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British Industrial History

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Thomas Surrell Neale

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Thomas Surrell Neale (1874-1946)

1946 Obituary [1]

"THOMAS SURRELL NEALE, who was born in 1874, had a specialized experience in armour plating, and in the course of his career held several important managerial appointments, including those of the bulletproof works of Messrs. William Beardmore, Ltd., in Glasgow, and the Anglo-American tank factory in France during the war of 1914-18. After taking a two-years' course at the Andersonian College, Glasgow, he obtained a twelve-months' technical training at Glasgow Technical College. His apprenticeship was served from 1894 to 1901 in the Cowlairs works of the North British Railway, and during the next three years he was employed by Messrs. G. and J. Weir, Ltd., as an erector and tester. From 1906 to 1912 he was, for a period, maintenance engineer of the rolling mills and hydraulic plant of Messrs. Stewarts and Lloyds, of Mossend, and subsequently was with Messrs. Smith and McLean in the same capacity.

He then became engineer-in-chief of Messrs. William Beardmore's armour department, and three years later entered upon his appointment as manager of the bulletproof department with the control of over 800 employees. In the following year he went to France to take over, under the Ministry of Munitions, the management of the Anglo-American tank factory. On the conclusion of hostilities he was made manager in charge of the Metropolitan Carriage and Wagon Company's frame machine shops, but in 1923 he returned to his last position with Messrs. William Beardmore. After nine years' experience as assistant to Mr. R. A. Raphael, constructional engineer, of Glasgow, for whom he was engaged on the inspection and valuation of plant, he was from 1935 to 1939 resident in Germany, where he was in control of the production of hydro-electric pipe lines for Brazil. His final position was that of technical assistant in the Bulletproof Section of the Ministry of Supply and he was closely concerned with the armour plating of tanks. Mr. Neale, whose death occurred on 12th January 1946, was elected a Member of the Institution in 1940."

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