Cuthbert Thicknesse

The Very Rev Cuthbert Carroll Thicknesse[1] (19 November 1887 – 2 June 1971) was Dean of St Albans[2] from 1936[3] until his retirement in 1955.

Born into an ecclesiastical family of Lancashire landed gentry,[4] the son of Ven. Francis Norman Thicknesse,[5] and educated at Marlborough and Keble College, Oxford, he was ordained in 1913.[6] He was firstly a Curate of St John-at-Hackney[7] and then a Temporary Chaplain to the Forces, during which time he married Rhoda Oonah Marjorie Madan Pratt.[8] He was wounded at Ypres and became Rector of Badsworth,[9] after which he was Rector of Wigan Parish Church[10] and an Honorary Chaplain to the King before his elevation to the Deanery. A fierce opponent of nuclear weapons,[11] he refused to hold a service of celebration in St Albans Cathedral at the cessation of the war with Japan in August 1945.[12] He was described in his obituary as “a high church man and convinced Anglican”.[13]


  1. ^ NPG details
  2. ^ National Archives details
  3. ^ New Dean Of St. Albans Appointment Of Canon Thicknesse The Times Thursday, Mar 05, 1936; pg. 14; Issue 47315; col G
  4. ^ Burke's Landed Gentry, 1871, vol. II, pg 1370
  5. ^ Kelly's Handbook to the Titled, Landed and Official Classes, 1969, Kelly's Directories, pg 1925
  6. ^ Burke’s Peerage
  7. ^ Parish web site
  8. ^ Peerage News
  9. ^ Crockford's Clerical Directory1940-41 Oxford, OUP,1941
  10. ^ Wigan Parish Church Incumbents
  11. ^ Opposition to nuclear weapons
  12. ^ Obituary Dean Thicknesse The Times Thursday, Jun 03, 1971; pg. 17; Issue 58189; col G
  13. ^ Times Obituary (ibid)
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Edward Lowry Henderson
Dean of St Albans
1936 –1955
Succeeded by
Arthur Kenneth Mathews
Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

During the final stage of World War II, the United States detonated two nuclear weapons over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945, respectively. The United States dropped the bombs after obtaining the consent of the United Kingdom, as required by the Quebec Agreement. The two bombings killed 129,000–226,000 people, most of whom were civilians. They remain the only use of nuclear weapons in the history of armed conflict.

In the final year of the war, the Allies prepared for what was anticipated to be a very costly invasion of the Japanese mainland. This undertaking was preceded by a conventional and firebombing campaign that destroyed 67 Japanese cities. The war in Europe had concluded when Germany signed its instrument of surrender on May 8, 1945. As the Allies turned their full attention to the Pacific War, the Japanese faced the same fate. The Allies called for the unconditional surrender of the Imperial Japanese armed forces in the Potsdam Declaration on July 26, 1945—the alternative being "prompt and utter destruction". The Japanese rejected the ultimatum and the war continued.

By August 1945, the Allies' Manhattan Project had produced two types of atomic bombs, and the 509th Composite Group of the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) was equipped with the specialized Silverplate version of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress that could deliver them from Tinian in the Mariana Islands. Orders for atomic bombs to be used on four Japanese cities were issued on July 25. On August 6, one of the modified B-29s dropped a uranium gun-type bomb codenamed "Little Boy" on Hiroshima. Three days later, on August 9, a plutonium implosion-type bomb codenamed "Fat Man" was dropped by another B-29 on Nagasaki. The bombs immediately devastated their targets. Over the next two to four months, the acute effects of the atomic bombings killed 90,000–146,000 people in Hiroshima and 39,000–80,000 people in Nagasaki; roughly half of the deaths in each city occurred on the first day. Large numbers of people continued to die from the effects of burns, radiation sickness, and other injuries, compounded by illness and malnutrition, for many months afterward. In both cities, most of the dead were civilians, although Hiroshima had a sizable military garrison.

