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William John Thorrowgood

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William John Thorrowgood (c1862-1928)

1929 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM JOHN THORROWGOOD, who died at Wimbledon on the 18th October, 1928, in his 67th year, was for many years prominently identified with railway signalling and telegraphy, having specialized in this branch of engineering during 50 years of railway service.

After being educated at a private school at Portsmouth, he entered in 1877, at the age of 15, the service of the London and South Western Railway Company in the telegraph and signal department. He also attended evening classes at Regent Street Polytechnic, and later was engaged as a lecturer in the evening classes at that Polytechnic.

In 1903 he was appointed chief technical assistant in the telegraph department of the London and South Western Railway, becoming five years later general assistant for signals and telegraphs, and in 1912 assistant signal and telegraph engineer.

He was promoted to be signal and telegraph superintendent in 1918 and, on the formation of the Southern Railway in 1923, became superintendent of the signal and telegraph department, which position he occupied until his retirement in 1927.

During his long period of service he was responsible for many developments, notably the installation of light signalling at Charing Cross, London Bridge and other London termini of the Southern Railway, and the substitution of power-operated signalling systems for the manually-operated plant previously in use at those stations.

He was author of various primers and pamphlets on railway signalling matters, and patented a number of devices connected with railway signalling and telegraphy.

He was president of the Institute of Railway Signal Engineers in 1924, and was associated with a number of bodies connected with railway signalling, telegraphs and transport.

He joined the Institution in 1889 as an Associate, became an Associate Member three years later, and was elected to full membership in 1920.

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