Returning to a job in the physics department at Auckland, Gascoigne worked on military optics, developing gun sights and rangefinders, although he did not remain there for long. Richard van der Riet Woolley, director of the Commonwealth Solar Observatory in Canberra (now Mount Stromlo Observatory), sought out Gascoigne because his "experience in optical work [was] unique" and Gascoigne was "trained in a way that no one else in Australia has been qualified". When in 1941 Gascoigne was offered a research fellowship by Woolley, he moved to Canberra. The Solar Observatory staff had similar responsibilities to those Gascoigne had held in New Zealand. His first task was to design an anti-aircraft gun sight, and he was also involved in a range of other military optical projects. In 1944, the Melbourne Observatory, home to the Commonwealth Time Service, was closed. Gascoigne reestablished the Time Service at Mount Stromlo, using two Shortt-Synchronome clocks and astronomical observing equipment that he and his colleagues adapted; the Time Service remained at Mount Stromlo until 1968. The knowledge and experience Gascoigne gained during the war proved valuable. He was at the only facility in Australia where optical work could be done, from design and manufacture to assembly and testing. Gascoigne developed a wide range of skills and "finished up quite practical, especially with a screwdriver."
A decade after Gascoigne first met Rosalie in New Zealand, she travelled to Canberra, and on 9 January 1943 they were married. Their first son, Martin, was born in November, and their second, Thomas, was born in 1945.
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