Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 143,456 pages of information and 230,060 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
1952 Obituary 
IT is with regret that we have to announce the death of Commander Sir Robert Micklem, C.B.E., in London on Tuesday last, May 13th.
He was educated at the Royal Naval Colleges at Osborne and Dartmouth, and served in the Royal Navy from 1903 till 1919.
When he retired from the Navy, Sir Robert joined Centrifugal Separators, Ltd., and in 1923 became a director of British Separators, Ltd., a subsidiary company of Cooke Troughton and Sims, Ltd. Thus there began an association with the Vickers group which lasted until his death.
In 1928, Sir Robert was appointed general manager at the Elswick works, and in 1931 he joined the board of Cooke Troughton and Sims, Ltd., of which he became chairman in 1936.
During the last war his services were lent to the Government and he was appointed chairman of the Regional Board Northern Area of the Ministry of Production in 1942. He also served as chairman of the Tank Board and chairman of the Armoured Fighting Vehicle Division of the Ministry of Supply from 1942 till 1944.
When Sir Robert concluded his war service he returned to the Vickers group as deputy chairman of Vickers-Armstrongs, Ltd., and some two years later became chairman. In November, 1951, he became joint managing director of Vickers, Ltd., with Sir James Reid Young, the director of finance and administrator of Vickers-Armstrongs, Ltd.
In addition to his duties with the Vickers group, Sir Robert was a member of the boards of a number of other concerns, and he had to relinquish all of these posts owing to ill health in April last .
1953 Obituary 
He was educated at the Royal Naval Colleges at Osborne and Dartmouth. After six years' service at sea, during which he rose to the rank of lieutenant, he took engineering courses at the Keyham and Greenwich Royal Naval Colleges, qualifying as lieutenant (E.) in 1914.
During the 1914-18 war he was senior engineer in H.M.S. Birmingham and served for two years in submarines.
Upon his retirement from the Royal Navy, in 1919, Sir Robert joined the staff of Centrifugal Separators, Ltd., as assistant general manager, becoming later a director and general manager. On the formation of the successor company, British Separators, Ltd., he directed its activities and was responsible for improvement and variation in design to meet special requirements.
In 1928 he was made a special director and general manager of the Elswick works of Vickers-Armstrongs, Ltd., Newcastle upon Tyne, a position he retained for eighteen years. During the period of depression on Tyneside a number of new industries were introduced at Elswick through Sir Robert's foresight.
He was appointed deputy chairman of the engineering works and shipyards of Vickery-Armstrongs, Ltd., in 1944, and chairman two years later.
In 1942 he was made chairman of the Regional Board, Northern Area, Ministry of Production, and in the same year his services were lent to the Government for two years when he became chairman of the Tank Board and of the armoured fighting vehicle division of the Ministry of Supply.
The many other positions he held included the chairmanship of Palmers Hebburn Company, Ltd., and of Cook, Troughton and Sims, Ltd. He was also a director of Michell Bearings, Ltd., the English Steel Corporation, Barclays Bank, Ltd., and the Sun Life Insurance Society.
Sir Robert was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1928 and transferred to Membership two years later. He served on the North Eastern Branch Committee from 1933 to 1946, and was Chairman of the Branch and Member of Council in 1937. He was also a Member of the Institution of Naval Architects and a past-president of the Engineering and Allied Employers' National Federation. In addition he served as president of the Institute of Marine Engineers in 1948. He was appointed C.B.E. in 1942 and was knighted in 1946.