The RCSA are delighted to announce these Ellingham Awards, instituted in 2023, and named for the late Harold Johann Thomas ‘Tom’ Ellingham.

The RCSA propose to fund 35 awards, each of £20, which will allow an RCS student who is already receiving hardship support to attend an RCS or RCSA formal dinner at a reduced price. The awards will be administered by the RCSU president who will allocate awards by ballot from those qualifying students who apply.

More awards, or fewer awards, or larger awards may be made as funds allow.

‘Tom’ Ellingham was born in London in 1897 and died, aged 78, in 1975. Tom studied chemistry at the Royal College of Science from 1914 to 1916 and then went off as part of the Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force to Iraq from 1917 to 1919 with the Royal Engineers. He returned to College and was promoted from demonstrator to lecturer in 1922 and to a reader in 1937 and, very unusually, became a lecturer to all three constituent colleges. Tom expended enormous energy in the collection of monies for the Memorial Fund which purchased the sports ground, the boat house and the war memorial plaques. He spoke with thousands of students and ex-students in the process. He became a member of the ’22 Club in 1926 and was Vice President of the ’22 Club (a post mostly about contact between past and current members) from 1927-1930. He became secretary of the Royal College of Science Old Students’ Association (precursor to the RCSA) in 1933, and by the time that Tom passed on the secretariat in 1938 the membership of the RCSA had more than doubled. In 1945, he left IC to become Secretary of the Royal Institute of Chemistry. He stayed in close contact with the club, became president of the RCSA for 1946-1948, and regularly attended events until his death.

Tom was unconditionally generous with his time and his energies and the awards that bear his name reflect those characteristics. Tom also had a deep affection for the traditions of the Royal College of Science, of which the formal dinner is possibly the longest standing. Whilst Tom’s name is forever connected with his eponymous ‘Ellingham Diagrams’, we are delighted to remember his name in the context of Imperial College and the RCSA.

(if you like the support we offer to our students why not help us do more? Consider making a donation to the RCSA Trust here. With no staff and no building costs you can be assured that every penny of your donation will be gratefully received and faithfully applied to assist the students of the Royal College of Science).