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British Industrial History

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Harry Whittaker

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Harry Whittaker (1879-1940)

1940 Obituary [1]

Captain HARRY WHITTAKER was known to a large number of engineering students through his wide teaching experience. He was born at Bury, Lancashire, in 1879 and received his early education in the High School in that town. He served a six years' apprenticeship in the workshops and drawing office of Messrs. J. H. Riley and Company, Ltd., of Bury, and during the same period attended classes in engineering and science at the Technical School. He then gained further experience with Messrs. Jackson and Brother of Bolton, engineers and boilermakers, and later was awarded a Government Studentship at the Royal College of Science, London.

At the completion of his course he gained a First Class in Mechanics in the Associateship of the College and later obtained the B.Sc. (Engineering) Degree of the University of London. He subsequently held posts as demonstrator in the Mechanics Department at the Royal College of Science and at the City and Guilds Engineering College. Captain Whittaker joined the Territorial Army (Royal Engineers) in 1903 and retained active association with the Corps till the outbreak of the Great War, when he was mobilized.

Shortly afterwards he was commissioned and was later appointed assistant adjutant to the Dunstable Signal Depot, R.E. From 1916 to 1919 he was on active service in France, where his work included the construction of roads and the establishment of temporary electric lighting stations. He was demobilized with the rank of captain and resumed his post as lecturer at the City and Guilds College, which he held till 1923, when he was appointed principal of the Moghalpura Engineering College, Lahore. This was a position which involved not only the inception of the complete tutorial organization of the college, including academic courses for apprentices from the railway workshops, but also the whole of its mechanical equipment. On his retirement from India in 1934 he accepted a post as engineering tutor in the Royal Air Force at Halton Camp, where he died on 15th January 1940.

He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1920 and was also an Associate Member both of the Institution of Civil Engineers and of the Institution of Electrical Engineers.

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