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Abell, Sir Westcott Stile (1877–1961), naval architect and surveyor, was born on 16 January 1877 at Littleham in Devon, the first of the four sons of Thomas Abell, house painter and, later, builder and member of Exmouth council for over fifty years, and of his wife, ...

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Auld [née Christie], Susan Mary [known as Susan Denham Christie] (1915–2002), naval architect, was born on 10 January 1915 at 12 Northumberland Terrace, Tynemouth, Northumberland, the only daughter and younger child of John Denham Christie (d. 1950), naval architect and shipbuilder, and chairman of ...

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Baker, Sir Rowland (1908–1983), naval architect, was born on 3 June 1908 at Upchurch, Sittingbourne, Kent, the eldest son of Isaac Baker, a sailing bargee, and his wife, Lizzie Palmer. He had a brother and three sisters. Always top of the class in school and successful at sports, he became an apprentice at ...

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Philip Watts

revised by N. A. M. Rodger

Barnaby, Sir Nathaniel (1829–1915), naval architect, the eldest son of Nathaniel Barnaby, inspector of shipwrights at Sheerness Dockyard, and his wife, Anna (née Fowler), was born at Chatham on 25 February 1829. At the age of fourteen, Barnaby became a shipwright apprentice at ...

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Bentham, Samuel (1757–1831), naval architect and inventor, was born in London on 11 January 1757, the youngest of the seven children of Jeremiah Bentham (1712–1792), an attorney, and his wife, Alicia Woodward Whitehorne (d. 1759), the eldest daughter of Thomas Grove, an ...

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Samuel Bentham (1757–1831) by Henry Edridge, c. 1795–1800 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Eustace Henry William Tennyson-D'Eyncourt

revised by Andrew Lambert

Biles, Sir John Harvard (1854–1933), naval architect, was born at Portsmouth on 6 January 1854, the third son of John Biles, an official at Portsmouth Dockyard, and his wife, Margaret, second daughter of William Groombridge, of Ernehill, Kent. His childhood was spent at ...

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Sir John Harvard Biles (1854–1933) by Bassano, 1921 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Sir James Bird (1883–1946) by Walter Stoneman, 1946 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bird, Sir James (1883–1946), naval architect and aircraft manufacturer, was born on 19 March 1883 in London, the second son of Samuel Bird, merchant, of East Cowes, Isle of Wight, and his wife, Freda. He was educated at Marlborough School, where he was a prefect, played in the hockey eleven, and captained the football fifteen. He next served an apprenticeship with ...

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Bishop, Richard Evelyn Donohue [Dick] (1925–1989), mechanical engineer and naval architect, was born on 1 January 1925 in Lewisham, London, the elder son (there were no daughters) of Norman Richard Bishop, chief accountant and director of Tar Residuals Ltd, and his wife, Dorothy Mary Wood...

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Brierly, Sir Oswald Walters (1817–1894), marine painter and naval engineer, was born at Chester on 19 May 1817, the son of Dr Thomas Brierly (d. in or before 1872), a physician and amateur artist. After schooling in Chester, he became a pupil at ...

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Sir Oswald Walters Brierly (1817–1894) by unknown engraver, pubd 1887 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Davis, Sir Robert Henry (1870–1965), inventor of diving and breathing apparatus, was born in London on 6 June 1870, the eldest son of Robert Davis, a detective in the City of London police force. In 1882, aged eleven, Davis entered the firm of ...

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D'Eyncourt, Sir Eustace Henry William Tennyson-, first baronet (1868–1951), naval architect, was born on 1 April 1868 at Hadley House, Barnet, Hertfordshire, the sixth and youngest child of Louis Charles Tennyson-D'Eyncourt (1814–1896), metropolitan magistrate, and his wife, Sophia (d. 1900), daughter of ...

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Dixon, Sir Robert Bland (1867–1939), engineer and naval officer, was born on 30 March 1867 at Darlington, the elder son of Robert Bland Dixon, architect and surveyor, and his wife, Mary Ann Whitecomb (née Parr). He was the elder brother of Walter Ernest Dixon...

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Eckford, Henry (1775–1832), naval architect and shipbuilder, was born on 12 March 1775 at Kilwinning, in Ayrshire, Scotland, the son of John Eckford and his wife, Janet Black. At the age of sixteen, in 1791, he went to Canada and began to study the principles and practice of ship design in the ...

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W. H. White

revised by Andrew Lambert

Elgar, Francis (1845–1909), naval architect, born at Portsmouth on 24 April 1845, was the eldest son of nine children of Francis Ancell Elgar, who was employed at Portsmouth Dockyard, and his wife, Susanna Chalkley. At fourteen, Elgar was apprenticed as a shipwright in ...

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Fox, Uffa (1898–1972), naval architect and boat builder, was born on 15 January 1898 at East Cowes in the Isle of Wight, the only son and second of the three children (another son and daughter died in childhood) of Arthur Walder Fox, a skilled carpenter engaged on the construction of ...