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Frances, 2nd Year

Charles Peter Wroth

Picture of Charles Peter Wroth

Peter, as he was known, was the son of Dr Charles and Violet Wroth of Exeter.

After education at Marlborough College he did National Service in the Royal Artillery before coming to Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He obtained first class honours in Engineering, as well as gaining a `blue` for hockey. He also played international hockey for Wales. It was while teaching at Felsted School that he met Mary. They married in December 1954 at St. Mary the Virgin, Nottingham, on a day of thick fog. By then Peter was back at Emmanuel as an Engineering Research Student.

In 1958 he joined G. Maunsell & Partners and was site engineer for the construction of the Hammersmith Flyover, on the A4. In 1961 he returned to Cambridge, first as Lecturer in Engineering and Fellow of Churchill College, and in 1975 as Reader in Soil Mechanics. He was joint author of `Critical State Soil Mechanics` and developed the self-boring pressuremeter, an instrument that enabled analytical tests to be carried out on soil in undisturbed ground. He was appointed Professor of Engineering Science at Oxford and Fellow of Brasenose College in 1979.

Mary died in 1988 and a year later Peter married Rachel (Ray) Britton. In 1990 he was appointed Master of Emmanuel and so returned to his old college. He was a good speaker and at his farewell party in Oxford had quipped `Professors never die, they only lose their Faculties.` Only too soon he was to be proved wrong, dying just months after returning to Cambridge. Peter and Mary had four children: twins Helen and Rachel, Christopher and Richard.

Biography courtesy of Rev. Richard M Weller


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