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Henry Clement Swinnerton Dyer

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Henry Clement Swinnerton Dyer (1834-1898)

1898 Obituary [1]

HENRY CLEMENT SWINNERTON DYER died suddenly at his residence, Appleby Lodge, Rusholme, Manchester, on March 22, 1898. He was born in the year 1834, of a military family.

At the age of eighteen he entered the Royal Artillery, and during his army career he saw a good deal of active service. He served in the Crimea, had his horse killed under him, and not only took part in the siege, but was present at the fall of Sevastopol.

During the Indian Mutiny he took part in many important engagements. He was engaged in the relief of Lucknow and the battle of Cawnpore, in which he again had his horse killed under him. He took part in several other engagements, and retired from the army with a high reputation as a soldier. He was on several occasions mentioned in the official despatches, and he held a medal with two clasps. He was also a Knight-Commander of the Orders of the Crown of Italy, of Charles VII. of Spain, and of the Rose of Brazil, while he also held the military order of merit of Spain.

It was not, however, for his merits as a soldier, although these were beyond question, that the world knew him, but rather for his work as an engineer and as an organiser of engineering employers. Retiring from active service in the army with the rank of Colonel, he became for some time assistant-superintendent of the Small Arms Factory at Enfield. Thence he migrated to the establishment of Sir Joseph Whitworth at Manchester, where he remained for several years.

In 1883 he went to Elswick, where Sir William Armstrong entrusted him with the direction of his great steelworks. Lord Armstrong, indeed, would be the first to admit that his great success in life has been largely due to his good judgment of men and to his power of recognising and selecting the most able men as coadjutors.

On the amalgamation of the great concerns of Armstrong and Whitworth, Colonel Dyer became superintendent over the Manchester branch. His life's work, however, was the formation and organisation of the federation of engineering employers.

He was elected a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1884, and in 1892 contributed to its proceedings an important paper on the production of pure iron and steel.

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