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July 16, 2015
Particle Physics and the IET Archives

A group of four letters recently came to light in the IET Archives which were written from the physicist Sir Oliver Lodge to the Professor of Physics Silvanus P Thompson between 1900 and 1906. The two letters from 1906 were particularly interesting because they were discussing J J Thomson and the electron – Thomson was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in the same year that the letters were written (1906) for the discovery of the electron and for his work on the conduction of electricity in gases.

It is fascinating to see how two contemporary physicists view and absorb a new discovery/theory concerning particle physics in 1906 and perhaps compare it with how modern particle physicists have reacted to the discoveries/theories resulting from the work at the Large Hadron Collider beneath the Franco-Swiss border.

Extract from Letter of 6 March 1906

“My dear SPT, ashamed of delay, but I am lazy. J. J. T. [J J Thomson] atom is not a hollow shell of pos. [positive] E. [energy] it is a solid uniform mass (or sphere) or jelly of it in the substance of which the electrons are embedded. This is to get at law of direct distance, and therefore, the equal periodicity of orbits independent of varying amplitude, shape etc…… I like it much. Of course the treatment of + E [positive energy] is excessively provisional. That is the real outstanding puzzle, and until + E can be tackled the whole theory is vague.”

Extract from Letter of 17 October 1906

“Dear Silvanus Thompson, I am bringing out a new edition of ‘Modern Views of Electricity’. I don’t want to change it much less to reopen it. I shall not be dealing with the electron business: that occurs in another volume; but the old book is often enquired for, and I think would still be useful to elementary students who should not lose sight of the old facts in attending to electrons and new facts…..”

Who Were These Individuals?

Sir Oliver Lodge, FRS (1851-1940), the writer of the letters, was a British physicist and writer involved in the development of, and holder for key patents for, radio. He identified electromagnetic radiation independent of Hertz’ proof and at his 1894 Royal Institution lectures, Lodge demonstrated an early radio wave detector he named the ‘coherer’. Lodge was Principal of the University of Birmingham from 1900 to 1920 and was awarded the IEE’s Faraday Medal in 1932.

 

 

Silvanus Phillips Thompson, FRS (1851-1916), the recipient of the letters, was a professor of physics at the City and Guilds Technical College in Finsbury, and was known for his work as an electrical engineer and as an author. S P Thompson was the President of the IEE in 1899.

 

 

Sir Joseph John Thomson, OM, FRS (1856-1940) was an English physicist who was appointed to the Cavendish Professorship of Experimental Physics at the Cambridge University’s Cavendish Laboratory in 1884. In 1897 Thomson showed that cathode rays were composed of previously unknown negatively charged particles, which he calculated must have bodies much smaller than atoms and a very large value for their charge-to-mass ratio. He is therefore credited with the discovery and identification of the electron and with the discovery of the first subatomic particle. Sir J J Thomson was awarded the IEE’s Faraday Medal in 1925.

Where Did the Letters Come From?

S P Thompson’s large scientific library and pamphlet collection came to the IEE in the early 20th century some years after his death. Thompson had a habit of enclosing his correspondence with authors and scientists and engineers amongst those books and pamphlets.

In the case of the books any letters discovered inside were subsequently extracted for their own protection and now form a separate collection within the IET Archives. However not all the letters were found at the outset and further ones have emerged since that time. These four letters between Lodge and Thompson probably come from within the pages of those books and pamphlets and had been put to one side at some point over later decades. The letters have been catalogued as collection SC MSS 265 and can be consulted in the IET Archives.



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Jon Cable
Assistant Archivist
The Institution of Engineering and Technology

   

    Posted By: Jonathan Cable @ 16 July 2015 03:47 PM     Archives     Comments (0)  

28th IEE Member to Fall in World War 1 - Lieutenant H R Baldwin

Lieutenant Hubert Reginald Baldwin of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, attached ‘Nelson’ Battalion, Royal Naval Division, died 13 July 1915, the 28th member of the IEE to die in World War 1.

Hubert Baldwin was educated at Lucton School, Herefordshire (1987-1901). He was bound by Indenture as an Electrical Engineer Apprentice in June 1902 with the Ross Electric Light and Power Company Ltd, where for 3 years he was engaged upon general station work, laying mains, providing house services and in maintaining the plant of the company. On the termination of his apprenticeship in October 1904, he entered the service of The India Rubber, Gutta Percha and Telegraph Works Company Ltd of London where he worked for 10 years, only leaving to serve in H M Forces when war was declared in summer 1914. Hubert’s 1st four years were spent as Assistant Electrician usually working on testing and calibration of instruments but which included working on two cable-laying expeditions. In 1908 he was appointed Assistant to the Company’s General Engineer where he worked on administrative duties in connection with the power plant at the Silvertown factory.

