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British Industrial History

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William Lonnon

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William Lonnon (1855-1934)

1934 Obituary [1]

Eng. Capt. WILLIAM LONNON, R.N., ret., had for many years in his early life pressed the claims of engineer officers for improved status in the Navy, and he lived to see those claims recognized.

He was born at Portsea in 1855 and was educated at the Civil Service Training School, Southsea.

In 1870 he entered the Royal Dockyard, Portsmouth, as an engineer student, and served there for six years, after which he was awarded a commission as assistant engineer in the Navy. He then took up a further course of study at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, and subsequently sailed with H.M.S. Medina, and afterwards with the Malabar and Dreadnought.

In 1881 he was promoted to the rank of engineer, and served in this capacity on H.M.S. Rambler. He was appointed to the staff of the chief inspector of machinery at Devonport in 1884, and later went to Belfast to supervise the building of H.M.S. Bramble by Messrs. Harland and Wolff. This was one of the earliest ships to be fitted with triple-expansion engines, and Mr. Lonnon subsequently acted as engineer in charge on this vessel.

He was promoted to chief engineer in 1889 on H.M.S. Mohawk, later serving on the Inconstant, and in 1893 became staff engineer, in which capacity he served on H.M.S. Porpoise, which was on duty off the coast of China during the Chino-Japanese War of 1894-5.

In 1897 he became fleet engineer, and was appointed to H.M.S. Triumph. After further service in the Home dockyards and at Malta, he retired in 1908. At the outbreak of the War, however, he joined the Transport Staff at Cardiff, where he remained until 1919.

His death occurred at Hadlow, Kent, on 20th July 1934.

He had been a Member of the Institution since 1899.

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