Call him William

W. G. Marley

A recurring bit player in the UK reactor story after the war is one W. G. Marley, a physicist. He crops up regularly but, in the nature of things, I wasn’t intending to mention him in the book. But in a narrative strand about the Windscale fire, he crops up so prominently that I just have to include him as “physicist W. G. Marley.” But wait – doesn’t “W. G.” sound archaic? I’d only ever seem him mentioned as W. G., is that the appellation I should use?

I decided to give him a first name. None of my references, be they books or memos, called him anything but W. G. Googling “physicist W. G. Marley,” he popped up on tons of papers, but still only as W. G. For a moment I was stuck. Then I recalled that at the tail end of the 40s he shifted over to be one of the key British people in a new profession, that of “health physicist,” dealing with radioactivity. I Googled “health physicist W. G. Marley” and nabbed him on the Atomic Heritage website. He was William Gregory Marley! Now I’ll name him: William Marley.

Of course he might have been called Glenn Marley. Or Billy Marley. But I think William will do.