Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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William Neagle

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William Neagle (1875-1934)

1934 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM NEAGLE, whose death occurred in tragic circumstances on 19th March 1934, had devoted the greater part of his professional life to the interests of Erith Technical College, with which he had been associated from its inception in 1907 as the Erith Technical Institute.

He was born at Plumstead in 1875 and educated at Woolwich Polytechnic and at the Goldsmiths' College, New Cross.

His training as a mechanical engineer commenced in 1889 when he entered the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, as an apprentice. From 1896 to 1905 he was engaged at the Arsenal in various capacities, and carried out experimental work on torpedo details.

He was then appointed lecturer in the engineering department of Woolwich Polytechnic, and two years later became principal and head of the engineering department of the newly formed Erith Technical Institute. Through his efforts the Institute became recognized as a technical college by the Board of Education, and the work carried out there was recognized for National Certificates both in engineering subjects and in building. One of his greatest ambitions was realized about two months after his death when the college was approved by the University of London for the external degree of B.Sc. (Engineering). The number of students grew under his superintendency from about 400 in 1907 to about 1,300 in 1934.

Mr. Neagle, who died in Ms fifty-ninth year, had been an Associate Member of the Institution since 1910.

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