Upon Hubert’s release from employment in September 1914 he was given a commission as a temporary Sub-Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. Hubert’s Battalion sailed for the Gallipoli Peninsula 15 May 1915 and he landed during the night of 30-31 May. His Battalion saw action in the Helles Operations. On 12 June 1915 he was transferred to the ‘Nelson’ Battalion, then one of the units of the 1st (Naval) Brigade, which lay at the time in reserve just north of Sedd el Bahr. Hubert’s Division was involved in the Action of Achi Baba Nullah (12-13 July 1915) and on 12 July his Division captured its objectives on the slopes of Achi Baba. Later in the evening of the 12th the Turks made a counter-attack and Hubert’s Division was called upon during the night of 12-13 July. Hubert had gone forward with his unit when it had advanced to the slopes of Achi Baba and was reported missing 13 July. As no information concerning him was obtainable, it was subsequently presumed that he had been killed in action during the heavy fighting during the night of 12-13 July.

Lieutenant Baldwin’s obituary was published in the IEE World War I Honour Roll and these details have been reproduced below.

 

 



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Jon Cable
Assistant Archivist
The Institution of Engineering and Technology

   

    Posted By: Jonathan Cable @ 16 July 2015 11:12 AM     World War I     Comments (0)  

27th IEE Member to Fall in World War 1 - Captain E G Tidd

 Captain Ernest George Tidd of the 6th (City of Glasgow) Battalion, The Highland Light Infantry (T.F.), died 12 July 1915, the 27th member of the IEE to die in World War 1.

George Tidd was educated at New College, Eastbourne, Sussex (1877-1884) where he passed the Cambridge Local Examinations. He entered the Faculty of Science in the Academie de Neuchatel, Switzerland, in September 1884 where George studied for 12 months before returning to England. Shortly afterwards he became a Pupil at the School of Telegraphy and Electrical Engineering, in London, where he took a 12 months course in electrical engineering. In the spring of 1887, at the request of the military authorities at the War Office, George delivered a course of lectures on electricity, with experiments, delivered at the School of Gunnery, Essex. In 1890 he joined Paterson & Cooper Ltd of Dalston, Engineers, as Outside Engineer principally engaged upon consulting work in connection with private lighting installations. When the company failed in 1896, George carried on the business on behalf of the liquidator. In 1897 he joined Morris, Warden & Co. of Glasgow, metal merchants and engineers, as the Company’s Engineer, and in the spring of 1914 he became a partner in the firm.

George had joined the Volunteer Force in 1900 when he was given a Commission in the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, The Highland Light Infantry, and he was promoted to Lieutenant in June 1903. On the creation of the Territorial Force in April 1908, under Lord Haldane’s Army Re-organization Scheme, his Battalion became the 6th (City of Glasgow) Battalion, The Highland Light Infantry, and when George was transferred in he was promoted to Captain. Shortly after the declaration of war in summer 1914 his Battalion mobilized and George rejoined his unit and proceeded with it to Fife for coast defence duty. George sailed with his Battalion to the Gallipoli Peninsula, via Egypt, in May 1915 and he arrived at Cape Helles 1 July 1915. A formal assault on the Turkish positions was ordered 12 July 1915 (Action of Achi Baba Nullah 12-13 July) and after a bombardment in the afternoon of the 12th his Battalion ‘went over the top’. George led the company forward and the attack resulted in the capture by his Brigade of a strong redoubt on the edge of the Kereves Dere. When he had brought his men practically abreast of the Turkish trenches, he fell having been shot through the lungs; and refusing all aid and assistance, he exhorted his men to carry on. George died quarter of an hour after he had been hit.

Captain Tidd’s obituary was published in the IEE World War I Honour Roll and these details have been reproduced below.

 

 



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Jon Cable
Assistant Archivist
The Institution of Engineering and Technology

   

    Posted By: Jonathan Cable @ 16 July 2015 10:46 AM     World War I     Comments (0)  

July 15, 2015
New ebooks added to the IT library colllection

The library service has recently added 67 new titles to its ebook service.
These are available through the Engineering and IT Reference collection (Books 24x7)

Books 24x7 logo

and can be accessed by:


Logging  onto the IET website
Navigating to:
http://www.theiet.org/resources/library/virtual-library/it-reference/index.cfm
Select title

Here I will highlight three titles:

Book cover 

Ten Essential Skills for Electrical Engineers  

by Barry L. Dorr 

IEEE Press © 2014 (268 pages)

ISBN:9781118527429

Written in a user-friendly, no-nonsense format, this book reviews practical skills using the latest tools and techniques, and helps aspiring and current engineers approach job interviews confident in their

grasp of the engineering skills that their employers seek.

Women in IT

Women in IT: Inspiring the Next Generation 

by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT 

BCS © 2014 (96 pages) 

ISBN:9781780172873

Gender diversity still poses a major challenge in the IT and telecoms industry, with women making up less than 20 percent of the IT workforce. This book seeks to encourage more girls and women to consider a career in IT by showcasing the lives and careers of female IT professionals, entrepreneurs and academics.

