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British Industrial History

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Ernest Knox Conyngham

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Ernest Knox Conyngham (1881-1951)

1952 Obituary [1]

"ERNEST KNOX CONYNGHAM died in his seventieth year at Pinner, Middlesex, on 23rd July 1951. He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1912 and was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers of Ireland. He received his general education at the Grammar School and St. Andrew's College in Dublin, where he also obtained instruction in mechanical engineering at the city's technical schools and the Royal College of Science. After serving his time as a pupil in the Dublin locomotive works of the South Eastern Railway, he gained further experience in the running sheds of the Great Northern Railway of Ireland.

On his return from Canada in 1906, where he had spent a year in the drawing office of the American Locomotive Company and was also engaged for a brief period as draughtsman and assistant in the Engineering School at McGill University under Professor Durley, he took charge of all outside contracts for Spence's Iron Works, Dublin. In 1910 Mr. Conyngham took up an appointment as locomotive superintendent to the British North Borneo State Railways. During his four-year tenure of this office he supervised the repair of the whole of the rolling stock and built a number of passenger coaches and wagons from his own designs. He was commissioned in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in 1915 with the rank of lieutenant and posted to Mauritius to take command and to be responsible for the erection of a wireless station. About a year later he was invalided out, but on his return to Great Britain he joined Woolwich Arsenal as an inspector of ordnance machinery and subsequently was dispatched to the west of England to take control of the inspection of all American and Canadian shells in that area.

In 1917 he obtained a commission in the railway operating division, Royal Engineers, and served in France, being again invalided out about a year later. After carrying out contracting work in London, Mr. Conyngham began to practise on his own account in 1925 as a mechanical and civil engineer; his activities in this direction covered a wide range and included the design and construction of factories, roads, lighting and heating installations, and the layout of a garden city in Dublin of 300 acres. Finally, in 1940, he was attached to the Ministry of Supply as an inspector, where he remained until 1944."

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