Flora Munro Sadler

Flora Sadler was the eldest of three children born into humble beginnings on 4th June 1912.  She left school at 15 but after her parents were persuaded by her headmaster, she returned to school, earning four Highers and winning a scholarship to study mathematics and physics at the University of Aberdeen when she was 18.  Flora graduated with honours in 1934.  

After spending the summer of 1935 with the Nautical Almanac Office (NAO) at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, studying eclipse computation, Flora joined an expedition to Siberia in 1936 in order to witness the total eclipse that occurred on the 19th June that year.  During the war, Professor John Carroll, Superintendent of the NAO, had requested Flora be transferred to help the government in their research into radar, but this request was declined and Flora remained with the NAO.  After the Second World War, Flora became the first woman to be promoted to a Principal Scientific Officer at the Royal Observatory.  In 1948, she became the first editor of the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society journal, and became Secretary in 1949 until her resignation from the post in 1954.

Flora married Donald Sadler in 1954 and continued to work at the Nautical Almanac Office until her husband retired in 1973.  After her husband’s death in 1987, Flora moved back to Aberdeen to be closer to her family.  She lived there until her death on 25th December, 2000.


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