Book cover

Performance Measurement and Management for Engineers 

by Michela Arnaboldi, Giovanni Azzone and Marco Giorgino 

Academic Press © 2015 (184 pages) 

ISBN:9780128019023

By introducing key concepts in finance, accounting, and management to project managers who have engineering backgrounds, this book reveals how to assess the financial needs of companies in relation to their financial goals and mechanisms (e.g., equity, debt, and hybrid).

  

The full list of titles is attached below

Take a virtual tour of the service.

For more information see the Books24x7 help page.

 




   

    Posted By: Mike Dunne @ 15 July 2015 02:12 PM     Library     Comments (0)  

July 7, 2015
26th IEE Member to Fall in World War 1 - Sapper F E Tilley

Sapper Frank Edgar Tilley of the Divisional Engineers, Royal Naval Division, died 2 July 1915, the 26th member of the IEE to die in World War 1.

Frank Tilley was educated at the Lyttleton Grammar School, Great Malvern (1894-1898) and at the Intermediate School for Boys Newport (1898-1902) where he passed the Matriculation Examination of the University of London in 1901. In September 1902 having left school Frank was apprenticed as Pupil with Tannett, Walker & Co. Ltd of Leeds, mechanical and hydraulic engineers, for a period of 3 years. Whilst so employed he attended evening classes in mechanical and electrical engineering under Professor John Goodman and others at the Yorkshire College. Following termination of his apprenticeship Frank joined Laurence Scott & Co Ltd of Norwich where he spent 12 months erecting and testing electrical plant and machinery. Frank then took up a similar position with The Lancashire Dynamo and Motor Company Ltd before leaving to join Siemens Brothers’ Dynamo Works Ltd, London, as an engineer in September 1907. He then spent 5 years with the company based in Cardiff supervising the contract work at various collieries. In November 1912 Frank resigned to go to Brazil and work as an Assistant Electrical Engineer with The St John Del Rey Mining Company Ltd. He then returned to the UK in 1913 with the expectation of taking another appointment in Brazil but because of the increasingly uncertain political situation Frank sought engagement with other employers until the outbreak of war.

In September 1914, shortly after the declaration of war Frank enlisted in the then newly raised Divisional Engineers, Royal Naval Division, in September 1914 and was put through military training in Kent. His Division was placed under orders to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, and in consequence sailed for the East on 28 February 1915. Frank’s Division was sent to the Gallipoli Peninsula and took part in the Battles of Helles (25 April to 6 June 1915). After these battles no further attacks on a wide front were carried out during the remainder of June, but the Turks remained active in carrying out minor operations. A vigorous local offensive (Action of Gulley Ravine) took place 28 June to 2 July 1915 and during this action Frank was with his Company, then with supporting troops, on the morning of 30 June. The Turks were shelling the British positions heavily; a shrapnel shell burst near him, and he was hit in the abdomen by one of its fragments, being mortally wounded. He was conveyed to the Casualty Clearing Station at ‘Lancashire Landing’, where he succumbed to his injuries 2 days later.

Sapper Tilley’s obituary was published in the IEE World War I Honour Roll and these details have been reproduced below.



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Jon Cable
Assistant Archivist
The Institution of Engineering and Technology

   

    Posted By: Jonathan Cable @ 07 July 2015 09:32 AM     World War I     Comments (0)  

25th IEE Member to Fall in World War 1 - Sapper A H Ogden

Sapper Arthur Haydock Ogden of the Divisional Engineers, Royal Naval Division, died 18 June 1915, the 25th member of the IEE to die in World War 1.

Arthur Ogden, having passed the Matriculation Examination of the Joint Board of the Northern Universities, entered the Municipal School of Technology, Manchester, in September 1907 and took the 3 year course in electrical engineering under Professor A Schwarz. He graduated a Bachelor of Technical Science in the Manchester University in June 1910. Arthur was apprenticed as a Pupil with The Lancashire Dynamo and Motor Company Ltd, Manchester in August 1910 which lasted for 3 years. At the end of the apprenticeship Arthur was engaged by the company as an Assistant and employed on its Technical Staff.

Arthur relinquished his position with the company on the outbreak of war in the summer of 1914, in order to join H M Forces. He enlisted in the then newly raised Divisional Engineers, Royal Naval Division, in September 1914 and was put through military training in Kent. His Division was placed under orders to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, and in consequence sailed for the East on 28 February 1915. Arthur’s Division was sent to the Gallipoli Peninsula and took part in the Battles of Helles (25 April to 6 June 1915). After these battles no further attacks on a wide front were carried out during the remainder of June, but the Turks remained active in carrying out minor operations. Arthur was on duty on 18 June 1915 in connection with the maintenance of the signal communications to the battalions of the 1st (Naval) Brigade, which were then in the front-line trenches. The Turks then began to shell the divisional front. While he was at work in the trenches, a shell which exploded near him sent its fragments flying in all directions; he was hit by one of them and killed instantaneously.

Sapper Ogden’s obituary was published in the IEE World War I Honour Roll and these details have been reproduced below.



