Ronald McKinnon Wood OBE (1892-1967) was the son of Thomas McKinnon Wood and Isabella Mill Sandison. 

Early life and educationEdit

Ronald was the 4th child of Thomas and Isabella, and was born in Highgate, London. He had 7 other siblings: Hugh, Alexander, Thomas, Meta, Erland, Norman, and Lorna.

Ronald mckinnon wood 1956

Ronald in 1956, after it was announced he would be Chairman of the LCC for 1957-1958

Ronald attended Highgate School, Merchant Taylors' School and Pembroke College, Cambridge.

Personal lifeEdit

Marriage Edit

Ronald married Gwendolene Spicer on the 27th March 1918 in London.


He had three children with Gwen: David, Alistair and Eva.


Ronald joined Royal Aircraft Establishment from 1914-1934, and was Principal Scientific Officer of the aerodynamics department there for much of it[1]. His time there involved the creation and operatiion of wind tunnels[2], and from 1916-1922 became part of a group of men who worked at the department called "The Chudleigh Mess"; Chudleigh was the name of the house they all lived in in Farnborough, and socialised together outside of normal working hours[3].

Ronald mckinnon wood chudleigh mess

"The Chudleigh Mess" in 1917. Ronald is circled in red

In 1934, after the tragic death of his colleague and friend Hermann Glauert [2], Ronald left the world of aeronautics for a career in politics. However, in 1940, he worked for the Ministry of Aircraft Production after the outbreak of WW2[1].

From 1946-1961 he was a Labour Member of the London County Council for Bethnal Green, and was also Chairman of London County Council 1957-1958[4].

  1. 1.0 1.1 New Scientist, 16th June 1960, pp. 1557
  2. 2.0 2.1 New Scientist, 16 June 1960, pp. 1532-1534

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