Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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David James Bowker

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David James Bowker (1884-1948)

1949 Obituary [1]

DAVID JAMES BOWKER was associated with Messrs. Massey Harris, Ltd., agricultural engineers, of Manchester, for thirty eight years and had held since 1928 the important position of manager and director of the firm's factory and foundry at Lille, with control of some 1,200 employees.

He was born in 1884 and served his apprenticeship from 1899 to 1906 at the Vulcan Foundry Locomotive Works, Wargrave, Lancashire, where he continued as a charge-hand in the erecting department for a brief period. After a year's experience in locomotive construction for the Nigerian Government Railways he entered the Toronto Works of Messrs. Massey-Harris in Manchester in 1910, and was employed for the next six years in the experimental department. He then filled successively the positions of foreman, general foreman and finally assistant works manager with the charge of the output of a personnel of some 2,500. In 1928 he went to Lille where he created and organized the firm's new factory and foundry.

On the fall of France, he played a vital part in sabotage until 1941, when he escaped and returned to the Manchester works of Messrs. Massey-Harris, where he filled the position of consulting engineer with a seat on the board of directors up to the time of his death, which occurred on 27th March 1948.

Mr. Bowker was elected a Member of the Institution in 1932. He was also a Member of the Societe d'Ingenieurs Civils de France.

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