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British Industrial History

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Ralph Hill Owen

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Ralph Hill Owen (c1888-1950)

1951 Obituary [1]

"RALPH HILL OWEN had considerable experience of the transport industry in the course of his career and had been associated with Messrs. Shell-Mex and B.P., Ltd., for twenty-five years. He received his technical education at the Burton-on-Trent School of Art and served his apprenticeship in the fitting and turning shops of the Ryknield Motor Co in the same town from 1905 to 1910.

He then held short appointments including that of tester to the Austin Motor Company, Ltd., Birmingham, and motor engineer with the Autofagasta, Chile and Bolivia Railway. After four years of commissioned, service as a flight-lieutenant in the R.F.C., one-half of which was spent overseas, he found employment as a partner with Messrs. Buswell and Owen, Earls Barton, motor and general engineers, and later was in charge of the workshop for Messrs. Whitby and Sons, Rusden, Northants, general engineers and haulage contractors.

He began his long connection with the British Petroleum Company (now Messrs. Shell-Mex and B. P., Ltd.) in 1924 with the post of maintenance engineer at Newcastle upon Tyne. He was subsequently transferred to the Plymouth and Bristol area with similar duties and finally made workshop superintendent. From 1944 until his retirement from active life in 1949 he was lent by his firm to the Petroleum Board and was engaged as chief inspector and technical assistant in the motor department. Mr. Owen was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1931 and transferred to Membership in 1945. His death in his sixty-second year occurred on 12th October 1950."

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