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Arthur James Leyland

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Arthur James Leyland (1898-1951)


1951 Obituary.[1]

Arthur James Leyland, B.Sc.Tech., who died on the 26th February, 1951, was born on the 16th August, 1898. His death at the early age of 52 is a loss both to his company and to the electrical industry in general, for in this more than in most other walks of life one needs "the heart to conceive, the understanding to direct, and the hand to execute." He became Director and Joint General Manager of the Automatic Telephone and Electric Co. and a Director of British Telecommunications Research after wide experience and extensive travel, and he had that enthusiasm for realities without which, as Emerson has said, nothing great is ever achieved.

He received his early education at Wigan Grammar School and his engineering education at the Manchester College of Technology. After a three years' training course in the electrical industry he joined the Automatic Telephone Manufacturing Co. (now the A.T. and E. Co.) in 1923. His well-trained mind was for several years devoted to the many activities associated with the design and equipment of Strowger automatic telephone exchanges, notably those of the London director network. Then followed a decade of foreign experience and enterprise in the development of the Company's interests abroad. He was Resident Engineer in Buenos Aires from 1928 to 1929, in Antwerp in 1931, in Poland in 1931 and 1932, in Lithuania in 1933. From 1934 to 1939 he was European Engineer to the Company, concerned with telephone projects in Belgium, the Baltic States, Poland and Russia. Following this wide experience, he was appointed—in 1939—Chief Engineer to the Company, and a few years later, in 1943, he was elected to the Board of Directors.

To a natural diligence he brought a seemingly boundless energy. He had the capacity to inspire as well as to lead, and these qualities were given unstintingly in the trying war years, when so much was demanded of so many, and in the tension of the times the human strains and stresses were apt to be overlooked. Apart from the exacting demands made upon him in so many ways at the Strowger works, he played a prominent part in the Emergency Services Organization for the preservation of industry on Merseyside during the hectic days when the Port suffered so heavily. Every new responsibility found him ready for the task. His achievements were obvious, but the strain took its toll. In 1946 he was stricken with a serious malady. He bore what was a severe trial bravely and well, and courage and patience were demanded of him in heavy measure. There were times when it seemed that a complete recovery had been made, but this was not the case.

The loss which his co-directors, the staff and workpeople of the A.T. and E. Co. and its associated companies feel so deeply is shared by a wide circle of friends and acquaintances in telecommunication circles at home and overseas, and the deepest sympathy goes out to Mrs. Leyland and her little daughter in their bereavement.

He joined The Institution as a Student in 1920 and was elected a Graduate in 1925, an Associate Member in the same year and a Member in 1945.



1951 Obituary.[2]

WE have learned with regret of the death, on February 26th, of Mr. Arthur James Leyland, joint general manager of Automatic Telephone and Electric Company; Ltd., Liverpool, and a director of British Telecommunications Research, Ltd. Mr. Leyland, who was fifty-two, was educated at Wigan Grammar School and at Manchester University, where, in 1920, he obtained the degree of B.Sc. Tech. with honours in electrical engineering. His early years in the telephone manufacturing industry were spent with the Peel Conner Telephone Company, Ltd.-which was later taken over by the General Electric Company, Ltd.-of Salford and Coventry.

Mr. Leyland joined Automatic Telephone and Electric Company, Ltd., in 1923 and for some years was closely concerned with the design, manufacture and installation of automatic telephones, including the supply of director equipment to the London network. Subsequently he was engaged in furthering his company's overseas interests and became successively resident engineer in Buenos Aires, Antwerp, Poland and Lithuania. From 1934 to 1939 Mr. Leyland was European technical engineer for telephone schemes undertaken by the company in Belgium, Poland, Lithuania, Denmark, Latvia and Russia. He was appointed chief engineer at the Liverpool works in 1939, and four years later was elected a director and became general manager. Mr. Leyland was elected an Associate Member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers in 1925 and was transferred to full membership in 1944.


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Sources of Information

  1. 1951 Institution of Electrical Engineers: Obituaries
  2. The Engineer 1951 Jan-Jun: Index