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Jon Cable
Assistant Archivist
The Institution of Engineering and Technology

   

    Posted By: Jonathan Cable @ 07 July 2015 09:30 AM     World War I     Comments (0)  

24th IEE Member to Fall in World War 1 - Lieutenant H L Downes

Lieutenant Herbert Laidlaw Downes of I/8th (Irish) Battalion The King’s (Liverpool Regiment) (Territorial Force), died 15 June 1915, the 24th member of the IEE to die in World War 1.

Herbert Downes was educated at the Willesden High School, London (1895-1898) and at Craven Park College, Harlesdon, London (1899-1902). After spending a further 3 years in technical education and training he joined D Santoni & Co. Ltd in February 1906 and was appointed Manager of the company’s Liverpool Branch Office where he had control of the business in Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cheshire relating to electric lighting schemes for factories and collieries. Herbert resigned this position at the end of 1907 and went into business on his own specialising in electric lighting work. In June 1909 he was joined by P L Davies with whom he founded the firm of Downes and Davies, Liverpool, wholesale electrical engineers, merchants and manufacturers.

Herbert was mobilized on the declaration of war in August 1914, but retained an interest in his firm until the date upon which he fell in action. His Division began to cross the Channel to France 29 April 1915. Shortly after his arrival in France, he was appointed Brigade Machine-Gun Officer to the 154th Infantry Brigade, and graded as Staff Lieutenant. As part of the Second Action of Givenchy (15-16 June 1915) Herbert was noted as performing heroic service during the attack in regulating and arranging for the ammunition supply of his Brigade, which suffered very serious casualties. He was among those reported missing at the end of the first day’s fighting and it was later concluded that he had been killed in action or had died of his wounds on or since 15 June 1915.

Lieutenant Downes’s obituary was published in the IEE World War I Honour Roll and these details have been reproduced below.



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Jon Cable
Assistant Archivist
The Institution of Engineering and Technology

   

    Posted By: Jonathan Cable @ 07 July 2015 09:27 AM     World War I     Comments (0)  

23rd IEE Member to Fall in World War 1 - Lance-Corporal A H Read

Lance-Corporal Ayton Herbert Read of the Divisional Engineers, Royal Naval Division, died 10 June 1915, the 23rd member of the IEE to die in World War 1.

Ayton Read was educated at Bedford Grammar School from 1891 to 1895. He then entered the City and Guilds Central Technical College and took the 3-year course in electrical Engineering under Professor W E Ayrton (President of the IEE in 1892) which he completed in 1898 and received the College Diploma. Ayton was apprenticed as a Pupil with Ransomes & Rapier Ltd of Suffolk in August 1898 starting initially in the firm’s electrical department, then after 3 years in the workshops he moved into the Drawing Office in 1901. Ayton stayed with the firm after his pupillage but left in 1904 to join The Lancashire Dynamo and Motor Company of Manchester as an Estimating Engineer. He then left that employment to go abroad with Balmer, Laurie & Co Ltd of Calcutta as an Assistant Engineer. When his contract expired 5 years later, Ayton returned to the UK and joined The Edison and Swan United Electric Company Ltd as a Manager then was sent to Toronto, Canada to open a branch office. In consequence of the closure of the office in August 1913 Ayton returned to England and resigned his appointment.

Ayton enlisted in September 1914, in the then newly raised Divisional Engineers, Royal Naval Division, and was sent for military training at a camp in Walmer, Kent. His division was allotted to the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force which sailed for the East in February 1915 and the Division was involved in The Battles of Helles (April 25 – June 6 1915). On May 25 1915, Ayton’s Division, together with the 42nd (East Lancashire) Division, managed to creep forward 100 yards nearer the Turkish position. The Turks then began to shell the British positions vigorously. During this bombardment, a projectile penetrated into his ‘dug-out’ and burst; he was stuck by its fragments and seriously wounded. He was at once admitted into the Base Hospital, Cape Helles, where he succumbed to his injuries on 10 June 1915.

Lance-Corporal Read’s obituary was published in the IEE World War I Honour Roll and these details have been reproduced below.



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Jon Cable
Assistant Archivist
The Institution of Engineering and Technology

   

    Posted By: Jonathan Cable @ 07 July 2015 09:25 AM     World War I     Comments (0)  

July 1, 2015
22nd IEE Member to Fall in World War 1 - Sub-Lieutenant W J Henry

Sub-Lieutenant Willoughby John Henry of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, attached to the ‘Anson’ Battalion, Royal Naval Division, died 4 June 1915, the 22nd member of the IEE to die in World War 1.

Willoughby Henry was educated at Greenfield Hall School, Holywell, until 1899 when he was articled as a Pupil with W O Rooper & Co. of Chester, electrical engineers, and spent 5 years in that capacity at the company’s Victoria Works, Stafford. Upon termination of the pupillage in 1904 he was engaged by the company as an Assistant and employed at Chester and in London upon general electrical engineering and contracting work. Willoughby resigned from this position in 1905 then worked for a number of companies; as a Draughtsman and Assistant Engineer for Leo Sunderland & Co, electrical engineers, London; and as Chief Engineer to the Army and Navy Auxiliary Co-operative Supply Ltd of Westminster, London. In 1912 Willoughby resigned his position to go to Vancouver Island to join the real estate business of Beaven & Co of Victoria, BC, Canada, as a partner.

