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Sidney Emile Garcke

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Sidney Emile Garcke (1885–1948), road transport administrator

1885 January 6th. Born at 52 Bassein Park Road, Shepherd's Bush, London, the son of Emile Oscar Garcke (1856–1930), founder of the British Electric Traction Co, and his wife, Alice, née Withers.

He attended the University of London before starting work with BET. He was invited to join the board in 1907 and in 1908 he married Clare Lorraine. They had at least one son and one daughter.

1911 Living at Little Ditton, Harrow Lane, Furze Platt, Maidenhead: Sidney Emile Garcke (age 26 born Shepherd's Bush), Automobile Engineer and Director of Engineering Company, Tramway Industry. With his wife Clare and their son Kenneth Emile Garcke.[1]

In 1930 was chairman of Thomas Tilling Ltd and British Automobile Traction Co Ltd[2].

In 1943 he joined the board of Dennis Brothers, bus and coach manufacturers, becoming chairman in 1945.

He died at his home, Felhurst, Grand Avenue, Hove, Sussex, on 3 October 1948.


1948 Obituary [3]

"ALL who are associated with the road transport industry will learn with particular regret of the death of Mr. Sidney Garcke, which occurred on October 3rd at Felburst, Grand Avenue, Hove.

He was the son of the late Mr. Emil Garcke, and was born in 1885. After completing his education at the University of London, Sidney Garcke became associated from the start of his business career with the automobile industry, and was responsible for the design and operation of one of the earliest types of motorbus to run in London. Later he took an active part in the organisation and development of numerous rural bus service, in different parts of Great Britain.

Mr. Garcke was a member of the first Council of the Institute of Transport, was a holder of the Institute's Road Transport Gold Medal, and served with distinction as President of the Institute in 1934-35. He was also a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and a Ranter Warden of the Worshipful Company of Pattonmakers. For many years Mr. Garcke was chairman of Thomas Tilling and Sons, Ltd., and of British Automobile Traction, Ltd., and at the time of his death was chairman of Dennis Brothers, Ltd., and of Electrical Press, Ltd. In addition, he was a director of British Electric Traction Company, Ltd., and Electrical and General Investment Company, Ltd. The C.B.E. was conferred upon him in 1941 in recognition of his services to road transport. "


1949 Obituary [4]

"SIDNEY EMILE GARCKE, C.B.E., was closely associated with the motor industry during the whole of his career. He was responsible for the design and operation of one of the earliest types of buses to run in London, and later he became the pioneer of numerous rural bus services in many parts of the country.

He was born in London in 1885 and after a two years' engineering course at the University of London joined the staff of his father, who was the founder of the British Electric Traction Co, and began a connection with that firm which lasted for forty-five years. From the first he took a keen interest in the introduction of the motor bus. Undeterred by an abortive attempt to introduce a service at Birmingham, he transferred his activities to the East Kent coast, where in 1908 he laid the foundation of the East Kent Road Car Co, of which he was chairman for twenty nine years. His venture was followed by many other successful enterprises in other parts of the country and he eventually became chairman of the Aldershot and District Co, the Southdown Co, the Maidstone and District Motor Services, Ltd., and the Devon General Motor Omnibus and Touring Company, Ltd.

During the war of 1914-18 he was officer-commanding the Berkshire R.A.S.C., Motor Transport, with the rank of major. In 1928 he became a director of the British Electric Traction Co, and held that office until his death, which occurred at Hove on 3rd October 1948, at which time he was also chairman of Eastwoods, Ltd. Other positions he held included those of chairman of Tilling and British Automobile Traction Co (which was later split into two companies: the B.E.T. Omnibus Service, Ltd., and Tillings Motor Services, Ltd.), of Messrs. Dennis Brothers, Ltd., Guildford, and of the Electrical Press Company, Ltd. Mr. Garcke was elected a Member of the Institution in 1921. He was also a member of the first council of the Institute of Transport, a recipient of the Institute's Road Transport Gold Medal, and served with distinction as its President in 1934-35. In recognition of his services to road transport he was made C.B.E. in the New Year Honours in 1941."


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