Josiah Richard Perrett
Josiah Richard Perrett (1848-1918), chief naval architect at Armstrong Whitworth - Elswick yard
1918 Obituary 
As recorded briefly in our last issue, the death took place on Monday, the 2tst inst. of Mr. J. R. Perrett.
Mr Perrett was born at Plymouth on 'February 5th, 1848, and was educated At Plymouth School, the Dockyard School at Devonport and the Royal School of Naval Architecture, South Kensington, obtaining a fellowship at the last named school.
From 1871 to 1885 he was assistant to the late William Froude at the Admiralty Experimental Works at Torquay, and during the years 1877- 8 acted with conspicuous ability as Secretary of the "Inflexible" Committee.
In 1885 he was appointed Assistant Constructor at Chatham Dockyard, and, after occupying a similar position at the Admiralty, he was, in 1887, appointed principal assistant to Sir Philip Watts, who was then director and naval architect of the Elswick Shipyard of Sir W. G. Armstrong. Whitworth and Co. Limited. When, in 1902, Sir Philip took over the duties of Director of Naval Construction, Mr. Perrett was appointed general manager and naval architect of Elswick Shipyard, and later, of the new Armstrong naval yard at Walker-on-Tyne. He designed all the warships built by the firm until June, 1916, when ill-health caused him to retire and take up his residence at Torquay.
While at Elswick and Walker, during the fourteen rears he was in charge, he took a very valuable part m the evolution of modern warships of all classes, and at the summer meetings of the Institution of Naval Architects, hold at Newcastle in July, 1914, contributed some very interesting notes on warships designed and constructed at Elswick. His strikingly amiable and modest characteristics endeared him greatly, not only to his staff and colleagues, but also to the foreign clientele of the Elswick firm, who were made to feel thoroughly ‘at home’ when they came to discuss technical details relating to prospective orders.
He received numerous decorations from abroad, notably the Second Class Medjidie; the Lyacat Order of Merit (Turkey); and the Fourth Class Order of the Rising Sun (Japan).
Mr. Perrett took no part in political or municipal affairs, but occupied his leisure in the study of antiquarian subjects, being particularly interested in the Roman remains of which Newcastle and the country round afford such outstanding examples.
He was a member of Council of the Institution of Naval Architects; member of the North East Coast Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders, and a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.
Sources of Information
- 1911 Census
- The Engineer 1918/11/01