List of people mentioned in the book:
British Thomson Houston Reminiscences
- 60 years of Progress. Published 1946

Details taken from the privately published book "B.T.H. Reminiscences - 60 Years of Progress"
Published in 1946, and curently available for sale online, or in the Rugby library, WRO etc.

The book may contain additional data and further lookups may be possible

Transcription kindly submitted by sheila steane

Surname Listing:
Belsey, Brookes, Clements, Cusack, Dumas, Fraser, Gregory, Groocock,
Higham, Hughes-Caley, Jones, Larke, Levis, Mcmurtrie, Relton, Rowe
Samuelson, Simpson, Sporgborg, Stoneham, Tuppen, Woodworth, Young.

Banham, Betts, Broom, Clinker, Coote, Crampton, Donner,
Easthope, Everest, Garton, Given, Gray, Gregory, Hall, Halliwell, Hill,
Jones, Lusk, May, Naylor, Nichols, Oechsner,
Reynolds, Riley, Smith, Taylor, Weir, Wharton, Whitaker, Wilson.

BTH Logo


W.J. LARKE, retired from the Company in 1919 at the request of the Minister of Munitions, (then Winston Churchill), to be appointed Director of Raw Materials and a member of the War Disposals Board. He had joined the Company in 1898 and became Manager of the Power & Mining Department. In 1915, during the war, he was lent by the Company to the Ministry of Munitions. In 1917 he was awarded an OBE, in 1920 a CBE, and in 1921 a KBE. In 1922, on the completion of his work for the government, he was appointed Director of the National Federation of Iron & Steel Manufacturers afterwards known as the British Iron & Steel Federation.

HOWARD C. LEVIS, resigned the Chairmanship of the BTH Company and AEI Limited in the Autumn of 1929. At the time of his retirement he had been with the Company for a total of 27 years, first as Managing Director and then as Chairman.

ROBERT DUMAS, retired from the Works Managership in 1929. During the first World War he had been temporarily lent to the Coventry Works to develop there the manufacture of Aircraft Magnetos. His skills did much to build up the magneto 77industry in this country, and was no small contribution to the winning of the war.

B.F. McMURTRIE, retired in 1934 from Export Sales in London.

R.H. SIMPSON, Manager of Traction Sales retired in 1936.

W. STONEHAM, retired in 1936 having joined the company in 1896, first as Chief Accountant and then as Comptroller, the position he held until his retirement.

W.G. GROOCOCK, retired in March 1941, after joining the Company in 1918. He became Manager of the BTH Birmingham Works in 1921 and held that position until his retirement. He succeeded in building up at the Birmingham Works one of the largest motor manufacturing plants in the British Commonwealth

E. WOODWORTH, Manager of the BTH Traffic Department retired at the end of April 1941 after 43 years service. He joined the Company in the London Office in February 1898 and moved to Rugby when the Works was built there.

F. SAMUELSON, retired in June 1941. He had joined the BTH Company in May 1897 and had charge of the Turbine Engineering Department from its inception in 1903 and was sent to America to study the General Electric Curtis design and on his return to UK the manufacture of these machines began at Rugby, thus he became one of the pioneers in the design of the steam turbine in Great Britain. He relinquished the post in 1939 and devoted his attention to consulting work. He had been a Director since 1934.

FRANCIS FRASER, Director & Secretary of the Company retired in December 1941 after 40 years service as Secretary, including 27 years as a director.

F. HUGHES-CALEY, Manager of Birmingham District Office retired at the end of December 1942 after 39 years service with the Company. He joined the Traction & Lighting Department in 1903.

T.H. RELTON, Editor of B.T.H. Activities, B.T.H. News and AEI News retired in May 1944. He joined the Company as a Swichgear Draughtsman in February 1911 and afterwards transferred to the Publicity Department.

W.J. BELSEY, retired from the Managership of the Marine Department in July 1944 after 42 years service. He played a prominent part in the application of electric drive to ships, and left his mark on British marine engineering progress. He joined the Company in Rugby in 1902, afterwards becoming Manager of Glasgow & Belfast Offices and finally taking over the BTH Marine Department in 1919.

