With our recent explorations of the origins of The Welding Institute delving into the inaugural meeting and our past Presidents, we wanted to take the opportunity to outline and recognise our founding Members and the pivotal roles they played in the first decade of the Institute’s journey.
Unearthing our first ever annual report from 1924 allows us to learn a bit more about how we came to be and those responsible within those early and crucial years. The first annual report outlines the following founding Members:
Sir W. Peter Rylands, J.P.
Sir Robert A. Hadfield, Bart,. F.R.S., J.P., etc.
Prof. F. C. Thompson, B.Sc. (London), D.Met. (Sheffield), Professor of Metallurgy at Manchester University
Charles Bingham, C.E.
W. R. J. Britten
E. A. Atkins, A.M.I.Mech.E.
Herman G. Dixon, M.I.Mech.E., M.I.Mar.E., M.I.N.A., M.I.E.I
L. M. Fox, M.I.Mech.E., M.I.Mar.E.
A. L. Haggerty
A. Edgar Knowles
T. Vincent Lane
Capt. D. Richardson, R.A.F., Wh. Exh. A.M.I.Mech.E.
Lewis J. Yeoman, F.C.A.
The majority of our founding Members went on the serve as President of the Institution and their contributions and involvements also stemmed further to involve Vice-Chair, honorary roles, Chairing Committees, and more.
Take a look back at what roles our founding Members played in the early years of the Institute:
Serving as the first President of The Institution of Welding Engineers from 1923 to 1925, the 1st annual report outlined that the Council invited Sir W. Peter Rylands, J.P. to accept the office of first President of the Institution and, “desire to express their indebtedness to him accepting this office in spite of the very many calls upon his time, and for the very great interest that he has shown during his office.” The following annual reports highlighted that Sir W. Peter Rylands, J.P. remained a Member of Council after his presidency, taking on roles including Vice-Chairman, North Western Branch Chair and later Vice-Chair and additionally being recognised as a ‘Special Member.’
Sir Robert A. Hadfield, Bart,. F.R.S., J.P.
Whilst Sir Robert A. Hadfield, Bart,. F.R.S., J.P., did not go on to ever serve as President, he undertook the role of Vice-President for five years between 1923 to 1928, being initially recognised as a ‘Special Member’ in 1924 and later appointed as an ‘Honorary Member’ in 1932.
Beginning his role as a founding Member on Council as Vice-Chair between 1923 and 1926, Prof. F. C. Thompson, B.Sc. (London), D.Met. (Sheffield), Professor of Metallurgy at Manchester University, went on to serve as President from 1926 to 1928. His two year-long term was joint first, with Sir W. Peter Rylands, J.P., in being the longest time served as President out of the founding Members, with the 5th annual report outlining that, “at the Annual General Meeting held 22nd June, 1927, Prof. F. C. Thompson, B.Sc. (London), D.Met. (Sheffield), Professor of Metallurgy at Manchester University, at the unanimous wish of the Council, consented to remain as President of the Institution for the following year.”
Charles Bingham, C.E. was a Professor of Metallurgy at Manchester University and initially served as a Vice-President for the Institutions’ first two years and was named as a ‘Special Member.’ The 3rd annual report then outlines that, “at the second annual general meeting, in May of last year, Mr. Charles Bingham, C.E. was elected President of the Institution, in succession of Sir W. Peter Rylands, J.P. Although an exceedingly busy man, Mr. Bingham accepted the office, and the Institution was already making good headway under his guidance.” After serving as President, Charles Bingham, C.E remained a Member of Council and later returned to his initial role as a Vice-President from 1930 until 1933 when, “during the year under review, Mr. C. H. Bingham resigned from the Council, and the Council wishes to place on record its thanks for the services rendered by Mr. Bingham in the past.”
Acting as Honorary Treasurer from the Institute’s origin in 1923 to 1931, W. R. J. Britten stepped down from Honorary Treasurer to become President from 1931 to 1932. After serving as President, W. R. J. Britten was elected again as Honorary Treasurer, making him the Honorary Treasurer of the entire first decade of the Institute’s history, excluding his one year serving as President. W. R. J. Britten’s role on Council also extended further, with him additionally sitting on different Council Committees including the Consultative and Papers Committees.
