Derek Hemy

Derek Hemy

1920 2000

Derek Hemy joined J. Lyons & Co. as Management Trainee in 1939. He did war service in the Royal Corps of Signals, returning to Lyons in 1946 in the Systems Analysis Office under David Caminer. He was selected as the first LEO programmer, a role in which his performance was outstanding. 

Hemy left LEO Computers in 1955 to take up a senior role in EMI's venture into computing with the EMIDEC. He transferred to ICL when they took over EMI Computing and later became computer consultant for Unilever. 

More biographical details in Bird, P. J. LEO: The First Business Computer, pp. 204- 205.

Hemy is noted by Peter Bird (in his book) as having spotted the sound of LEO I in the BBC's science fiction TV series Qautermass II. According to Hemy, the sound is of LEO performing weather forecasting calculations for the Meteorological Office. Hemy had worked on these and knew their characteristic rhythms.


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