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British Industrial History

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Robert Crighton

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Robert Crighton (c1855-1924)

1925 Obituary [1]

ROBERT CRIGHTON died from heart-failure at his residence in London on August 26, 1924, at the age of seventy years.

Mr. Crighton was born in Auchterarder, his father, the late Mr. Robert Crighton, sen., being a well-known captain in the mercantile marine. In his youth Mr. Robert Crighton underwent training as an engineer, and, with the love of the sea as his heritage, became a marine engineer with the Red Star Line. In this service he rose up to be a chief engineer, and was afterwards appointed superintendent engineer for the Red Star Line at Antwerp.

Equipped with a thorough and extensive knowledge of the shipbuilding industry, Mr. Crighton became associated as a director with Messrs. Harland & Wolff, Ltd., in 1907, at the opening of their Southampton works, of which he was appointed general manager. His outstanding ability as an engineer and his great organizing powers speedily attracted the favourable notice of the late Lord Pirrie, whose high opinion Mr. Crighton earned and retained; and he was soon made a managing director of the concern.

Mr. Crighton superintended the establishment of the company's works at Liverpool in 1912, of which he also took charge; and in 1921 he laid down the new repairing works at London, adding the responsibility of their control to his other duties.

Prior to this, and at the death of the late Mr. George Cunning, Mr. Crighton was appointed deputy chairman of Messrs. Harland & Wolff, Ltd., and chairman of the board of managing directors. In this position, which he continued to hold until his decease, he played a large part in the successful development of the company's various activities.

Mr. Crighton was also a director of many other important concerns, including David Colville & Sons, Ltd., Archibald Russell, Ltd., the Ardrossan Harbour Company, Ardrossan Shipbuilding Company, the London and Glasgow Shipbuilding Company, Ltd., Caird & Co., Ltd., the Ocean Transport Company, Ltd., and Burmeister & Wain, Ltd.

He was a member of the Institution of Naval Architects and of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Mr. Crighton was an Original Member of the Institute of Metals.

1924 Obituary[2]


We regret to announce the death of Mr. Robert Crighton, the deputy-chairman of Messrs. Harland and Wolff, Limited, which, occurred in his 70th year, bn Wednesday, August 27. Mr. Crighton was born in Auchtermuchty, Fife, but went to Birkenhead to receive his engineering training at the Britannia Engine Works, after which he became a draughtsman in the office of Messrs. Heidel and Demblow, the consulting engineers and naval architects. In 1878, he entered the service of the Red Star Line, and five years later became chief superintendent of hulls and machinery. He joined Messrs. Harland and Wolff as manager of their Southampton Works in 1907, and continued to hold that position after he accepted the management of the Liverpool repair works of the firm. Later he became a managing director and deputy chairman and took charge of all the repairing establishments of the company. He was a director of Messrs. Burmeister and Wain, Limited, the London and Glasgow Shipbuilding Company, Limited, Messrs. Caird and Co., Limited, Messrs. David Colville and Sons, Limited, Messrs. Archibald Russell, Limited, the Ardrossan Harbour Co and the Ocean Transport Company, Limited. He was a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the Institution of Naval Architects."

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