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Comrie, Leslie John

Born Pukekoke, New Zealand, 15 August 1883

Died London, England, 10 December 1950

Leslie Comrie was an early leader in the modernization of computing techniques for astronomy, pioneering the use of machines to both speed production and improve the accuracy of astronomical tables. Comrie was the elder son of John Alexander and Lois Helen Comrie. His paternal grandparents immigrated to New Zealand from Scotland in the 1850s.

Comrie majored in chemistry and graduated with a BA from University College, Auckland, in 1915. He earned an MA in chemistry in 1916. Comrie developed an interest in astronomy while at University College and joined the British Astronomical Association [BAA] while still a student. After teaching for a short time at Auckland Grammar School, Comrie joined the New Zealand Expeditionary Forces and was in active service in France where he lost a leg during World War I. In 1919, Comrie