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British Industrial History

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Charles Bruce-Gardner

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Sir Charles Bruce-Gardner (1887-1960)

1960 Obituary [1]

WE regret to have to record the death of Sir Charles Bruce-Gardner, Bt., which occurred on October 1.

Charles Bruce-Gardner was born on November 6, 1887, and was educated at St. Dunstan's College and Battersea Technical College. His early studies were of mechanical engineering, both at Battersea and in the apprenticeship he served after leaving the College.

In 1913 Bruce-Gardner joined the board of John Summers and Sons, Ltd., and thus started an association with the iron and steel industry which was to last all his life. A year later, in 1914, he became a member of the Sheet Trade Board, and so began his long connection with industrial committees which was to lead later on, to a distinguished membership of various Government bodies.

In 1930 he was appointed industrial adviser to the Governors of the Bank of England, relinquishing this post in 1938 to become executive chairman of the Society of British Aircraft Constructors.

In 1938 he also became a member of the Air Council Committee on Supply, and of the Secretary of State for Air's Industrial Advisory Panel. When the Civil Aviation Planning Committee was set up in 1939, Bruce-Gardner was also appointed a member. His experience in the aircraft industry led to further appointments, including membership of the Joint Central Advisory Committee to the Production Executive, and in 1942 he became chairman of the Production Efficiency Board at the Ministry of Aircraft Production.

By 1944, when the question of changing over British industry from war to peacetime production was under consideration, Bruce-Gardner was appointed Chief Executive for Industrial Reconversion, being relieved of his duties at the Ministry of Aircraft Production in order to devote his time to this new work. When the task ended, in 1946, he returned to industry to resume his extensive connections in steelmaking.

He was for twelve years an active member of the board of Guest, Keen and Nettlefolds, Ltd., and for a long period chairman of John Lysaght, Ltd. and its subsidiary companies.

In addition, he was deputy chairman of the Steel Company of Wales, Ltd., and a member of the board of the Consett Iron Company, Ltd., and of Crompton Parkinson, Ltd.

During the later years of his life Bruce-Gardner was chairman of the British Iron and Steel Corporation and industrial adviser to the Board of Trade.

He was a Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, a member of the Iron and Steel Institute (of which he was President in 1955- 56), an honorary life member of the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, and the American Society for Metals. He was knighted in 1938 and created a baronet in 1945.

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