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Christopher William James

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Christopher William James (1865-1926), of Joshua Buckton and Co

1926 August 13th. Died in Hythe, Kent


1926 Obituary [1]

CHRISTOPHER WILLIAM JAMES was born on 10th April 1865, and was educated at Bristol Grammar School and in Germany and Switzerland.

In 1884 he was apprenticed to Messrs. Oliver and Co. Ltd., of Chesterfield, two years later joining Messrs. Joshua Buckton and Co., Ltd. of Leeds to complete his apprenticeship.

He remained with this firm for the rest of his life, eventually becoming Chairman of the Company. During his long connexion with the firm Mr. James, in conjunction with the late Mr. Hartley Wicksteed, did much to develop testing machines for engineering materials and was also responsible for the design of heavy gun and marine engine building tools for the British Government. He took a leading part in the great advance in the strength, speed and accuracy of machine-tools which followed the introduction of high-speed steel.

His war services were of considerable importance as he took a leading part in the organisation and management of the first National Shell Factory, at Leeds, and for six months in 1917 was Director of Ammunition Production at the Admiralty.

He because a Member of this Institution in 1895, and rendered great service in 1903 as Joint Hon. Secretary of the Leeds Summer Meeting. He was a Member of Council from 1919 to 1924.

Mr. James's death occurred on 13th August 1926, at his home at Hythe, Kent.


1926 Obituary [2]

'We greatly regret to have to record the death of Mr Christopher W. James, which took place at Hythe, Kent on Friday, the 13th inst.

Mr James was the son of the late Mr. Christopher James, consulting engineer of Bristol, and came of a family well known in South Wales and closely identified with the early development of the iron and steel industry in that district. He was educated at Bristol and in Germany, and after an apprenticeship at Chesterfield, he entered the services of Joshua Buckton and Co, of Leeds with whom he spent his working life, becoming managing director and eventually chairman of the company, from which his complete retirement only took place last December.

Mr James's most important professional work lay in the design of heavy gun and marine engine building tools for the British Government and the armament firms, and in the development, in conjunction with the late Mr Hartley Wicksteed, of testing machines for engineering materials. He took a leading part in the great advance in the strength, speed and accuracy of machine tools which followed the introduction of high-speed steel.

Mr James became a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1895 and was for some years a member of Council. His war services were of high importance, for he took a leading part in the organisation and management of the National Ordnance Factories in Leeds, the conspicuous success of which was due in no small part to his efforts, and was for some six months in 1917 Director of Ammunition Production at the Admiralty.'


1926 Obituary [3]

CHRISTOPHER WILLIAM JAMES died at Hythe, Kent, on August 13, 1926.

He was the son of the late Christopher James, consulting engineer of Bristol, whose family was closely identified with the early development of the iron and steel industry in South Wales.

Mr. C. W. James was educated at Bristol and in Germany, and after an apprenticeship at Chesterfield he entered the service of Joshua Buckton & Co., Ltd., of Leeds. There he spent the whole of his professional life, becoming managing director and eventually chairman of the company, a position from which he retired in December 1925.

Mr. James' most important professional work, in conjunction with the late Mr. Hartley Wicksteed, consisted in the design of tools for heavy gun and marine engine construction. He took an important part in developing testing machines for engineering materials, and of machine tools, the design of which was revolutionised by the introduction of high-speed steel. During the war

Mr. James took a leading part in the organisation and management of the National Ordnance Factories in Leeds, and for some months in 1917 he was Director of Ammunition Production at the Admiralty.

He was elected a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1901.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1926 Institution of Mechanical Engineers: Obituaries
  2. The Engineer 1926/08/20
  3. 1926 Iron and Steel Institute: Obituaries