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UWC Returns Lord Mountbatten Antiquity to the IET

On 11 June 2018, at the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) annual engineering lecture in honour of the Earl Mountbatten of Burma, a groundbreaking piece of technology from the 20th century, presented to Lord Mountbatten in 1965, returns to its original home at the IET.

In photo, from left to right: Dr Hayaatun Sillem (Chief Executive, Royal Academy of Engineering), Nick Winser (President of IET), Tim Knatchbull, Nigel Fine (CEO of IET) and Jens Waltermann (Executive Director, UWC).

The Travel Master Dictaphone machine, in a leather case, was presented to Earl Mountbatten of Burma on 24 June 1965 by the Institute of Electronic and Radio Engineers (IERE) on the occasion of its 40th anniversary dinner at the Savoy Hotel in London. Lord Mountbatten, a former Fleet Wireless Officer in the Royal Navy, became a member of the IERE in 1935. He had been Vice President, Vice Patron and twice President of the IERE. He commented at the dinner that the dictaphone had been designed and patented by a member of the IERE, forerunner of the IET.

Lord Mountbatten extensively used the dictaphone late in his life working as Chair of United World Colleges International (UWC), a movement of 17 residential international schools and educational programmes around the globe making education a force for peace and a sustainable future. When Lord Mountbatten was tragically assassinated in 1979, the dictaphone stayed with UWC. 

Following the presentation by Lord Mountbatten’s grandson, Tim Knatchbull, the dictaphone will now be housed in IET’s exhibition 100 Objects that Changed the World, marking the continued close collaboration between the two organisations. HRH The Duke of Edinburgh who, like his uncle Lord Mountbatten, developed an early interest in the UWC movement is Senior Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, which was represented at the ceremony by its Chief Executive Dr Hayaatun Sillem.