Just who is this Peter Sydenham?


My background and Good Luck


I was born in London just before WW2 started and was evacuated to Midhurst in West Sussex. I lived for a while in Red Lion Street - on the right side of this lovely Philip Martin watercolour bought on a visit. 

Our family migrated to Adelaide, South Australia in 1951 where I have lived as 'base camp' ever since. I started work as an electrical apprentice. Wanting to know how and why the technical world ticks led me to into an academic career in engineering. 

After gaining the BE (hons) and ME at University of Adelaide, with my wife and baby daughter, I moved to Warwick University for a PhD research period. After a decade in NSW, as an academic in geophysics, I returned to Adelaide to be a Professor and Head of a School of Electronic Engineering. Three decades later I took early retirement. I had been awarded the higher doctorate, DSc, by the University of Warwick for my research and publications. 

Over the years my interest was fired up by the oft asked question "What did my Dad do in WW2?"

Hence the renewed and deepened interest; first of my story in Midhurst; and then on to wanting to know what, where, and who were part of that story. I thought 80 pages would be all I could usefully write because there seemed to be little to find... but it blossomed into an expected 10 volume task!

I was so lucky to be sent to the Midhurst District for my formation years.

My writing roots


I have always been attracted to writing. It started in a uni student rag in 1964. My trade and technical hands-on background led to freelancing technical articles in the monthly magazine, Electronic Today International. They covered general science, and my career speciality of measurement and instrumentation. After a 35 year career in academic teaching and research I had published many text and research books and been a book series Editor for Wiley, in Chichester. I think this all prepared me to take on the Midhurst Memoirs project in 2013.

Working far away in Adelaide, Australia has not been a problem: the Internet, and its email, provide most of what is needed. If I lived locally I would still be using it just the same. I do, however. miss the coffees there or a beer in a local pub. Locals are so helpful to me when needed.  I made renewal visits in 2014 and 2015.

My style


Having been trained in academic reporting and also in popular technical styles I felt the need to now write in a more relaxed manner, somewhere between the two extremes.

In the Midhurst WW2 Memoirs my aim is to bring facts together by leading readers through my own little evacuation  story, using that to draw out the thrilling back stories of those around us in the Midhurst Rural District of the time. In the time sequential volumes I will lead you through time as your host.