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Abel, Sir Frederick Augustus, first baronet (1827–1902), chemist and explosives expert, was born on 17 July 1827 at Woolwich, the eldest son of Johann Leopold Abel (1795–1871), a music master in Kennington, and his wife, Louisa (d. 1864), daughter of Martin Hopkins...

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Armstrong, John (1674–1742), military engineer, was born on 31 March 1674 the eldest son of Robert Armstrong (c.1651–1716) of Ballyan, King's county (co. Offaly), Ireland and Lydia (c.1649–1715), daughter of Michael Howard of Ballyard, King's county. Armstrong entered young into a military life, serving as a volunteer in the Williamite army in ...

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Coles, Cowper Phipps (1819–1870), naval officer and inventor of a gun turret, was born on 9 July 1819, the third son of the Revd John Coles (1787–1865) of Ditcham Park, Hampshire, rector of Silchester, and his first wife, Marianne Goodhead, née Rogers (...

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Congreve, Sir William, second baronet (1772–1828), rocket designer, was born on 20 May 1772, perhaps at Homerton, Hackney, Middlesex (where he was baptized), the eldest son of Captain-Lieutenant (later Lieutenant-General Sir) William Congreve, first baronet (1743–1814), Royal Artillery, and his first wife, Rebecca...

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Drummond, Thomas (1797–1840), administrator in Ireland and military engineer, was born in Castle Street, Edinburgh, on 10 October 1797. His father, James Drummond (1764/5–1800), a member of the Society of Writers to the Signet, belonged to an old landed Scottish family. In 1792 ...

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Everest, Sir George (1790–1866), geodesist and military engineer, was born in Greenwich on 4 July 1790, the third of six children and the eldest son of (William) Tristram Everest (1747–1825), a lawyer at Greenwich, and his wife, Lucetta Mary Smith (d. 1809)...

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Fowler, Sir Ralph Howard (1889–1944), mathematical physicist and weapons researcher, was born at Fedsden, Roydon, Essex, on 17 January 1889, the elder son of Howard Fowler, of Glebelands, Burnham, Somerset, and his wife, Frances Eva, daughter of George Dewhurst, cotton merchant, of Manchester...

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Green, Sir William, first baronet (1725–1811), military engineer and army officer, was born on 4 April 1725 in St Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster, and baptized in the parish church on 11 April. He was the eldest son of Farbridge Green, and his wife, Helen Smith...

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Mackenzie, Colin (1753–1821), military engineer and surveyor, was born at Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides, one of four children of Murdoch Mackenzie, merchant and postmaster, and his wife, Barbara. Little is known of his early life. His friend Alexander Johnston (1775–1849)...

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Montresor, John (1736–1799), military engineer, was born on 6 April 1736 at Gibraltar, the eldest of the three sons of James Gabriel Montresor (1702–1776), a colonel of engineers, and his first wife, Mary (d. 1761), the daughter of Robert Haswell, master attendant of the royal dockyard at ...

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Pollen, Arthur Joseph Hungerford (1866–1937), expert on gunnery and businessman, was born on 13 September 1866 in Southwater, Sussex, the eighth child and sixth son in the family of eight sons and two daughters of John Hungerford Pollen (1820–1902), artist and author, a Tractarian who had followed ...

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Scott, Henry Young Darracott (1822–1883), inventor of selenitic cement and military engineer, second son of Edward Scott, a quarry owner, was born at Plymouth, Devon, on 2 January 1822. He was educated privately and entered the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, in 1838. Commissioned as second lieutenant in 1840, early the next year ...

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Shrapnel, Henry (1761–1842), army officer and inventor of the Shrapnel shell, was born on 3 June 1761, the youngest son of the nine children of Zachariah Shrapnel (1724–1796) from Midway Manor House, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, and his wife, Lydia (née Needham). The family name appears as ...

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Smelt, Leonard (bap. 1725, d. 1800), military engineer and courtier, was baptized at Kirkby Fleetham, Yorkshire, on 2 May 1725, the son of William Smelt (1691–1755) of Leases, MP for Northallerton from 1740 to 1745 and afterwards 'receiver of His Majesty's casual revenue on the island of ...

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Watson, David (1713?–1761), military surveyor and engineer, was the son of Thomas Watson of Muirhouse, Scotland. He had a brother, John, and a sister, Margaret. Appointed ensign in Colonel Middleton's regiment, later the 25th foot, on 10 July 1725, he was at ...