Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Thomas English

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Lieut.-Colonel Thomas English, M.I.Mech.E., F.G.S. (Lond.) (1844-1935)

1844 Born in London, son of Joseph Thomas and Sarah English, wharfinger[1]

Educated at Kensington Grammar School; Royal Military Academy, Woolwich.

1862 Lieutenant[2]

1871 Lieutenant, Royal Engineers, Active List, lived in Lambeth with Clara J English 28, Thomas M S English 3, Henry B D English 1, Douglas A W English 5 Months, and his sister Edith English 23, and sister in law Mary E G Savage 20[3]

Assisted at demolition of fortifications of Corfu

1881 Captain, Royal Engineers, Active List, lived in Dartford with Clara J. English 38[4]

1881 Application of camouflage to Spithead and other forts

Assistant and, later, Successor to Colonel Inglis, R.E. Inspector of Iron Structures at the War Office

Deputy Director of Works (Railways) at the War Office

1882 Major, Royal Engineers

1888-9 Superintendent, Royal Carriage Department, Woolwich Arsenal

1889 Retired as Lieutenant Colonel, Royal Engineers.

1890 General Manager, Palmers Ordnance Works, Jarrow[5]

1890 Elected as a member of the I Mech E

1892 Lieutenant Colonel, Royal Engineers

1896 Published a Paper on "Heat Transmission" with Bryan Donkin, junior

Joint Managing Director of European Petroleum Co., Ltd.; Managing Director and Chairman of Keshan Collieries, Ltd., Turkey.

1912 Lieutenant Colonel on retired pay[6]

WWI Invented soft metal caps for armour-piercing projectiles, increasing penetration.

1915-17 Temporary Assistant Inspector of Steel under Admiralty.

By 1922 was living in Whitby

1924 Resigned from the I Mech E

1935 Died in Whitby[7]



His achievements included the design and construction of all the British armour-plated coast defences at home and abroad; he also invented a method of rolling wide-armour plates; invented armour bolts with spherical nuts; developed machines for investigating the geological location of the Channel Tunnel

Author of various papers on Steam, and on Calculation of Horse-power for Marine Propulsion, read before Institution of Mechanical Engineers; papers on Geology of Dardanelles District read before Geological Society. Author of Paper on Statistical Pressure produced during Impact, in R.E. Professional Papers, 1870.

Author of a "Geometrical Construction, under Euclid's Limitations, for Obtaining Cube Roots".


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. BMD
  2. Hart's Army List
  3. 1871 census
  4. 1881 census
  5. Mechanical Engineer Lists
  6. British Army Lists
  7. BMD