Harman Patil (Editor)

1952 in the United Kingdom

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1952 in the United Kingdom

Events from the year 1952 in the United Kingdom. This year sees a change of monarch.



  • Monarch – George VI (until 6 February), Elizabeth II
  • Prime Minister – Winston Churchill (Conservative)
  • Events

  • 5 January – Prime Minister Winston Churchill arrives in the United States for an official visit and talks with President Harry S. Truman.
  • 10 January – An Aer Lingus Douglas DC-3 aircraft on a London–Dublin flight crashes in Wales due to vertical draft in the mountains of Snowdonia, killing twenty passengers and the three crew.
  • 16 January – Sooty, Harry Corbett's glove puppet bear, first appears on BBC Television.
  • 30 January – British troops remain in Korea, where they have spent the last 18 months, after a breakdown of talks that were aimed at ending the Korean War.
  • 1 February – The first TV detector van is commissioned in Britain, as the beginning of a clampdown on the estimated 150,000 British households which have unlicensed television sets.
  • 6 February – George VI dies at Sandringham House aged 56. It is revealed that he had been suffering from lung cancer. He is succeeded by his 25-year-old daughter, The Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, who ascends to the throne as Elizabeth II. The new Queen is on a visit to Kenya at the time of her father's death and returns to London the following day.
  • 8 February – Queen Elizabeth II proclaimed Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland at St James's Palace.
  • 14 February–25 February – Great Britain and Northern Ireland compete at the Winter Olympics in Oslo and win one gold medal.
  • 15 February – The funeral of King George VI takes place at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. His body has been lying in state in Westminster Hall since 11 February.
  • 21 February – Compulsory identity cards, issued during World War II, abandoned.
  • 26 February – Churchill announces that the United Kingdom has an atomic bomb.
  • 1 March – The British Psychological Society is founded.
  • 31 March – Computer scientist Alan Turing is convicted of "gross indecency" after admitting to a consensual homosexual relationship in Regina v. Turing and Murray. He consents to undergo oestrogen treatment to avoid imprisonment.
  • 29 April – University of Southampton chartered, first post-war university established.
  • 2 May – The De Havilland Comet becomes the world's first jet airliner, with a maiden flight from London to Johannesburg.
  • 3 May – Newcastle United win the FA Cup for a record fifth time. Last year's winners retain the trophy with a 1-0 win over Arsenal at Wembley Stadium. The only goal of the game is scored by Chilean-born forward George Robledo, the first foreigner to score in an FA Cup final.
  • 21 May – Eastcastle Street robbery: a post office van is held up in the West End of London and £287,000 stolen, Britain's largest postwar robbery up to this date; the robbers are never caught.
  • June – Reindeer reintroduced to the Cairngorms of Scotland.
  • 1 June – A one shilling charge is introduced for prescription drugs dispensed under the National Health Service.
  • 5 July – The last of the original trams runs in London; the citizens of London turn out in force to say farewell.
  • 19 July–3 August – Great Britain and Northern Ireland compete at the Olympics in Helsinki and win 1 gold, 2 silver and 8 bronze medals.
  • 19 July – Len Hutton is appointed as the England cricket team's first professional captain for 65 years.
  • 16 August – Lynmouth Flood: 34 people killed in a flood at Lynmouth in Devon. Many other people are injured and numerous buildings are damaged.
  • 6 September – Farnborough Airshow DH.110 crash: 31 people killed when a plane breaks up over the crowd at the Farnborough Airshow.
  • 19 September – English film star Charlie Chaplin, sailing to Britain with his family for the premiere of his film Limelight (London, 16 October), is told that he will be refused re-entry to the United States until he has been investigated by the U.S. Immigration Service. He chooses to remain in Europe.
  • 29 September – The Manchester Guardian prints news, rather than advertisements, on its front page for the first time.
  • 3 October – Operation Hurricane: the UK explodes its first atomic bomb in the Monte Bello Islands, Australia.
  • 5 October – Tea rationing ends, after thirteen years, as announced by the government two days earlier.
  • 8 October – Harrow and Wealdstone rail crash in north London claims the lives of 108 people.
  • 19 October – A small Welsh republican group, Y Gweriniaethwyr, make an unsuccessful attempt to blow up a water pipeline leading from the Claerwen dam in mid Wales to Birmingham. The Claerwen reservoir is officially opened on 23 October.
  • November – Royal College of General Practitioners established.
  • 14 November – The magazine New Musical Express publishes the first UK Singles Chart.
  • 25 November – Agatha Christie's play The Mousetrap starts its run at the New Ambassadors Theatre in London. It will still be running in London sixty years later, having transferred next door to St Martin's Theatre in 1974.
  • 4–9 December – Great Smog blankets London, causing transport chaos and, it is believed, around 4,000 deaths.
  • 29 November – First GPO pillar box of the present reign to be erected in Scotland, on the Inch housing estate in Edinburgh, is attacked in protest at its bearing the Royal Cipher of Elizabeth II, considered historically incorrect in Scotland.
  • 10 December – Archer Martin and Richard Synge win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for their invention of partition chromatography".
  • 12 December – BBC children's television series Flower Pot Men debuts.
  • 25 December – The Queen makes her first Christmas speech to the Commonwealth.
  • December – End of Utility furniture scheme.
  • Undated – Geoffrey Dummer proposes the integrated circuit.
  • Publications

