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British Industrial History

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William John Ambler

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William John Ambler (1885-1935)

1935 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM ROBERT AMBLER, who met his death in a railway accident near Abu Zaabal, Egypt, on 31st January 1935, had held for fourteen years various positions in the locomotive department of the Egyptian State Railways.

He was born at Plumstead in 1885 and received his technical education at Woolwich Polytechnic.

In 1900 he entered the Royal Carriage Department, Woolwich Arsenal, as an apprentice in forging, and was later transferred to the Royal Gun Factory for training in drop stamping and heavy gun forging. He was promoted to be works examiner in 1913, and in the following year he took charge of the layout and subsequent operation of a new forge which was then being erected in the Royal Gun Factory, to house five presses of from 800 to 1,600 tons' capacity, and a battery of drop hammers.

In 1919 he joined Messrs. W. G. Gilbertson, of Pontardawe, Glamorgan, and was responsible for the layout of hydraulic presses and reheating furnaces; but in the following year he left for Egypt, and became foreman blacksmith in the carriage shops of the Egyptian State Railways. He rose to be chief foreman of the locomotive repair shops at Bulak in 1926 and in 1933 he was delegated to act as works manager, in charge of the new locomotive shops at Abu Zaabal, and held this position at the time of his death.

He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1929.

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