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Henry Dacre Madden

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Henry Dacre Madden (1876-1942)

1942 Obituary [1]

HENRY DACRE MADDEN made a considerable reputation for himself in the gas industry, in which he was engaged for the whole of his professional career. He was born in 1876 and received his technical education under Professor H. J. Spooner at the Polytechnic, Regent Street, where he studied with distinction. In 1899 he became a pupil of Sir Corbet Woodall, and having completed his articles he joined the Gas Light and Coke Company by whom he was engaged as assistant resident engineer at the Beckton works.

In 1906 he began his long association with the gas industry in Cardiff. His first post was that of resident engineer at the Grangetown gas works of the Cardiff Gas Light and Coke Company. Three years later he was promoted to the important position of chief engineer to the company, and shortly afterwards he instituted an extensive programme of rebuilding and modernization of the gas works and plant under his control. In the course of this work some difficult problems had to be overcome, including the reclamation of tidal lands and the laying of more than 75 miles of mains for both low pressure and high pressure distribution. During the war of 1914-18 Mr. Madden served on Lord Moulton's Committee on High Explosives and undertook a programme of research work on T.N.T. and ammonia-base explosives. In addition he acted as engineering advisor for South Wales under the Gas Coal section of the Coal Controller. He also held a commission in the 2nd (Volunteer) Battalion of the Welsh Regiment.

In 1923 he was appointed engineer and manager of the Cardiff Gas Light and Coke Company and held that position until his death, which occurred on 8th September 1941. He served as a member of the Fuel Research Board from 1929 to 1933, and he was the author of numerous technical papers read before various scientific societies. Mr. Madden, who was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1907 and transferred to Membership in 1922, rendered valuable services on the Committee of the South Wales Branch, becoming Chairman in 1929, in which capacity he served on the Council. In 1930 he delivered his address as Chairman of the Branch, entitled "The Practice of Mechanical Engineering in the Public Life of To-day". He was a member of the Executive Committee of the National Gas Council and Chairman of their District Board for South Wales. In November 1940 he was appointed advisor on gas engineering to the regional commissioner for Wales. In addition to his work for the Institution, Mr. Madden was a keen supporter of other technical societies. He was a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and during 1927-28 he was President of the Institution of Gas Engineers, and served on many of the research committees sponsored by the latter Institution.

He was also three times President of the Wales and Monmouthshire Association of Gas Engineers, and in 1939 he served as Chairman of the Executive Committee of the British Commercial Gas Association. He acted on various occasions throughout his professional career as a consultant on other gas undertakings, including the Brynmawr and Blaina Gas Company, the Rhymney, and Aber Valley Gas and Water Company, and the Llanelly Gas Company. In addition he gave evidence before various Parliamentary committees on questions relating to gas supply.

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