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Richard Vernon Hansford

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Richard Vernon Hansford (1888-1929), Assistant Staff Engineer, General Post Office

1929 Obituary [1]

RICHARD VERNON HANSFORD, D.Sc, Assistant Staff Engineer, General Post Office, died on the 5th October, 1929, following an accident at his home.

Born in 1888, he commenced his engineering training as an apprentice at Chatham Dockyard.

From there he proceeded to Glasgow University where he obtained an Honours B Sc. degree in Naval Architecture. Instead of taking up naval construction, however, he went to the Post Office in 1910 as a 2nd class engineer. He served in the Scotland East District and during the war period was engaged almost exclusively on naval and military communications in the north of Scotland, including the provision of circuits for the defence and administrative requirements of the Fleet at Scapa Flow and Cromarty Firth.

In 1919 he was transferred to the radio section of the Engineer-in-Chief's office. From the first he was associated with the development of the high-power valve transmitter. The early experiments led to the design of the valve transmitter at Northolt in which valuable experience was gained. Following on this came the design of the valve transmitter at Rugby, his magnum opus. All this work trod new ground and demanded courage of the highest order, as well as technical knowledge and skill. On the conclusion of the work at Rugby he was awarded by Glasgow University the D.Sc. degree for his thesis on the design of high-power valve transmitters.

In 1925 he proceeded to America to discuss the preliminary technical arrangements for the transatlantic telephony circuit between London and New York. This work absorbed his energies for several years and enabled him to give full play to his wonderful capacity for organization.

He was elected as Associate Member of the Institution in 1921 and a Member in 1922, and was a member of the Wireless Section Committee from 1926 to 1929. He also acted as Secretary of the Institution of Post Office Electrical Engineers for a number of years, where his organizing ability found very many warm admirers. He was chair- man of the 5th Commission of "Rapporteurs" of the Comite Consultatif International for telephony and had just taken a very prominent part in the work of the British delegation at the recent meeting of the C.C.I. for radio at the Hague. He was also a member of the Advisory Committee on Telegraphy, Telephony and Radio Communication for the City and Guilds Institute, and was examiner in the subject of Magnetism and Electricity for that body. He was a man of unbounded energy and enthusiasm, which found outlets in many directions inside and outside his official duties. Invariably cheerful, his kindly nature made friends in all directions. His death is a severe blow to all those who worked with him, and the Post Office loses the most promising man of the younger generation, one who undoubtedly had a brilliant career before him.

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