Ernest Rutherford
Born: 30 Aug, 1871
Died: 19 Oct, 1937
Burial Date: 25 Oct, 1937
Field: Scientist
Location in the Abbey: Nave
Type of memorial: Stone
Type of material: Stone

The ashes of the eminent physicist Ernest, 1st Baron Rutherford of Nelson were interred in the nave of Westminster Abbey, near to the graves of Newton and Lord Kelvin, on 25 October 1937. The inscription reads:


He was born on 30 August 1871 near Nelson in New Zealand, son of James and Martha (Thompson). After education in New Zealand he moved to Cambridge University and then to McGill University in Montreal. He married Mary Newton in 1900 and they had a daughter (who died in 1930). In 1908 he received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. He continued Sir Joseph John Thomson's work on atomic physics and after much work on radioactivity he moved to the study of the structure of the atom. In 1920 he predicted the existence of the neutron. He was Cavendish Professor of Experimental Physics at Cambridge and also President of the Royal Society and was awarded the Order of Merit. In 1914 he was knighted and in 1931 was made a baron. He died on 19 October 1937.

A photograph of the gravestone can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library.

Further reading:

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004

See also

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