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British Industrial History

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James Johnston (1889-1949)

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James Johnston (1889-1949)


1950 Obituary [1]

"JAMES JOHNSTON had a long connection with Messrs. Reckitt and Colman, Ltd., Norwich, having been on their staff for thirty years.

He was born in 1889 and at the age of sixteen began an apprenticeship with Messrs. Ross and Duncan, Ltd., Govan, engineers and shipbuilders, passing through the shops and drawing office. On the completion of his training five years later he was employed as a junior draughtsman by Messrs. Fillaston, Hodgart, Lt]., Paisley. After holding a short appointment in the same town as senior draughtsman to Messrs. Flemming and Ferguson, Ltd., he enlisted at the outbreak of war in 1914 and served with the Royal Engineers in Belgium and France, rising to the rank of quartermaster sergeant of a field company. Subsequently he was commissioned as second lieutenant in the Royal Tank Corps.

In 1919 he went to Norwich and after some six months experience as senior draughtsman in the aeronautical experimental department of Messrs. Boulton and Paul, Ltd., he began his long period of service with Messrs. Reckitt and Colman with the post of senior draughtsman, a position he retained until 1925 when he finally became assistant engineer. In this capacity he arranged for the transference of the flour mills from London to Norwich and was also in charge of the construction of a new power station. In 1948 he was appointed accident prevention officer. Mr. Johnston had been an Associate Member of the Institution since 1939. His death occurred on 1st June 1949."


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