Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Humphrey Verdon Roe

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Humphrey Verdon Roe (1878–1949), a surgeon and early avaiator

1878 Born in Manchester, third son of Edwin Hodgson Roe and Sophia Roe (nee Verdon)

Served in the Manchester Regiment throughout the South African war, including the siege of Ladysmith

1907 A mill manager, executor of Frederic Leyland Roe (1847-1907), a surgeon[1]

1910 Head of a manufacturing firm in Manchester, provided facilities to build his brother, (A. V. Roe's), design of aeroplane and helped to found A. V. Roe and Co in Manchester. Humphrey became managing director.

1911 Living with his aunt, Mary Ann Roe in Marple; occupation: webbing manufacturer and aeroplane manufacturer[2]. Mary Ann was the second wife and then widow of Frederic Leyland Roe.

WWI Joined the Royal Flying Corps in 1917. He was badly wounded during night bombing operations.

1918 Lieutenant Humphrey Verden (sic) Roe married Dr Marie Stopes (1880-1958)[3].

1921 Marie Stopes and Humphrey Roe inaugurated a birth control clinic in Upper Holloway, north London, the first in the British Empire.

1924 The Roe's only son to survive, Harry, was born.

1931 vice-chairman of the Southern Counties Soaring Club

1936 Established Aeronautical Corporation of Great Britain, a public company formed to acquire Light Aircraft Ltd and Lang Propellers Ltd and a well equipped factory at Peterborough, Aircraft Accessories Ltd, which was to be purchased from Frederick Sage and Co Ltd, shopfitters.

Became chairman of Gerrard and Co

1940 Rejoined the RAF, in which he served until 1942.

1948 Harry married Mary Eyre Wallis, the daughter of Barnes Wallis[4]

1949 Died in a nursing home in London

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. National Probate calendar
  2. 1911 census
  3. The Times, Jun 20, 1918
  4. The Times, Jul 30, 1948
  • Biography of A V Roe, ODNB
  • Biography of Marie Stopes, ODNB
  • Obituary: The Times, Jul 27, 1949