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British Industrial History

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Henry Meredith Leaf

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Henry Meredith Leaf (1862-1931)

1931 Obituary [1]

Major HENRY MEREDITH LEAF, D.S.O., who had been a Member of the Institution since 1889, had a distinguished career as engineer, soldier, and athlete. He was educated at Marlborough and Trinity College, Cambridge, and received his technical education at Cambridge and University College, London.

He then became a pupil of Colonel R. E. Crompton at Chelmsford, and later assisted in carrying out electric lighting and power contracts in Sweden, France, and at home.

When Colonel Crompton formed the Corps of Electrical Engineers in 1899 Major Leaf joined and went out with him to South Africa to serve in the Boer War. He also served with the Royal Marines in France during the late War, and was awarded the D.S.O. Major Leaf was much interested in games, and was largely instrumental in establishing the Tennis and Rackets Association in its present flourishing position.

He was born in 1862.

His death occurred as the result of a street accident in London on 23rd April 1931.

Major Leaf was also a Member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers.

1931 Obituary [2]

WE regret that we have to announce that Major Henry Meredith Leaf, D.S.O., was knocked down by an omnibus in Cockspur-street last Thursday, April 23rd, and died soon after he was admitted into Charing Cross Hospital.

He was the son of Mr. F. H. Leaf, was born in Streatham on October 18th, 1862, and received his education at Marlborough, later entering Trinity College, Cambridge, where he obtained his engineering training. He also studied for some time at University College, London.

While he was serving his pupilage with Cromptons, Ltd., of Chelmsford, he joined the Institutions of Mechanical and Electrical Engineers. His experiences in carrying out lighting contracts for large towns and factories in England led him to write a book on the internal wiring of buildings.

For some time his work took him abroad, and he became superintendent of the central electric station at Gothenburg, in Sweden, and later of that of Le Mans, in France. As a Captain in the London Electrical Engineers, he served in the South African War, and his services during the Great War will be remembered by many of his friends. For them the D.S.O. was awarded to him.

Outside his professional duties, he was a great enthusiast for games, playing tennis, rackets, and cricket with considerable success. He had many friends who will feel his loss acutely, for his personality was such that all who came into contact with him came under the influence of his charm.

In 1917 he was married to Anna Maria Elizabeth, a daughter of the late Dr. Robert Needham Cust, a descendant of Lord Brownlow.

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