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Richard Ernest Winkfield

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Richard Ernest Winkfield (1867-1922)

1890 of the Locomotive Department, Great Western Railway, Swindon

1922 Obituary [1]

RICHARD ERNEST WINKFIELD was born on the 15th December, 1867.

He received his technical education at the Great Western Railway Company's works, Swindon, 1886-89, and from 1889 to 1892 was employed as a draughtsman and assistant engineer to the Great Western Railway Company at Swindon and Paddington.

During the following six years he occupied the position of assistant engineer to the Metropolitan Electric Supply Company, and in 1898 he joined the British Thomson-Houston Company's Construction Department and was engaged on several important contracts in connection with the electrification of the Central London and the Great Northern and City Railways.

On the completion of these contracts he accepted the post of chief assistant engineer to the Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation, Ltd., and proceeded to India in 1904. He was promoted to chief engineer in 1909. Four years later he took over full charge of the Corporation's affairs in India, with the title of agent and chief engineer. During his tenure of office in India the whole system of generation and supply of electricity to the City of Calcutta and suburbs was remodelled. The several small direct-current generating stations were superseded by one large extra-high-tension power house, connected by means of high-tension cables with the necessary converting substations built in the best positions obtainable in the area for efficient distribution.

He resigned his position in India at the beginning of 1920, and on his return to England was appointed by the directors of the Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation general adviser to the Corporation, which position he held until his death. He was an honorary magistrate in Calcutta and his technical knowledge was invaluable in deciding complicated motor-car cases. He was also Chairman of the Electricity Sub-Committee of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce.

His spare time was devoted to floriculture and scientific research. He was very artistic and musical, and his unfailing courtesy and charming personality will ever remain in the memory of his friends.

He died on the 26th September, 1921.

He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1910. In 1913-14 he was chairman of the Calcutta Local Section.

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