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British Industrial History

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Oliver Lyle

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Sir Oliver Lyle (1890-1961)

1961 Obituary[1]

"SIR OLIVER LYLE, who died in London on February 21, was vice-chairman of Tate and Lyle, Ltd., and an authority on the technology of sugar refining. To engineers generally, however, there is no doubt that he will best be remembered as an expert on the efficient use of fuel, and in particular on the problems of economic steam utilisation, a subject he had made especially his own.

Oliver Lyle was born on December 22, 1890, and was educated at Uppingham and London University. He joined Abraham Lyle and Sons in 1912 and was appointed to the board of the company in 1919. When Abraham Lyle and Henry Tate and Sons amalgamated in 1921, Oliver Lyle became a managing director of Tate and Lyle, Ltd.

He was appointed a vice-chairman in 1958. In the 1914-18 war he served as a Captain in the Highland Light Infantry, was wounded at Loos in 1915, and was twice mentioned in dispatches. From 1916 to 1918 Lyle was engaged in the Inventions Department, Ministry of Munitions, and for his work there was awarded an O.B.E. in 1919. He was a Fellow of the Institute of Fuel, and from 1942 to 1953 was a member of the Fuel Efficiency Committee; for his services to fuel technology he was knighted in 1954.

Sir Oliver Lyle was the author of Technology for Sugar Refinery Workers, 1941, The Efficient Use of Fuel, 1947 (a Government publication which was re-issued several times, the sixth impression having been published in 1958) and The Plaistow Story, 1960.

Sir Oliver had that rather rare combination of executive skill, theoretical knowledge and manual craftsmanship, and is remembered by his colleagues and friends as a man who had great patience as an experimenter and who brought his passion for perfection to bear on all the problems he tackled."

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1961 Jan-Jun