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British Industrial History

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Ernest John Vickers

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Ernest John Vickers (1864-1915)

1916 Obituary [1]

Major ERNEST JOHN VICKERS was born at Guildford on 9th December 1864.

He was educated at a private school and at the Royal Grammar School, Guildford, and commenced a three-years' apprenticeship in 1882 at Messrs. Mason and Weyman's Works at Guildford.

On its completion in 1885 he became draughtsman and assistant engineer to the Chilworth Gunpowder Co., and designed and superintended the erection of the new factory buildings, machinery, etc. Subsequently he became assistant manager and proof officer.

In July 1895 he went in a similar capacity to Messrs. Eley Bros., Ltd., of Edmonton, and later was promoted to be superintendent of their small arms ammunition factory.

Seven years later he was appointed assistant engineer with Messrs. S. Pearson and Son, Ltd., first on the Great Northern and City Electric Railway contract, and then as resident engineer for the railway, having the superintendence of the construction of the steel fireproof electric rolling-stock. Subsequently he became inspecting engineer to superintend the construction of all kinds of plant and machinery.

In January 1909 he was appointed outside engineer with Messrs. F. H. Lloyd and Co., Ltd., steel founders, Darlaston, and remained with them until his death.

For over 33 years he was connected with the Volunteer and Territorial Forces. At the outset he was an officer in the Queen's West Surrey Regiment, and was then transferred to the East London Royal Engineers, with whom he was promoted successively Lieutenant, Captain, and Honorary Major. When he went to Birmingham he was attached to the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, but on the formation of the Telegraph Units he assisted in the organization of the companies, and commanded the Air-Line Company. Owing to ill-health, he was unable to undertake active service during the present war.

His death took place at his residence at Edgbaston, Birmingham, on 20th December 1915, at the age of fifty-one.

He was elected an Associate Member of this Institution in 1905.

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