Marion Ross carried out pioneering research in crystallography with C Arnold Beever at the University of Manchester and on the scattering of x-rays by light for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Nobel laureate Charles Glover Barkla at the University of Edinburgh. During the Second World War she worked for the Admiralty at Rosyth on underwater acoustics and hydrodynamics. This new interest led to her setting up the Fluid Dynamics Unit at the University of Edinburgh years later. She was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1951 and a reader emeritus in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh. The university has also recognised her achievements through the Marion A Ross Prize which is awarded annually to a final year student of physics and by naming a road at the King's Buildings Campus in her honour.

Birth in 1903

Marion Ross was born at 6:15 pm on 9 April 1903, the daughter of William Baird Ross, organist and teacher of music, and Marion Amelia Spence Thomas. The entry in the statutory register of births for the district of St Andrew in the burgh of Edinburgh gives her forenames as Evelyn Marion Amelia and her place of birth as 22 Royal Crescent in Edinburgh.

Birth entry for Marion Ross

Birth entry for Marion Ross (55 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1903/685-2/330

The left margin includes a note 'Alteration of child's name' and a reference to the Register of Corrected Entries (RCE), volume X, page 83, 18 June 1903.The RCE page shows her name was changed to Marion Amelia Spence based on information supplied in registration schedule D (forenames, baptismal) which was authorised by the Reverend John Smith, minister of Broughton Place Church.

RCE for birth entry of Marion Ross

RCE for birth entry of Marion Ross (159 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, RCE 1903/685-2, volume X, page 83

1911 census

In 1911 Marion A Ross, 7, was enumerated at 2 South Inverleith Avenue with her parents and younger sisters Elizabeth, Ida and Frances. The census return for the district of St George in the city of Edinburgh shows she was 'at school' and that her father worked at a merchant school and partly on his own account at home. He was born in Montrose in the county of Forfar (now Angus). The columns in line 22 'particulars as to marriage' give the duration of her parents' marriage as eight years and the number of their children born alive and still living as four.

1911 census return for Marion Ross, part 1

1911 census return for Marion Ross, part 2

Detail from 1911 census return for Marion Ross (47 and 43 KB jpegs)
National Records of Scotland, 1911/685-1/24, page 13

Death in 1994

Marion Ross, university lecturer (retired), died on 3 January 1994. The entry in the statutory register of deaths for the district of Dunfermline gives her age at death as 90 (National Records of Scotland, 1994/432/4).