University of Geneva.
During the First World War, he served with the Royal Army Ordnance Corps. Finch fell out with the Everest Committee after 1922, but his pioneering work on oxygen, which he pursued with messianic zeal, remained crucial to future expeditions. In the Alps, Finch was on the first ascent of the North Face Diagonal or "Finch Route" on the Dent d"Hérens, which he climbed with T. G. B. Forster and R. Peto on 2 August 1923.
He was a lifelong advocate and supporter of the Alpine Club and would later become its president
Between 1936 and 1952 he held the position of Professor of Applied Physical Chemistry at Imperial College London. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1938.
His candidacy citation read
"Distinguished for his knowledge of Chemical Physics and Electrochemistry, and particularly for his researches upon the electrical conditions and structure of catalytic surfaces, the mechanism of ignition and combustion in electrical discharges, and upon electron diffraction and its applications to the study of surface structure. His outstanding skill in the design of instruments and experimental methods has enabled him greatly to increase the accuracy of measurements in connection with electron diffraction and cathode-ray oscillography.
The result of his researches have been published in some 50 papers, including many in the Society"s Proceedings."
He was president of the Physical Society from 1947 to 1949.
He was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in the 1918 New Year Honours for services in connection with the War in France, Egypt and Salonika. A member of the second British expedition under General Charles Granville Bruce to Mount Everest, on 23 May 1922 Finch and Captain Geoffrey Bruce reached an altitude of 27,300 feet (8,321 m) on the north ridge before retreating. Finch was also a keen skier and was a founding members of the Alpine Ski Club in 1908.