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British Industrial History

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Augustus Basil Holt Clerke

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Major Augustus Basil Holt Clerke (1871-1949)

1919 Director of Harper Bean and Managing Director of Hadfields. Of 4 Ashgate Road, Sheffield.[1]

1922 C.B.E., late R.F.A., Man. Dir. Hadfields, Ltd., since 1918; b. 1871. Ed. Cheltenham College; Royal Mil. Academy, Woolwich Asst. Insp. of Steel, 1899; Instructor, Ordnance College, 1904; Chief Instructor, 1906; Inspector Royal Arsenal, 1908; Retired, 19ii; Dir., Hadfields, Ltd., 1913. Address: 4, Ashgate Road, Sheffield.

1950 Obituary [2]

"Major AUGUSTUS BASH, HOLT CLERKE, C.B.E., R.A. (retd.), whose death occurred on 13th May 1949, at the age of seventy-eight, was an active member of the Institution of Automobile Engineers for thirty-six years, and from 1947 a Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Born in 1871, he was educated at Cheltenham and subsequently passed into the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. He was gazetted second-lieutenant in the Royal Artillery in 1889, and after regimental service became assistant inspector of steel in 1899 and, subsequently, chief instructor at the Ordnance College in 1906, when he attained the rank of major. There followed a short period of service in India where he commanded the 19th Battery, Royal Field Artillery, after which he returned to Woolwich as inspector in the Armaments Inspection Department in 1908, and retired from the Service in 1911.

Later that year he joined Messrs. Hadfields, Ltd., of Sheffield, to take charge of the company's extensive ordnance department, was made a director in 1913 and became joint managing director in 1917. On the death of Sir Robert A. Hadfield, Bt., in 1940, he was appointed deputy chairman of the company, and retained that position until his retirement from active business in 1945.

During the war of 1914-18, Major Clerke was a valued member of the Sheffield Joint Works Committee, and ably assisted in increasing the output of munitions from the city, work which was recognized by the award of the C.B.E. in 1918. Major Clerke was responsible for notable improvements in heavy armour-piercing projectiles, in particular his invention of the relieved adapter, now a standard feature of heavy calibre projectiles, solved the problem of the unbroken penetration of armour and had a profound effect on naval gunnery."

A. Roebuck, M.I.Mech.E. (Vice-President).

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Western Daily Press - Monday 01 December 1919
  2. 1950 Institution of Mechanical Engineers: Obituaries