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British Industrial History

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Henry Pelham Lee

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Henry Pelham Lee (1877-1953)

1877 July 19th. Baptised at Wandsworth All Saints, the son of Sydney Williams Lee, an architect, and his wife Letitia Frances

Educated at Bradford College in Kensington

Qualified as an electrical engineer in London

Pupil at W. H. Allen and Co

Worked at Daimler

1903 Started the Lee, Stroyer and Co business

1911 Living at Briarwood, Hillfield, Coventry: Horace Pelham Lee (age 38 born Putney), a Motor Engine Manufacture and Employer. With his wife (married eight years with three children - two living) Minnie Augusta Lee (age 29 born Crowland, Lincs.) and their sons Leonard Pelham Lee (age 7 born Coventry) and Leslie Horace Lee (age 6 born Coventry). Also his brother Sydney Burton Lee (age 38 born Putney), an Engineers Clerk and Motor Engine Builder. Also a visitor and one servant.[1]

1917 Formed Coventry Climax

1953 January 28th. Obituary. Died at Coventry age 75


1953 Obituary [2]

We regret to have to record the death, on January 22nd, of Mr. Horace Pelham Lee, chairman and founder of Coventry Climax Engines, Ltd., Coventry.

Mr. Pelham Lee will be remembered by many engineers as one of the pioneers of this country's motor-car industry in the early years of this century.

Horace Pelham Lee was born in London in 1877, and was educated at Bradfield College. Following some electrical engineering training, he became a pupil at the works of W. H. Allen, Sons and Co., Ltd., Bedford, and upon the completion of his pupilage he was on active service in the Boer War.

After that war Mr. Lee worked for a period in the factory of the Daimler Company, and in 1903 he took some premises in East Street, Coventry, where he started business as a motor-car manufacturer under the name of Lee, Stroyer. The capital required for motor manufacturing, however, was more than was available, and the company therefore concentrated on the production of engines. But one of the few cars that were made in these works was successfully used by Mr. Pelham Lee to demonstrate his engines.

In 1914 the Lee, Stroyer Company provided engines for the tractors for Sir Ernest Shackleton's expedition, and during the first world war the company received contracts for generating sets used for searchlights.

In 1917 Mr. Pelham Lee formed Coventry Climax Engines, Ltd., which in the years that followed concentrated on the production of engines for the motor-car industry. With the changing policy of the motor-car industry, which led to motor-car manufacturers producing their own engines, Mr. Pelham Lee's company took up the manufacture of diesel engines and trailer fire pumps, and petrol-driven electric generating sets. Until a recent spell of ill-health, Mr. Pelham Lee continued an take an active part in the affairs of his company and made many business visits to overseas countries.

He became an associate member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1905 and was elected to full membership in 1924.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  • The Times, Wednesday, Jan 28, 1953