W. J. CUSACK, retired in 1944 after 40 years on the BTH Staff. He joined the traction & Lighting Department in 1903 and afterwards served at the Central Station Department becoming Manager of the Manchester Office, returning to Rugby in 1917 to become General Manager of all the District Offices.

The end of the war in 1945 saw a number of retirements of many key and long serving employees who had remained with the Company throughout the war years.

ARTHUR PRIMROSE YOUNG, Manager of the Rugby Works retired in February 1945 after 44 years service with the Company in both Coventry and Rugby, during which he had seen the number of employees rise from 240 to over 27,00, and instituted a Personnel Department. He was a well known author of books on Magnetos and industrial subjects and was also a well known lecturer on works relationships throughout the country. He was awarded the OBE

H.G. ROWE (Gordon), Manager of the Turbine Sales Department relinquished his post in February 1945 on account of his health, and passed into virtual retirement but was retained by the Company in a consulting capacity. He had joined the Company in the Construction Department in 1911, before joining the Turbine Sales Department. He saw service in France during the 1914-18 war and was awarded the OBE and was mentioned in despatches.

Miss G.M. BROOKES, of the Plant Sales Department retired in March 1945. She had joined the Company in 1896 a few months after it became the British Thomson-Houston Company Limited. The engagement of a little girl as a junior clerk was an important matter almost demanding the sanction of the Board. When the Rugby Factory was built in 1901 the nucleus of staff was drawn from 83 Cannon Street and Miss Brookes, by then known as 'Topsy', was one of those who went to Rugby where she remained until her retirement.

E.B. TUPPEN, retired on 14th July 1945. He had joined the Company in 1903 and specialised particularly in control gear.

JAMES P. GREGORY, retired in March 1945. He had been the chief assistant to the Secretaries since 1911. He was one of the oldest members of staff having joined the Company in London in 1898 as Assistant Cashier. He transferred to Rugby in 1901 and remained there until his retirement.

W. JONES, of the Main Drawing Office retired on V.J. Day 1945, (August 15th), after 26 years service. He had joined the Company in 1919 and was made Manager of the Main Drawing Office in 1922, the post he held until his retirement. He lived in Birmingham and made the journey to Rugby every day. During the war he suffered from the bombing of Birmingham and the shock really caused his somewhat early retirement.

W.H. HIGHAM, Head of the Staff Payroll retired at the end of September 1945 after more than 46 years service. He joined the Cashiers Department in 1901 and had been in charge of the Staff Payroll Department since it was instituted in 1925, and had seen the introduction of PAYE, National Insurance and the adoption of the BTH Pension Plan.

A. CLEMENTS, retired at the end of August 1945. He was Assistant Secretary to the Company for 49 years and was one of the original members of staff having joined the Laing Wharton & Down Construction Syndicate on April 23rd 1889 (the day the Company was registered) as Clerk to the Secretary W. Martindale. When the BTH was formed in 1896 he was appointed Assistant Secretary and held that appointment until his retirement.

H.N. SPORGBORG, Chairman of the Company announced his impending retirement at the end of June 1945. He had joined the Company in 1902 and many regarded him as a friend and councellor. Since coming over from America to help to establish the BTH Company he had always lived in Rugby, to the delight of the staff who were pleased when he decided to stay in the UK and not return to America as originally planned.

C. PROCTOR BANHAM died in August 1942 after being on the staff for 26 years.

J.E. BETTS died in July 1945. He had held the position of Supervisor of Purchases of the B.T.H. Company and was Chairman of the AEI Group Purchasing Committee since its inception in 1931. He joined the Company in 1900 and was later transferred to Rugby.

C.W. BROOM of the Sales Department, died suddenly in May 1943. He had been with the Company since its earliest days in Rugby and was then transferred to Coventry.