Following the declaration of war in August 1914, Willoughby left his business interests in the hands of his partners, returned immediately to Great Britain, and was given a Commission, with the temporary rank of Sub-Lieutenant, in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in September 1914. Willoughby’s Battalion left Great Britain in February 1915 and was sent to the Gallipoli Peninsula, via Egypt, where it was involved in the Battles of Helles (April 25 to June 6 1915) in this region. Towards the end of May 1915 a scheme was prepared for the resumption of an offensive (Third Battle of Krithia) and orders in connection with the attack were issued 3 June 1915. About noon on 4 June 1914 Henry’s Brigade rushed forward, and his Battalion captured the southern face of a Turkish redoubt. However later that day the Brigade had to fall back to its original position when its right flank became exposed. During the thick of the day’s fighting, while Willoughby was tending to a fellow officer, who had been severely wounded, he was shot through the heart by a rifle bullet and was killed instantaneously.

Sub-Lieutenant Henry’s obituary was published in the IEE World War I Honour Roll and these details have been reproduced below.



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Jon Cable
Assistant Archivist
The Institution of Engineering and Technology

   

    Posted By: Jonathan Cable @ 01 July 2015 09:49 AM     World War I     Comments (0)  

21st IEE Member to Fall in World War 1 - Second-Lieutenant H J G Davison

Second-Lieutenant Henry James Goddard Davison of the 13th (Service) Battalion, The Prince of Wales’s Own (West Yorkshire Regiment), attached to the 1st Battalion The Lancashire Fusiliers, died 4 June 1915, the 21st member of the IEE to die in World War 1.

Henry Davison was educated at St Paul’s School London until 1905 when he entered Faraday House Electrical Engineering College, Southampton Row, London in May 1905 and took the course under Dr Alexander Russell (IEE President 1923-24). Henry completed the course in 1909 and was awarded the Faraday House Diploma after which he was engaged by The North Wales Power and Traction Company Ltd of Llanberis, and employed as a shift engineer. He spent 2 years at the Cwm Dyli hydro-electric power station, Carnarvon, during which he became Senior Charge Engineer. Henry then worked in a variety of positions for various companies; Assistant Commercial Engineer in the Foreign Department of Veritys Ltd, Birmingham; Assistant Electrical Engineer for consulting engineers Kincaid, Waller, Manville & Dawson in London; and Engineer in Charge of the Central Office and Power Station in Stowmarket, for the Suffolk Electricity Supply Company Ltd.

Following the declaration of war in August 1914, Henry relinquished his position to serve in the Army. Henry’s Battalion was sent to the Gallipoli Peninsula and was involved in the Battles of Helles (April 25 to June 6 1915) in this region. Towards the end of May 1915 a scheme was prepared for the resumption of an offensive (Third Battle of Krithia) and orders in connection with the attack were issued 3 June 1915. At noon on 4 June 1914 Henry’s Company ‘went over the top’. Whilst leading his Platoon forward Henry was hit and fell mortally wounded (almost the whole Platoon was killed). It was not until a month later that this portion of ground was eventually won by British troops and it became possible to bury the bodies of those who fell in action on 4 and 5 June 1915.

Second-Lieutenant Davison’s obituary was published in the IEE World War I Honour Roll and these details have been reproduced below.



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Jon Cable
Assistant Archivist
The Institution of Engineering and Technology

   

    Posted By: Jonathan Cable @ 01 July 2015 09:46 AM     World War I     Comments (0)  

20th IEE Member to Fall in World War 1 - Sergeant G S Bradbury

Sergeant George Swanwick Bradbury of the I/6th Battalion, The Manchester Regiment (T F), died 4 June 1915, the 20th member of the IEE to die in World War 1.

George Bradbury was educated at Manchester Grammar School which he left in 1900. He then worked for 3 years with Graham & Co. Ltd before being bound by indenture as a ‘School Apprentice (Electrical)’ with The British Westinghouse Electric Manufacturing Company Ltd. On completion of his apprenticeship in 1907 he was engaged by British Westinghouse as an Improver in the Testing Department where he spent 5 years. In 1910 George was given a position on the ‘outside staff’ in connection with the running and erection of turbo-generator sets. Eventually in 1912 he was appointed Tester on the company’s Electrical Testing Staff and in 1913 was appointed Foreman.

Following the declaration of war in August 1914, George received mobilization orders and was released from his civil occupation. George’s Battalion was eventually sent to the Gallipoli Peninsula and was involved in the Battles of Helles (April 25 to June 6 1915) in this region. Towards the end of May 1915 a scheme was prepared for the resumption of an offensive (Third Battle of Krithia) and orders in connection with the attack were issued 3 June 1915. At noon on 4 June 1914 his Brigade ‘went over the top’ and was involved in bitter fighting incurring heavy losses that day. On the conclusion of the battle George was reported missing. Nothing was heard of him after he went forward in the charge and as a consequence it was presumed that he was killed in action or died of his wounds on or after 4 June 1915.

