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British Industrial History

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Henry Ronald Godfrey

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Henry Ronald Godfrey (1887–1968), was an early English motor car design engineer.

1887 Born at Walthamstow the son of Henry Paul Godfrey and Susan his wife

Met Archibald Frazer-Nash at technical college

1911 Living at North Lodge, Holders Hill, Hendon (age 23 born Walthamstow), a Motor Car manufacturer and Employer. With his parents Henry Paul Godfrey (age 53 born Stoke Newington), a Steel Plate Engineer (Bank Note) and Susan Godfrey (age 57 born Sheffield) and they had been married 33 years. One servant. [1] Note: His mother's name is listed as Laura (born Sheffield) in the 1891 Census

1911 Produced the GN cycle car. A light-weight two-cylinder car first sold in 1911, it stayed in production through 1922.

After Archie left the company in 1922 to form Frazer-Nash, Godfrey also left to form repair business HR Godfrey Motors, which supplied GN spares and offered rebuilds. This enterprise formed the basis of his partnership with Stuart Russell Proctor, with whom he formed Godfrey and Proctor. Continuing the servicing of GN's, they produced their own car based on the Austin Seven. However, the venture proved unsuccessful, with only about 10 cars produced by the time the company ceased trading in 1928.

In 1929, Godfrey formed a new partnership with Archie, Nash & Thomson in Kingston-upon-Thames. Involved in engineering work for the Admiralty and the Royal Air Force, the company designed the Frazer-Nash produced hydraulic gun turret, that was to be widely used in World War II.

In 1935, having raced at Brooklands, Godfrey formed the HRG Engineering Co (HRG) with Major E. A. "Ted" Halford and Guy Herbert Robins, who was previously with Trojan. HRG was based in Norbiton, with the first prototype shown at the end of 1935. Fully established in 1936, the company produced cars until 1956, and the reverted to development engineering work for others, before ceasing trading in 1966.

1959 Technical Director, H.R.G. Engineering Co., Ltd., since 1935.

1968 Died.

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1911 Census