REGINALD CHARLES CLINKER, Head of the Research Laboratory died in August 1931 in a mountaineering accident in Wales. He joined the Company in 1895 after being at Bristol University. In 1912 he built a crystal receiver capable of picking up the morse time signals radiated from Paris and thereafter works clocks were synchronised with the Eifel Tower international time signal. Soon after this he developed a portable receiver with a self contained aerial.

E. COOTE of the Lamp Department died in August 1945. He joined the London Office in 1901 and served 44 years with the Company.

C.R. CRAMPTON, Chief Cashier at Rugby Works died on Christmas Eve 1941. He joined B.T.H. in London in 1896 and was transferred to Rugby in 1901.

S.J. DONNER, who had been secretary to H.N. Sporborg, died in August 1932, and would always be remembered for wearing brown leggings in all weathers. He was an accomplished violinist and had some knowledge of modern languages and would supply translations to letters received from overseas.

ARTHUR EASTHOPE died very suddenly in 1936. He was Manager of the Willesden Switchgear Factory. He had been at the Coventry Works for several years before transferring to Willesden.

A.R. EVEREST, consulting Engineer to the B.T.H. Company died in July 1933. He joined the staff in 1905.

EDWARD GARTON died very suddenly in 1931, he joined the Company in 1897 and with the exception of 2 years had served the Company for 34 years.

R.D. GIVEN, head of the Industrial Engineering Department, died in February 1941. He joined the staff of the Power & Mining Department in 1913.

JOHN GRAY, Director of the Company died in 1935, he had been in charge of the Patent department for 33 years.

JOHN PUGH GREGORY died in the Autumn of 1930, he was Manager of the Contract Department. He joined the Company in 1901. It was largely due to his influence that BEAMA was formed in 1911.

H.W.E. HALL, Manager of Sheffield Office died suddenly in March 1945. He had joined the Company in 1899 and been with the Sheffield Office the whole time.

R.F. HALLIWELL, Senior Assistant to F. Samuelson, died in 1925.

F.G.B. HILL, Manager of Industrial Control Sales Department at Rugby died in July 1945. He joined B.T.H. in October 1919 in the Export Department.

W. JONES of the Enquiry Office at Rugby died in February 1929. He had a remarkable memory for faces and an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of railway time tables.

WILLIAM CLARDY LUSK, Chairman of the Company died very unexpectedly in February 1944. He joined the Company in 1910 and was appointed as Manager of the Foreign Department. He was born an American Citizen and became a naturalised British Subject.

Miss E.G. MAY, Staff Lady Supervisor at Rugby died very unexpectedly in December 1933. She had been appointed to her position in 1917.

C.H. NAYLOR, of the Turbine Sales Department died suddenly in March 1943. He joined the Company in 1909 as a Turbine Draftsman.

O.S. NICHOLS of Birmingham District Office died in April 1944. he had been with the Company for 33 years and had been District Manager at Middlesborough and Sheffield.

C.L. OECHSNER, Manager of the Advertising Department at Rugby died in 1921. He was an American by birth and was called the "Count" by his acquaintances on the staff.

T.J. REYNOLDS, Head of Turbine Construction Department died in 1925.

G.E. RILEY died in 1939. He had been Manager of Switchgear Sales in Willesden since 1926

WALTER SMITH, Superintendent of the Turbine Factory at Rugby died in December 1945. He joined the Company in 1905 as a turbine fitter.

E.G. TAYLOR of the Export Department Rugby died in September 1934

H.W. TAYLOR died suddenly in 1938. He had been Chief of the Turbo-Alternator Design Department since 1920.

D. WEIR of Rugby died in February 1945. He joined the Company just before he served in the 1914-18 war.

CHARLES COURTNEY WHARTON died in the Autumn of 1930. He was Assistant to the Chief Draughtsman and Head of the data department. He had a long association with the scout movement and had been District Commissioner for North Warwickshire.

F.P. WHITAKER died in October 1942 after 38 years with the Company.

J.L. WILSON, Director & General Sales Manager, died in April 1943, he had been a member of the board since 1927.

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