Born 26 April 1894 at Nottingham, son of Elijah Trueman and Thirza (née Cottee). He was educated at the High Pavement School, Nottingham (1906-11) and the University College of Nottingham. He graduated in 1914 with first-class honours in geology and was awarded the degrees of M.Sc. in 1916 and D.Sc. in 1918, for his resarch on Jurassic rocks and fossils. From 1917 to 1920 he was assistant lecturer in the University College, Cardiff, and then, 1920-30, head of the geology department in the new University College of Swansea; 1930-33 Professor of Geology and head of the department of geography at Swansea; 1933-37 Chaning Wills Professor of Geology at the University of Bristol; and 1937-46 Professor of geology at the University of Glasgow. 1946-49 he was deputy chairman and 1949-53 chairman of the University Grants Committee in the very important transition years of the universities from war to peacetime conditions with the resultant great expansion. He was chairman of the Geological Survey Board, 1943-54, again during the period of postwar expansion of the Survey, when work in the British coalfields was greatly intensified. In 1945-47 he was president of the Geological Society of London, and was awarded the Bigsby Medal of that Society in 1939, and their highest award, the Wollaston Medal, in 1955. Other distinctions which he gained were the Gold Medal of the South Wales Institute of Engineers in 1934, LL.D. hon. causa of the Universities of Rhodes, Glasgow, Leeds and Wales, Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1938 and F.R.S. in 1942. He was created K.B.E. in 1951.
His considerable research on Jurassic stratigraphy and palaeontology was internationally acclaimed, but he is best remembered for his work on the Coal Measures of Britain and especially on the use of the non-marine lamelli-branchs. This work, The Coalfields of Great Britain (1954), made a considerable contribution to the development of both the exposed and concealed coalfields of Britain. He was interested in the popularization of science and wrote widely on the geology and scenery of England and Wales (1938, 1949).
He married Florence Kate Offler in 1920 and they had one son, Dr. E.R. Trueman, a distinguished zoologist. He died 5 January 1956.
Published date: 2001
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