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British Industrial History

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Ray Douglas Theodore Heap

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Ray Douglas Theodore Heap (1867-1944)

1946 Obituary [1]

RAY DOUGLAS THEODORE HEAP, whose death occurred at Throwleigh, Devonshire, on 3rd December 1944, was formerly chief mechanical engineer of Woolwich Arsenal and for some years a director of the technical periodical Engineering.

He was born in 1867 and on the completion of a two years' apprenticeship in the shops of the Great Western Railway at Bristol and Swindon in 1886 was engaged by the late Colonel R. E. B. Crompton, in his electrical engineering works at Fulham, eventually becoming his chief assistant. Subsequently he was employed at several of the London Central electric lighting stations.

He then joined the staff of Sir A. B. W. Kennedy and was concerned with the erection of the power station at Croydon. In 1902 he entered Woolwich Arsenal as assistant mechanical engineer under Mr. (afterwards Sir) Frederick Donaldson and three years later was promoted to be superintending mechanical engineer. On the formation of the mechanical engineering department in 1911 he became its first superintendent. Among the principal developments during his tenure of office were the completion of the change-over of the electric supply from 300 volts to 500 volts and the construction of a high-pressure gas supply.

He resigned in 1914 with a view to starting a private consulting practice, but the war intervening, he was employed on various constructional works for the Admiralty and other Government Departments and also in connection with the munitions factory at Pembrey. Subsequently he was for some months in India reporting to the India Office on the munition works there, and on his return he was for a brief period on the staff of Engineering, but relinquished this appointment to join his brother, Mr. A. C. Heap, in the latter's consulting practice.

Shortly afterwards he was obliged to retire on account of ill health. Mr. Heap had been a member of the Institution for over fifty years, having been elected a Graduate in 1890, and was transferred to Membership in the following year. He was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

1944 Obituary [2]

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