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Vincent Henry Pensalver Caillard

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Sir Vincent Henry Pensalver Caillard (1856-1930)

1882 Birth of son Bernard Caillard

1930 Obituary[1]


We regret to record the death of Sir Vincent Henry Pensalver Caillard, which occurred in Paris on Tuesday March 18, at the age of 73. Sir Vincent had a distinguished career as a military diplomatist and a financier, and played a great part in the development of more than one industry in which this country is interested.

Caillard, who was born on October 23, 1856, was the son of a County Court Judge, and, on his mother’s side, was related to Lord Beaconsfield. He was educated at Eton and Woolwich, and received his commission in the Royal Engineers in 1875. He was appointed an Assistant Commissioner on the Montenegrin Boundary Commission in 1880, and joined the Silistria Bridge Commission in the same year, having previously served at the Berlin Conference which followed the Russo-Turkish War. He also served during the Egyptian campaign of 1882 and in the following year, owing to his knowledge of Near Eastern languages, was appointed English representative on, and alternate President of, the Ottoman Public Debt Administrative Council. While holding this position, he was largely responsible for the reorganisation and subsequent success of the silk, salt, and wine-growing industries of that country and for carrying through a soundly financed programme of railway construction. For these services he received a knighthood in 1896, as well as more than one high Turkish decoration.

In 1898, he resigned his position in Turkey to join Sir Ernest Cassel in his Egyptian enterprises, and was largely responsible for financing the Assouan Dam project. In 1900, Sir Vincent was appointed a director of Messrs. Vickers Sons and Maxim, now Messrs. Vickers Limited, for which post he was specially fitted by his diplomatic and financial experience. He remained on the board of this concern until. 1927, during which time he was in control of their foreign operations. Early in 1914, he negotiated the reconstruction of the Turkish fleet, dockyards and arsenals for the Vickers and Armstrong firms, and work on this contract had begun when war broke out. The immediate result, however, was that two first-class fighting ships, which had just been completed for the Ottoman Government, came into British hands. It was also chiefly due to his initiative and organising ability that the company with which he was connected was able to make an enormous contribution to the national output of munitions and other material during the war.

In addition to his work with Messrs. Vickers, Sir Vincent was also a director of the Southern Railway, Messrs. The Metropolitan Carriage, Wagon and Finance Company, Messrs. Beyer, Peacock and Company, and Wolseley Motors Limited. He also took an active part in the Federation of British Industries, of which he was the President in 1919."

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