Sergeant Bradbury’s obituary was published in the IEE World War I Honour Roll and these details have been reproduced below.

 



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Jon Cable
Assistant Archivist
The Institution of Engineering and Technology

   

    Posted By: Jonathan Cable @ 01 July 2015 09:42 AM     World War I     Comments (0)  

June 24, 2015
Early closure on Wednesday 24th June

The Library will be closing at 4pm on Wednesday 24th June due to an event booking. 

We apologise for any inconvenience to our users. 


   

    Posted By: Edward James Kemp @ 24 June 2015 10:43 AM     Service changes     Comments (0)  

June 22, 2015
19th IEE Member to Fall in World War 1 - Corporal R P Hulton

Corporal Ralph Pacey Hulton of the Divisional Engineers, Royal Naval Division, died 1 June 1915, the 19th member of the IEE to die in World War 1.

Ralph Hulton became a Pupil with the Northallerton Electric Light and Power Company in 1901 where he spent two years gaining practical experience. Following the termination of his pupillage in 1903 Ralph joined Messrs Crompton & Co. of Chelmsford as an electrical engineer where he was principally employed in the Arc Lamp Testing Department. After leaving Crompton & Co. in 1909 he became Managing Director of Rowland & Hulton Ltd before giving up his directorship in 1911 to become a member of staff for Holophane Limited (Scientific Illumination) in London as a Commercial Engineer.

Following the declaration of war in August 1914, Ralph relinquished his position in order to serve in H.M. Forces. Ralph enlisted in September 1914 with the then newly raised Divisional Engineers, Royal Naval Division. In May 1915 Ralph’s Division was involved in fighting on the Gallipoli Peninsula. On May 30 1915 the 2nd (Naval) Brigade was in the front line, and as usual he was with his Section at Brigade Headquarters, being employed at the time on duties in connection with the maintenance of signal communications with the units manning the trenches. He was hit during the day by a stray bullet and was at once conveyed to hospital where an operation was performed for the extraction of the bullet. He succumbed to his injuries two days later (1 June 2015).

Corporal Hulton’s obituary was published in the IEE World War I Honour Roll and these details have been reproduced below.

 



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Jon Cable
Assistant Archivist
The Institution of Engineering and Technology

   

    Posted By: Jonathan Cable @ 22 June 2015 02:01 PM     World War I     Comments (0)  

18th IEE Member to Fall in World War 1 - Second-Lieutenant E Swinton

Second-Lieutenant Ernest Swinton of the Royal Field Artillery, died 28 May 1915, the 18th member of the IEE to die in World War 1.

Ernest Swinton, entered the University of Liverpool in 1909 and took a four year course in mechanical and electrical engineering. He joined the Liverpool Corporation Electric Supply Department in July 1913 and was appointed Station Engineer at the Corporation’s Lister Drive Power Station.

Following the declaration of war in August 1914, E Swinton relinquished his position in order to serve in the Army. He enlisted in the Royal Engineers in August 1914 and then was given a commission in the Royal Field Artillery in December 1914. Swinton’s Division was involved in the Battle of Festubert (May 15 to 25 1915). On the morning of the 18th May, Ernest went forward to reconnoitre a position for his trench mortars, and whilst doing so was severely wounded by the fragments of a shell that burst near him. He was immediately conveyed to No.7 Stationary Hospital, Boulogne. Poison had entered his system and it became necessary to amputate his right leg and arm. He was subsequently moved to the UK, and sent to St Thomas’s Hospital, Westminster, for treatment, where he succumbed to his wounds on May 28 1915.

Second-Lieutenant Swinton’s obituary was published in the IEE World War I Honour Roll and these details have been reproduced below.

 



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Jon Cable
Assistant Archivist
The Institution of Engineering and Technology

   

    Posted By: Jonathan Cable @ 22 June 2015 01:43 PM     World War I     Comments (0)  

June 16, 2015
17th IEE Member to Fall in World War 1 - Private E C H Slater

Private Eric Conrad Henry Slater of the I/6th Battalion, The Manchester Regiment, died 28 May 1915, the 17th member of the IEE to die in World War 1.

Eric C H Slater, having won a Town Scholarship, entered the Municipal Technical College, Brighton, in September 1908 and took the 3 year course in electrical engineering. In August 1911 he was engaged by The British Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company Ltd, Manchester, as a mechanic. Whilst employed with British Westinghouse Eric attended evening classes in electrical engineering subjects at the Municipal School of Technology, Manchester, and in October 1913 gained the degree of Batchelor of Science (Engineering) of the London University as an external student. British Westinghouse then moved Eric to a staff position in the company’s Editorial Department.

Following the declaration of war in August 1914, E C H Slater resigned his position in order to serve in the Army. By May 1915 after a brief spell in Egypt, Eric’s Division was sent to the Gallipoli Peninsula. Towards the end of May preparations were in hand for a major attack on the enemy’s positions at Krithia and Achi Baba. On 28 May, whilst Eric was doing a tour of duty in the front-line trenches; whilst on the look-out at the parapet on that day he was hit by a sniper’s bullet and killed instantaneously.

