Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Richard Gray Dobeson

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Richard Gray Dobeson (c1897-1942)

1943 Obituary [1]

RICHARD GRAY DOBESON, B.Sc, was only 45 years old when he died of heart trouble on the 4th December, 1942, but he had put much strenuous and successful endeavour into his working life. His early years were spent in India, where he began his education and passed his matriculation examination. He came subsequently to England, and served an apprenticeship from 1914 to 1917 with Reyrolle and Co. at Hebburn, during which he continued his technical studies in evening classes at Jarrow Secondary School. He then joined the Royal Flying Corps, and served in France from 1917 to 1919, gaining a commission as a Pilot Officer. After the war was over he continued his studies at Armstrong (now King's) College, Newcastle-on-Tyne, spending his vacations in various departments of Reyrolle's works. On taking his B.Sc. degree, he joined the company's staff as a sales engineer, and dealt principally at first with the requirements of the supply authorities in the immediate neighbourhood. His background of India, however, coupled with the general high quality of his work, made him a natural choice when a representative engineer had to be selected in 1923 for attachment to Burn and Co. of Calcutta, who had become Reyrolle's agents. From then until his death he continued to manage the company's work in India, supplying equipment not only to electricity authorities but also to a large variety of industrial undertakings. "Like his work" (a friend writes), "so with his play. His stocky figure was a familiar sight on the golf course at the 'Royal' and 'Jodhpur.' Every ounce went into his shots, and he took it as a personal affront if his drive didn't carry the 200-yard mark. At tennis he really found an outlet for his energy, and the terrific men's doubles we fought out remain as some of my pleasantest memories. ... A cheery soul, respected and genuinely liked by all with whom he came in contact. His company has lost one of its most loyal servants; his friends have lost something that cannot be measured or replaced." He joined The Institution in 1919 as a Student and was elected an Associate Member in 1923 and a Member in 1938.

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