  • H. E. Bates' novel Love for Lydia.
  • John Bingham’s novel My Name is Michael Sibley.
  • Agatha Christie's novels Mrs McGinty's Dead (Hercule Poirot) and They Do It with Mirrors (Miss Marple).
  • Dorothy Edwards' children's stories My Naughty Little Sister.
  • Richard Gordon's comic novel Doctor in the House.
  • David Jones' epic poem The Anathemata: fragments of an attempted writing.
  • C. S. Lewis' novel The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
  • Mary Norton's children's novel The Borrowers.
  • Evelyn Waugh's novel Men at Arms, first of the Sword of Honour trilogy.
  • Births

  • 10 January – George Turpin, English boxer
  • 10 January – Tim Healy, actor
  • 1 February – Andrew Smith, politician
  • 4 February – Steve Smith, English theorist and academic
  • 25 February – Joey Dunlop, Northern Irish motorcycle racer (died 2000)
  • 11 March – Douglas Adams, author (died 2001)
  • 22 March – Des Browne, politician
  • 28 March – Tony Brise, racing driver (died 1975)
  • 11 April – Peter Windsor, sports reporter
  • 12 May
  • Valerie Caton, diplomat, British Ambassador to Finland
  • Nicholas Underhill, lawyer and judge
  • 3 May – Allan Wells, Scottish athlete
  • 7 June – Liam Neeson, Northern Irish actor
  • 17 June – Estelle Morris, politician
  • 15 July – Ann Dowling, mechanical engineer
  • 21 August – Joe Strummer, musician (The Clash) (died 2002)
  • 30 September – Jack Wild, actor (died 2006)
  • 3 December – Mel Smith, comic actor and director (died 2013)
  • 10 December – Clive Anderson, presenter, comedy writer, barrister
  • 20 December – Jenny Agutter, actress
  • Deaths

  • 6 February – George VI (born 1895)
  • 4 March – Charles Scott Sherrington, physiologist, Nobel Prize laureate (born 1857)
  • 15 March – Nevil Sidgwick, chemist (born 1873)
  • 21 April – Sir Stafford Cripps, Chancellor of the Exchequer (born 1889)
  • 6 July – Marian Cripps, Baroness Parmoor, pacifist (born 1878)
  • 6 September – Gertrude Lawrence, actress (born 1898)
  • 29 September – John Cobb, racing car and motorboat driver (born 1899)
  • 30 September – Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor, businessman and politician (born 1879)
  • 23 October – Windham Wyndham-Quin, 5th Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl, politician (born 1857)
  • 28 October – Billy Hughes, Welsh-descended Prime Minister of Australia (born 1862)
  • 15 December – Sir William Goscombe John, sculptor (born 1860)
  • 19 December – Colonel Sir Charles Arden-Close, cartographer (born 1865)
  • References

    1952 in the United Kingdom Wikipedia

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