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James Stafford Ransome

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(James) Stafford Ransome (1860-1931), freelance journalist and author who sometimes wrote for The Engineer and founder of the British Engineers' Association

1860 Born in Kensington the son of Allen Ransome

1911 Stafford Ransome 50, journalist (editor), lived in Chelsea with Helena Grace Ransome 48, Violet Grace Ransome, 21[1]

1931 August 26th. Died age 70.

1931 Obituary.[2]

1931 Obituary[3]


We regret to note the sudden death, on August 26 last, at Walmer, of Mr. James Stafford Ransome, well known as a consulting engineer and author. A son of the late Mr. Allen Ransome, of Newark-on-Trent, Mr. Stafford Ransome was born in London on December 6, 1860. After completing his general education at Rugby, he spent some eight months in 1879, at an engineering works at Malton, Yorkshire. In 1880, he entered the shops of his father, at Stanley Works, which, at that time, were in Chelsea, with a view to continuing his engineering training. In November of the same year, however, he proceeded to Bordeaux, France, to take over the position of assistant engineer in connection with the erection of a large factory for making casks by machinery. Subsequently he became engineer-in-charge of the construction works, and in that capacity, designed and carried out a number of mechanical improvements. Returning home in 1883, he re-entered his father’s firm, Messrs. A. Ransome and Company, Limited, first as assistant engineer to his father, the responsible head of the firm, and afterwards as his technical representative, particularly in relation to foreign work. In this capacity, he visited many countries abroad, residing for long periods on the Continent and in Brazil and other countries. In August, 1896, he went to the Far East where he designed saw mills and gave advice on forestry exploitation and on other questions affecting timber. The two years of 1900 and 1901 were spent in Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Japan and India, and, in 1902, he proceeded to South Africa.

At different periods of his life Mr. Ransome acted as special commissioner for our contemporary Tie Engineer, and as special correspondent for a number of London daily newspapers, in several different countries. He became editor of the journal African Engineering in 1905, and of Eastern Engineering in 1910, and continued to occupy both of these positions until 1912. In that year he founded the British Engineers’ Association, the main object of which was then to promote British engineering trade in China, and remained its chief executive officer until 1917. During the European war he founded and organised the London and Eastern Counties Association of Controlled Establishments, and subsequently went to France for the purpose of promoting co-operation between the industrial association of Great Britain and of her French and Belgian allies. Mr. Ransome was the author of various works on engineering and economic subjects, one of the first of which, entitled Modern Labour was published in 1893, and among the last, Cutters and Cutter-Blocks, was published in 1927. A former student member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, he became an associate member on January 12, 1886, and was elected to full membership rank on November 29, 1898."

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