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British Industrial History

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Thomas William Robert Hughes

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Thomas William Robert Hughes (1853-1910)

1910 Obituary [1]

THOMAS WILLIAM ROBERT HUGHES was born at Poplar, London, on 5th June 1853.

He was educated by private tuition, and spent some time during 1863-4 in France, returning to take a course at the East London College.

Later he became assistant to his father, who was at that time an engineer and brassfounder in Poplar, and then in 1869 began an apprenticeship of five years with the old firm of shipbuilders and engineers on the Thames, Messrs. J. and W. Dudgeon.

On its completion in 1874 he went for nine months as an improver at Messrs. John Penn and Sons' marine-engine works.

In 1894 he was sent by the firm to Peru as a guarantee engineer in a gunboat, and this proved the turning-point in his career. He continued for many years, up to 1881, in the Peruvian Navy, passing through the various grades, and becoming chief engineer. He took a prominent part in the war with Chile, and was the head of the machinery department of the Peruvian ironclad "Huascar."

In 1881, when the torpedo came into great prominence, he transferred his services to the Argentine Navy, and became First Engineer of the Torpedo Division. He continued in their service practically until the time of his death, serving nineteen years in that country. He subsequently returned to England as Inspector of Naval Construction, including machinery, and latterly was technical adviser to the Argentine Legation.

This post he held until his death, which took place in London on 13th October 1910, at the age of fifty-seven.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1900; he was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers and of the Institution of Naval Architects.

1911 Obituary [2]

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