Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Sydney Montague Smith

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Sydney Montague Smith (1889-1949)

1950 Obituary [1]

"SYDNEY MONTAGUE SMITH throughout his career was in the service of the Great Eastern Railway, during its independent existence and after its absorption into the London and North Eastern Railway, and its final merger in the British Railways system.

He was born in 1889 and received his technical education at the Mechanics' Institute of the Great Eastern Railway and at the East London College. After serving his time in the carriage department of the Stratford works from 1905 to 1908, he was employed in the works drawing office as a designer, and later filled a similar position in the department of the chief mechanical engineer. From 1916 to 1918 his services as draughtsman were lent to the Ministry of Munitions.

On his return to the railway company he resumed his former duties before being made continuous brake inspector in 1921. Subsequently he was transferred to the office of the locomotive-running superintendent, and continued to serve successive superintendents until at the time of his death, which occurred on 13th February 1949, he was senior technical assistant to the motive power superintendent, Eastern Section. Mr. Smith was one of the leading authorities on the use and maintenance of vacuum and Westinghouse brakes, and in the course of his career had accumulated an encyclopaedic knowledge of matters relating to the design of L.N.E. locomotives. He had been an Associate Member of the Institution since 1924."

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