Private Slater’s obituary was published in the IEE World War I Honour Roll and these details have been reproduced below.



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Jon Cable
Assistant Archivist
The Institution of Engineering and Technology

   

    Posted By: Jonathan Cable @ 16 June 2015 02:22 PM     World War I     Comments (0)  

16th IEE Member to Fall in World War 1 - Private J Gilbert

Private Joseph Gilbert of the I/6th Battalion, The Manchester Regiment, died 28 May 1915, the 16th member of the IEE to die in World War 1.

Joseph Gilbert was born in Australia in 1884 and was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree from Adelaide University in 1907. He came to the UK in late 1909 and was employed by The British Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company where he worked in the testing department, then the contracts department, before becoming a commercial engineer.

Following declaration of the war in the summer of 1914, J Gilbert relinquished his position in order to serve in the Army and he enlisted in August 1914. By May 1915 after a brief spell in Egypt, Joseph’s Division was sent to the Gallipoli Peninsula. His Battalion was on May 27 in the support trenches on the left front of his Brigade, near the ‘vineyard’, south of Krithia. In the evening, he was advancing with his unit to the site of new trenches, which were to be dug beyond the British lines and nearer the enemy’s position, when he was hit by a bullet. He was conveyed to the Casualty Clearing Station at ‘Lancashire Landing’, where he succumbed to his wounds on the following day.

Private Gilbert’s obituary was published in the IEE World War I Honour Roll and these details have been reproduced below.



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Jon Cable
Assistant Archivist
The Institution of Engineering and Technology

   

    Posted By: Jonathan Cable @ 16 June 2015 02:20 PM     World War I     Comments (0)  

May 29, 2015
15th IEE Member to Fall in World War 1 - Private N V Lloyd

Private Norman Victor Lloyd of the I/6th Battalion, The Manchester Regiment, died 27 May 1915, the 15th member of the IEE to die in World War 1.

N V Lloyd entered the Municipal School of Technology, Manchester, in 1903, with a Manchester Corporation Scholarship and took the 3 year course in electrical engineering under Professor Schwartz. He then became a ‘College Apprentice (Electrical)’ with The British Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company. Following termination of the apprenticeship, he was engaged by the British Westinghouse Company, and appointed a Correspondent in the company’s Sales Management Department.

Upon declaration of the war in the summer of 1914, N V Lloyd relinquished his position in order to serve in the Army. By May 1915 after a brief spell in Egypt Norman’s Division was sent to the Gallipoli Peninsula. On the night of May 27th, his Battalion went forward to dig a new line of trenches within a short distance of the Turkish position at Krithia; he was hit during the advance to the site of the new line and mortally wounded. He was placed on a stretcher and whilst being conveyed to the Regimental Aid Post succumbed to his injuries.

Private Lloyd’s obituary was published in the IEE World War I Honour Roll and these details have been reproduced below.

 

 

 

 



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Jon Cable
Assistant Archivist
The Institution of Engineering and Technology

   

    Posted By: Jonathan Cable @ 29 May 2015 05:10 PM     World War I     Comments (0)  

IEE Institutional Involvement in WW1 - Council Minutes Extracts - May 1915

Council meeting of 27 May 1915

“468. The following reports and recommendations of the Finance Committee on various matters were adopted [only minute (b) showing]:

(b) Further enlistment of members of the staff.

The following members of the staff have applied for and have been granted permission to enlist (see Minute No.338(b), 14 January 1915):-

Name                   Age       Salary         Length of Service           Remark

H J Nunn             26          £110           12 ¼ years                      Married

C W Skinner       20            £80             2 ¼ years                       Single

F C Harris           17            £50             2 ½ years                       Single

The places of these employees will be kept open for them. In the case of Mr Nunn, the Committee have decided to pay him half salary and also the amount (about £5) of his contributions under the Staff Provident Scheme. In the case of Mr Skinner and Mr Harris, the Committee propose to pay no salary.”

“470. The President brought before the Council proposals which he had received from Mr H W Handcock in connection with

(a) making arrangements with the war Office for the employment in electricity supply stations of Territorials who have enlisted for Home Service only.

(b) the issue of certificates of exemption from military service of employees of electricity supply stations who cannot be spared (see Minute No.433, 15 April 1915).

It was agreed to inform Mr Handcock that the Council are unable to take action as suggested, and that the matters could best be dealt with as part of a scheme of national organisation.

It was further agreed to refer to the National Service Committee the question of employing disabled soldiers as switchboard attendants.”

