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British Industrial History

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Ivor Craddock Thomas

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Ivor Craddock Thomas (1861-1942)

1942 Obituary [1]

IVOR CRADOCK THOMAS, M.V.O., O.B.E., was born in 1861 at Llanelly. Having completed his general education he proceeded to the Royal Indian Engineering College at Coopers Hill, from which he passed out into the Indian Telegraph Department as an assistant superintendent in 1881.

Ten years later he served as a technical officer with the Black Mountain expedition, receiving the India Frontier Medal, Hazara Clasp, coupled with mention in despatches. Thereafter he was promoted to Superintendent in 1897; to Director of Construction in 1912; and finally to the post of Chief Engineer, which he held from 1914 to 1916. He was not destined to become Director-General, as the Government of India decided at this juncture to allot this administrative post to a member of the Indian Civil Service.

Utterly indifferent for himself, Thomas held very strong views on the probable effects of this retrograde departure from precedent on recruitment for the highly technical service he loved; and the vast majority of his colleagues agreed with him.

Retiring early in the Great War, he served in the Priority Department of the Ministry of Munitions until 1919. Thereafter he became Secretary of the Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation at its London office, retiring finally in 1936. He was a delegate to the International Telegraph Conference held in London in 1903, in which year he also attended the first Coronation Durbar. In the second similar function, in 1911, he was in charge of the telegraph arrangements.

He was a good all-round sportsman, and continued to play a strong game of lawn tennis as a septuagenarian.

He died on the 23rd February, 1942, at the ripe age of 80.

He was elected a Member of The Institution in 1883, when it had just added the words "and Electricians" to its original title of "The Society of Telegraph Engineers."

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