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British Industrial History

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Wilfred Holmes

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Wilfred Holmes (1878-1935)

1935 Obituary.[1]

WILFRED HOLMES was born in 1878 at Ashton-under-Lyne, where he received his early education and training as a mechanical engineer. He then studied electrotechnics at the Manchester College of Technology, where he was awarded the King's Prize. He continued his electrical studies at Owens College, Manchester (now the, Manchester University). In 1903 he joined the staff of Ferranti, Ltd., as a technical assistant in the meter department, and became the trusted assistant and friend of the late Dr. S. Z. de Ferranti, under whom he did invaluable work in the realm of instruments, meters, and kindred apparatus, and as chief engineer and manager of the meter and instrument department was responsible for the design and manufacture of all instruments, relays, special metering gear, electric clocks, and small synchronous motors. He was an accepted authority on metering problems and made contributions on these subjects in the technical Press and in the Journal. He was elected Associate Member of the Institution in 1928 and a member in 1932, and was one of the foundation members of the Meter and Instrument Section. He read a paper before the Institution on " Load-Levelling Relays and their Application in connection with Future Metering Problems," and, in co-operation with Mr. E. Grundy, one before the Meter and Instrument Section on " Small Self-starting Synchronous Time Motors." At the time of his death he was chairman-elect of the Section, and it is a great loss to the Section and to the Institution that he was not able to fill the chair. He was a man of considerable personal charm, quiet, unassuming, and yet with a knowledge and understanding of human nature which made him a friend of all who came in contact with him. His application to detail and the patience with which he applied himself to numerous problems were rewarded in the many brilliant and useful contributions he made to meter and instrument technics. He died on the 28th September, 1935.

1935 Obituary.[2]

The Late Mr. Wilfred Holmes.

Many of our readers will learn with regret of the death, on Saturday last, September 28th, of Mr. Wilfred Holmes, the manager of the instrument department of Ferranti, Ltd., of Hollinwood, Lancashire. Mr. Holmes, who earlier in the year recovered from a serious illness, was only fifty-eight years of age and for more than thirty years had been a member of the Ferranti staff. He was a trusted assistant and a personal friend of the late Dr. Z. de Ferranti, under whose guidance he carried out extensive and invaluable work on the subjects of meters, instruments, and kindred apparatus. For many years he has been accepted as an authority on metering problems, and he made frequent contributions on the subject in papers which he read before the Institution of Electrical Engineers and in articles he contributed to the technical Press. He also served on several committees of the British Standards Institution. From its inception the Meter and Instrument Section of the I.E.E. found in him one of its most active members, and this year it paid him the honour of electing him Chairman for the coming session. Wifred Holmes was gifted with a great personal charm, lightly veiled, perhaps, with an inborn shyness which he never really overcame. His appreciative understanding of the younger members of his staff enabled him to bring out the best in all who worked for him, and to-day there are many prominent meter engineers who readily acknowledge how much they owe to the kindly patience which he showed to them during their early training.

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