“472. The President reported that at the Conference held on 6th May (see Minute No.449, 29 April 1915) of representatives of gas and electricity undertakings, resolutions were carried calling upon the government to take steps

(a) to increase the output of coal from the pits;

(b) to give greater facilities for the transport of coal by rail;

(c) to have regard, in requisitioning steam colliers, to the requirements of the public utility undertakings which depend for their supplies on sea-borne coal;

(d) to reduce the price of coal to reasonable limits;

and that a deputation had

(a) attended on the Coal Exports Control Committee appointed by the government, and laid before them the views of the Conference; and

(b) arranged for a Conference with Members of Parliament at the House of Commons at 5 o’clock on Wednesday, the 9th June.”

[Note: there were no Council meetings in June 1915]

 



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Jon Cable
Assistant Archivist
The Institution of Engineering and Technology

   

    Posted By: Jonathan Cable @ 29 May 2015 04:20 PM     World War I     Comments (0)  

May 20, 2015
13th and 14th IEE Members to Fall in World War 1

Lieutenant Sidney Gudgeon of the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion, attached to 2nd Battalion, The Manchester Regiment, died 14 May 1915, the 13th member of the IEE to die in World War 1.

Second-Lieutenant Harry Gustav Byng of the 2nd Battalion, The Border Regiment, died 16 May 1915, the 14th member of the IEE to die in World War 1.

Sidney Gudgeon was employed in the Drawing Office of Electromotors Limited as an Electrical Designer when war was declared and relinquished his position in order to serve in the Army. On May 14 1915 he was superintending a working party of his unit engaged in digging new trenches near the German lines and they were working under continuous rifle fire from the Germans. Sidney was hit by a stray bullet, which pierced his heart and killed him instantaneously.

Harry Gustav Byng was the 3rd son of Gustav Byng, founder and First Chairman of The General Electric Company. After completing his studies at Harvard University in the USA, then exploring Canada, he spent a few months as a pupil with The General Electric Company of Schenectady, NY in 1913, before returning to the UK in late 1913 with the intention of taking up a position in his father’s company. When war was declared he decided to serve in the Army and enlisted. In the early hours of May 16 1915 there was an attack against the German position south of Festubert. Harry’s Division carried out this attack. Harry’s Battalion which was on the extreme left of the Division was held up for a time. Then whilst he was leading his Platoon forward in the attack, he was mortally wounded and died on the field at the spot where he had been struck down.

Lieutenant Gudgeon’s and Second-Lieutenant Byng’s obituaries were published in the IEE World War I Honour Roll and these details have been reproduced below.



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Jon Cable
Assistant Archivist
The Institution of Engineering and Technology

   

    Posted By: Jonathan Cable @ 20 May 2015 10:21 AM     World War I     Comments (0)  

May 14, 2015
Nuclear Reactor Plates in the IET Archives

Amongst the items held by the IET Archives are two nuclear reactor plates taken from the Merlin nuclear reactor. However, there is no need for the archivists to get out a Geiger counter every time we bring out the plates because they are information plaques attached to the outside of the reactor. The first plaque, shown below is from the opening of the reactor in November 1959.

 

 

The Merlin Reactor and Aldermaston

Merlin was a 5 MW research reactor at Aldermaston Court, Aldermaston, Berkshire, England, which operated from 6 November 1959 until 1962 before its license was revoked/surrendered in 1963. It was the first commercial scientific reactor in Britain and was privately owned and operated by Associated Electrical Industries (AEI). A British Pathé recording of the opening of the reactor (without sound) can be found on the British Pathé website here - Merlin Reactor Opening.

Aldermaston Court is a country house and park built in the Victorian era for the British Member of Parliament, Daniel Higford Davall Burr (1811-1885) with elements incorporated from buildings of earlier centuries that had been present on the site. In 1939 AEI bought the house and immediate grounds for £16,000, but despite this purchase, the government soon earmarked the location for an airfield, RAF Aldermaston. During WWII the land and house were requisitioned by the government as a barracks for the Women’s Land Army.

After the war, the airfield remained in use but after the airfield’s closure in 1950, the park was returned to AEI, which used it as a plasma research laboratory. AEI built the now demolished reactor between the house and its lake. This facility became the UK’s Atomic Weapons Research Establishment later the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) for research, commissioning, and de-commissioning of most such weapons.

How did the plaques come under the care of the IET Archives?

A little of the provenance of these items is unclear but they most likely came into the archives with the donation of the papers of Douglas Richard Chick, FIEE.

In 1946 Chick joined the Research Laboratory of AEI at Aldermaston, where he was appointed Section Leader of the Nuclear Physics Section. He later became Group Leader of the newly-formed Nuclear Sciences Group. In 1963, after the closure of the Merlin reactor, Chick moved to become Research Manager of the Vickers Company Research Laboratory, Ascot, where he remained until 1966, when he was appointed Professor and Head of the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the new University of Surrey. The Chick papers include many of AEI’s research papers including reports about the Merlin reactor.

The second plaque, which is shown below, perhaps hints at the frustration of the engineers, technicians and scientists at Aldermaston when the Merlin reactor was shut down in 1962.



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Jon Cable
Assistant Archivist
The Institution of Engineering and Technology

   

    Posted By: Jonathan Cable @ 14 May 2015 09:01 AM     Archives     Comments (0)  

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