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British Industrial History

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John Digby Pember

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John Digby Pember (1873-1941)


1941 Obituary [1]

JOHN DIGBY PEMBER was born at Worcester in 1873, and was educated at Worcester Cathedral School (now King's School, Worcester).

After studying at Finsbury Technical College he was apprenticed at the Great Western Railway works, Worcester.

In 1894 he took up a post with Messrs. Crompton at Chelmsford, remaining there until the works were destroyed by fire in 1895.

He next became assistant in the North-Eastern Railway Co.'s telegraph superintendent's office at York; leaving in 1900 to become Electrical Engineer to the Farnworth Urban District Council, where he was instrumental in putting the station in operation, building up the load and inaugurating the tramway supply.

Leaving Farnworth in 1904, he was appointed Electrical Engineer to the urban district (now borough) of Dartford. This position he held until 1919.

Before leaving Dartford he carried through some rather protracted negotiations with the West Kent Power Co. for a bulk supply, the station ultimately closing down and taking the whole supply in this manner.

He next obtained a position as Superintending Engineer with Messrs. E. D. Sassoon and Co., Bombay. During the course of this appointment he was responsible for the conversion of some 14 cotton mills from steam to electric drive.

He returned to England in 1933 and, after a short retirement, obtained a post in a munitions factory, dying in harness at Poole on the 24th February, 1941.

He joined The Institution in 1902 as an Associate Member and was elected a Member in 1913. C. F. Mel.


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