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British Industrial History

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Bertram Rowcroft

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Major General Sir Bertram Rowcroft (c1891-1963)

See E. B. Rowcroft

1964 Obituary [1]

Major General Sir Bertram Rowcroft, K.B.E. , C.B. (Member), the first Director of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, died on 27th December 1963 at the age of 72.

Educated at Haileybury and the Regent Street Polytechnic, Sir Bertram first joined the Territorial Army in 1908. A year later he decided to take up a military career and, after passing into the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, he was gazetted to the Army Service Corps in 1911. He served with transport units during the 1914-18 war and later he went out to India, Ceylon and Palestine.

His outstanding work with the Supply and Transport Directorate during the early part of the 1939-45 war made him the natural choice when a man of high organizational and technical ability was needed to guide the formation of a new technical Corps; REME. His consummate skill and great energy proved equal to the task and he not only brought the Corps into being but also made long-term plans for its role in peace. He retired in 1946 though he was able to retain his association with the Corps as Colonel Commandant from that year until 1956.

Sir Bertram became an Associate Member of this Institution in 1925 and transferred to Member in 1942. He delivered a James Clayton Lecture in 1947.

With all his brilliance and efficiency he was nevertheless a very human and charming person and he will be much missed by his many friends in all walks of life.

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