Japan announced its surrender to the Allies on August 15, six days after the bombing of Nagasaki and the Soviet Union's declaration of war. On September 2, the Japanese government signed the instrument of surrender, effectively ending World War II. The effects of the bombings on the social and political character of subsequent world history and popular culture has been studied extensively, and the ethical and legal justification for the bombings is still debated to this day.

Dean of St Albans

The Dean of St Albans is the head of the Chapter of St Albans Cathedral in the city of St Albans, England in the Diocese of St Albans. As the Dean of St Albans is also the Rector of St Albans, with parochial responsibilities for the largest parish in the Church of England, it is regarded as one of the most senior Deaneries in the United Kingdom.

The Chapter and Dean of St Albans was founded and constituted by Letters patent in February 1900. The first incumbent was Walter Lawrance and the position is currently held by Jeffrey John.

Debate over the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

The debate over the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki concerns the ethical, legal, and military controversies surrounding the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 August and 9 August 1945 at the close of World War II (1939–45). The Soviet Union declared war on Japan an hour before 9 August and invaded Manchuria at one minute past midnight; Japan surrendered on 15 August.

On 26 July 1945, United States President Harry S. Truman, United Kingdom Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Chairman of the Chinese Nationalist Government Chiang Kai-shek issued the Potsdam Declaration, which outlined the terms of surrender for the Empire of Japan as agreed upon at the Potsdam Conference. This ultimatum stated if Japan did not surrender, it would face "prompt and utter destruction". Some debaters focus on the presidential decision-making process, and others on whether or not the bombings were the proximate cause of Japanese surrender.

Over the course of time, different arguments have gained and lost support as new evidence has become available and as new studies have been completed. A primary and continuing focus has been on the role of the bombings in Japan's surrender and the U.S.'s justification for them based upon the premise that the bombings precipitated the surrender. This remains the subject of both scholarly and popular debate. In 2005, in an overview of historiography about the matter, J. Samuel Walker wrote, "the controversy over the use of the bomb seems certain to continue". Walker stated, "The fundamental issue that has divided scholars over a period of nearly four decades is whether the use of the bomb was necessary to achieve victory in the war in the Pacific on terms satisfactory to the United States."Supporters of the bombings generally assert that they caused the Japanese surrender, preventing massive casualties on both sides in the planned invasion of Japan: Kyūshū was to be invaded in November 1945 and Honshū four months later. It was thought Japan would not surrender unless there was an overwhelming demonstration of destructive capability. Those who oppose the bombings argue it was militarily unnecessary, inherently immoral, a war crime, or a form of state terrorism. Critics believe a naval blockade and conventional bombings would have forced Japan to surrender unconditionally. Some critics believe Japan was more motivated to surrender by the Soviet Union's invasion of Manchuria and other Japanese-held areas.

Norman Thicknesse

(Francis) Norman Thicknesse (b Deane, Lancashire 9 Aug. 1858 - d St Albans 13 April 1946) was Archdeacon of Middlesex, from 1930 until 1933.Of a Lancashire landed gentry family, the son of a bishop he was educated at Winchester and BNC. He held incumbencies in Limehouse, Northampton and Hornsey. He was Rector of St George's, Hanover Square from 1911 to 1933; and Rural Dean of Westminster from 1912 to 1927.His son was Cuthbert Thicknesse, Dean of St Albans from 1936 to 1955.


Thicknesse is an English surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Cuthbert Thicknesse (1887–1971), Dean of St Albans

Francis Thicknesse (1829–1921), Bishop suffragan of Leicester

George Thicknesse, 19th Baron Audley (1758–1818), English peer

Norman Thicknesse (1858–1946), Archdeacon of Middlesex

Philip Thicknesse (1719–1792), English writer

Ralph Anthony Thicknesse (1800–1854), British politician

Viv Thicknesse (1910–1986), Australian rugby league and rugby union player

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