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John Baxter Jarvis

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John Baxter Jarvis (1879-1919)

1919 Obituary [1]

Captain JOHN BAXTER JARVIS, I.O.M., R.A.O.C., was born in London on 29th June 1879.

He was privately educated, and attended the Crystal Palace School of Engineering, subsequently working as a fitter at Messrs. Thornycroft's works at Chiswick.

In 1898 he became assistant engineer to Messrs. J. H. Holmes and Co., of Newcastle-on-Tyne, and five years later started in business in Birmingham as motor and general mechanical engineer.

In 1908, owing to serious illness, he had to close the business, and went for a trip round the world.

On his return in 1911 he started work in Westminster as advisory motor engineer, and was appointed an inspecting engineer for the Automobile Association and Motor Union. He invented a controller for simplifying the valve mechanism for internal-combustion engines, which rendered the engine self-starting.

At the beginning of the War he gave much voluntary work in testing cars, etc., and in February 1915 he was appointed an Inspector of Ordnance Machinery, being commissioned as Lieutenant.

In July of the same year he was sent to France and was given the command of the 1st Army Heavy Mobile Workshop. He invented a gun-mounting, in collaboration with Lieut. Clark, R.A., which was used with success at the Front.

Having been badly gassed in May 1916, he returned to England and resumed home service, being appointed assistant I.O.M. for Dover until his Major was sent to France, when he took his place, and received his Captaincy in 1917. In spite of several attacks of fever, he carried on with great energy through all the period of the air raids.

In October 1918 he was moved to London Headquarters, Eastern Command, and was asked to remain in the Service after the armistice. He had lately been appointed to carry out some special work, but he contracted septic pneumonia and died at the 3rd London Military Hospital on 10th April 1919, in his fortieth year.

He was elected an Associate Member of this Institution in 1915.

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