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Richard Albert Stokes

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Richard Albert Stokes (1889-1935)

1935 Obituary [1]

RICHARD ALBERT STOKES, who was elected an Associate Member of the Institution only a few weeks before his death, which occurred on 4th June 1935, was chief engineer of Messrs. Salermo, Ltd., and of its associated company, E.M.S. Industrial Processes, Ltd. He was responsible for the design of all plant and for the carrying out of a good deal of the research in connexion with the low-temperature carbonization of coal, the distillation of oil shales, and the drying and calcining of materials.

Mr. Stokes was born in Portsmouth in 1889, and served his apprenticeship from 1904 to 1910 at H.M. Dockyard, the course including four years' technical education in the Dockyard School and two years in the calculating section of the drawing office. After a further year's experience at the Dockyard as a draughtsman, he joined Messrs. Vickers's works at Barrow in Furness in a similar capacity. He then became chief draughtsman on yard planning and civil engineering work, and in 1914 was appointed outside manager, in charge of the erection of airship sheds, the associated hydrogen gas plant, and the layout of air stations. He took charge of the planning and erection of the National Filling Factory, Morecambe in 1915, and after six months he was made managing director of the factory. These works were destroyed by fire and explosion in 1917 and Mr. Stokes's services were loaned to the Ministry of Munitions until 1920.

After the War he was engaged until 1923 in the breaking down of all kinds of surplus ammunition in England and France; he was appointed technical manager and chief engineer to Messrs. George Cohen, Sons and Company who were administrators of a contract for breaking down ammunition between the Government and several large factories. He was responsible for the design and erection of three complete factories and for the adaptation of three national factories and, for this purpose, devising the processes and designing the plant; work of less importance was carried out at eight other factories, and in all, about 300,000 tons of ammunition were dealt with.

From 1923 to 1926 he was outdoor manager to the George Cohen and Armstrong Disposal Corporation and subsequently took charge for two years of the disposal of surplus chemical plant in the factories of the British Dyestuffs Corporation, Ltd.

His appointment with Messrs. Salermo dated from 1928; shortly before his death he was carrying out work for the firm at Ermelo, in the Transvaal.

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