Roy Dommett: married life as a rocket scientist

Roy Dommett's wife Marguerite recalls the tribulations of being married to a Cold War rocket scientist.

Listen to the full interview track and all other tracks from this interview on British Library Sounds

Roy: And we moved here in March 1967.

Marguerite: And the day that we moved in, he came to me with a bunch of flowers, and said, ‘Oh we’re going to...’

Roy: ‘I’m off to Australia for six weeks.’

Marguerite: ‘I’m off to Australia for six weeks.’ I said, “Ooooh,” [laughs]. I mean the workmen had helped me put the beds up, wondering where was her husband, had she got a husband. And they were the same people that had moved us into the house in Greenways. And they had a little murmur there about the fact that he wasn’t available to help me when we moved. I think they had funny ideas what was my relationship [laughs].

Interviewer: What did you actually know about what Roy was doing at the start? What did you think he was doing in the early 1960s?

Marguerite: He was working at the RAE. He worked on planes and engines and things like that. He was an aeronautical engineer, he’d qualified as, with a First Class Honours. And so I assumed it was to do with aeroplanes.

Roy: It wasn’t of course, it was guided weapons and ballistic missiles at that.

Marguerite: And he came home one day and he said, ‘We’ve got to have a talk.’ And he said, ‘I’m working on something that I think is very important, but I can’t talk to you about it,’ and said, ‘but it might help the world in the future. What do you want me to do?’ And I think he mentioned peace and other things, I can’t remember all of them. And I said, ‘If you think it’s going to do good for the world.’ ‘But I can’t tell you anything.’ I said, ‘That’s all right, I trust you, you do what you think is right and I won't ask questions.’ And I never did.

  • Interviewee Roy Dommett
  • Duration 00:01:55
  • Copyright British Library Board
  • Interviewer Thomas Lean
  • Date of interview 9/16/2010
  • Shelfmark C1379/14

Related Video Clips

Related disciplines