Frank Caplin
One of Britain’s top radio communications experts, Mr Frank Caplin, has died aged 82.
Born in August 1906 in London’s East End, he was the second son of Russian parents.
A scholar at Grocers School, he left at 14 and finally found his way into working at a radio shop where he discovered a talent for repairing and building radios.
He studied at night for his BSC and on qualifying took his first steps in electronics by joining Philip’s and working for them both in England and Holland. He continued his studies and qualified as an electrical engineer, procuring his first research position on the date of his daughter’s birth.
At the outbreak of war he was directed into the Ministry of Defence Research Establishment to develop radio communications.
On the insistence of his superiors, and despite his Russian parentage, he was security cleared for top-secret research and taken on the permanent staff of the Establishment. He made frequent trips to Canada and the USA and in 1945 was enlisted as a Major in the Royal Signals Corps and sent to Germany to investigate and report on scientific secrets there.
After the war, he remained with the establishment until 1956 when he joined the British Communications Corporation in London as director of research and development.
His company was merged into the Racal Electronics Group, where he developed the “Clansman” Field communication system which was sold to the British Army and to governments worldwide.
In 1974, Mr Kaplan was appointed OBE for his services to export. He remained a consultant to Racal for many years after his retirement, and indeed, maintained links with the group until his death. He also played bridge and chess at county level.
He leaves a widow, Bobby, a daughter, Ann, and a granddaughter, Gina.