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British Industrial History

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Colonel Dyer

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Henry Clement Swinnerton Dyer

Born Chobham, Surrey, 30 December, 1834, son of Sir Thomas Swinnerton Dyer and Mary Anne, his wife. His son, Leonard Whitworth Swinnerton Dyer, was born at Skipton in Craven, Yorkshire, 1875.[1]

For 7 years in the 1870s he worked for Joseph Whitworth and Co, becoming a director.

'Lieutenant-colonel Henry Clement Swinnerton Dyer was born in the year 1834 of a military family. At 18 he entered the Royal Artillery, and during his Army career he saw a good deal of active service in conflicts, some of which have now become historical. He served in the Crimea, during which campaign he had his horse killed under him, and, not only took part in the siege but was present at the fall of Sebastopol. Throughout the Indian Mutiny he was also in active service, and took part in many important engagements. ...... Colonel Dyer's connection with the engineering industry commenced with his appointment as assistant superintendent of the Government Small Arms Factory, Enfield. Afterwards he spent some years at the works of Sir Joseph Whitworth and Company Limited, Manchester, whence he proceeded to Elswick, where for many years he had the sole direction of Sir William Armstrong's great steelworks.' Latterly he was President of the Engineering Trades Employers' Federation[2]

Obituary: 'SUDDEN DEATH OF COLONEL DYER. Colonel Dyer, president of the Employers' Federation Engineers, was found dead in bed at his residence, Appleby Lodge, Rusholme, Manchester, on Monday morning. On Saturday and Sunday he stayed at home quietly, being in need of rest, and he did not transact any business of anything more than a purely private nature. His health appeared to be perfectly good. On Sunday evening when he retired to rest the household observed nothing in the colonel's appearance to cause them any anxiety, and it came as a shock when his valet upon going to his bedroom in the morning found that his master was lifeless. Dr. Helme was immediately sent for, and when made an examination of the body, he gave it his opinion that death was due to heart disease. Henry Clement Swinnerton Dyer was born in 1834. He joined the Royal Artillery at the age of 18, and saw service in the Crimea and the Indian Mutiny, retiring from the army with the rank of Lieut. Col. He became assistant Superintendent at the Government Small Arms Factory, at Enfield, and then transferred his services to Sir Joseph Whitworth, at Manchester. Thence he went to Armstrong's engineering works at Elswick, and, later, he was largely instrumental in bringing about the amalgamation the two great engineering firms. It was as head of the employers during the recent engineering disputes that Colonel Dyer came prominently before the public. He was untiring in his exertions on behalf of the employers, travelling all over the country, and uniting the employers in their resistance to the men's demands, as they were never united in any previous industrial conflict. His labours during the many months, over which the dispute extended, doubtless accentuated the affection of the heart from which he had long suffered. The services which he rendered to his fellow employers were recognised a few weeks ago at a banquet in Manchester, which was attended by representatives of most of the great engineering firms throughout the country.'[3]


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Sources of Information

  1. [1] History of the manor of Westhope, County Salop, by Evelyn H Martin 1909
  2. Manchester Times, 25 March 1898
  3. Dover Express, Friday 25 March 1898