Sitting on Council as a founding Member, E. A. Atkins, A.M.I.Mech.E went on to undertake the role of Vice-President in 1930 and later served as President from 1933 to 1934. E. A. Atkins, A.M.I.Mech.E’s played an important role in developing and building the Institution’s reputation and name by making use of his industrial experience through his attendance, as a representative of the Institute of Welding Engineers, of the 8th International Congress of Acetylene, Autogenous Welding, and Allied Industries held in Paris in 1923. In the years following his presidency, E. A. Atkins, A.M.I.Mech.E continued to contribute to the Institute by sitting on both the British Standards Institution Welded Steel Air Receivers Specification Committee and the Internal Committee for Examination of Welders: City and Guilds, of London Institute.
Initially sitting on Council as a founding Member, Herman G. Dixon, M.I.Mech.E., M.I.Mar.E., M.I.N.A., M.I.E.I next took on the role of Vice-President in 1925 and he carried out this role for 3 years until 1928. It was then sadly reported in the 10th annual report (1932-1933) that, “the Council records with regret the death of Mr. H. G. Dixon on 17th August, 1932. He was one of the Founders of the Institution and from 1925 to 1928 one of its Vice-Presidents.”
L. M. Fox, M.I.Mech.E., M.I.Mar.E. sat as a Founding Member of Council from 1923 to 1929 with the 7th annual report outlining that, “at a meeting of the Council held on the 11th of July, 1929, L.M. Fox was elected additional Vice-President of the Institution.” The following years’ annual report then stated that, “at the seventh Annual General Meeting, held 29th May, 1930, Mr. L. M. Fox, M.I.Mech.E., M.I.Mar.E., one of the founders of the Institution, was elected President for the year 1930-31.” Within L. M. Fox, M.I.Mech.E., M.I.Mar.E.’s Presidency, the 8th annual report also highlighted the important work he carried out, at the invitation of the British Engineering Standards Association, representing the Institution on the B.E.S.A. Committee, “for the purpose of preparing standard specifications for Oxy-Acetylene and Electric Welding.” L. M. Fox, M.I.Mech.E., M.I.Mar.E. was later elected as an ‘Honorary Member’ in 1932 in recognition of his contribution to the Institution.
Beginning as a founding Member of Council and being listed as a ‘Special Member,’ A. L. Haggerty later became a Vice-President in 1928 until 1929 when it was reported in the 7th annual report that, “at the sixth Annual General Meeting held on the 12th June, 1929, Mr. A. L. Haggerty, one the of the Founders of the Institution, was elected President for the year 1929-30.” After serving as President, A. L. Haggerty continued actively within his role on Council, including sitting on multiple committees such as the 1932 Prize Competition Committee, Papers Committee and Internal Committee for Examination of Welders: City and Guilds of London Institute Committee.
Whilst a founding Member of the Institution, A. Edgar Knowles did not continue his role on Council after 1924. He did, however, remain an active Member of the Institution sharing his technical knowledge and insight with the Institution’s network of engineering personnel, demonstrated by the 3rd annual report outlining that, “the 10th Ordinary Meeting of the Institution was held at Caxton Hall on 12th November, 1925, Mr. A. Edgar Knowles, one the of the founders of the Institution, read a paper on the “Manufacture of Oxygen with Special Reference to its Product Electrolytically.”” He continued to deliver this talk throughout the following years at various ‘Ordinary Meetings’ across the country.
T. Vincent Lane was listed as a founding Member and Member of Council between the Institution’s year of establishment in 1923 and 1925, however, after being left off of the 3rd annual report from 1925-26, he reappears in the 1927 4th annual report, which later outlines that T. Vincent Lane was one of three people co-opted to Council in the Annual General Meeting of that year. T. Vincent Lane later went on to serve as Honorary Treasurer between 1931 and 1932.
Named as a ‘Special Member’ of the Institution, C. Raggett allowed the use of his address of ‘RAGGETT & CO., Printers, 30 Red lion Square. London, W.C.1’ as the Registered Office of the Institution. His contributions to the Institution, however, were not limited to the use of his address, with C. Raggett undertaking the role of Honorary Secretary and serving in that position for over a 6 year period throughout the Institution’s first decade. He also sat on multiple committees including the Prize, Consultative and Papers Committees. The final annual report of this period referenced C. Raggett’s contributions stating that, “it is with great regret that the Council has to inform the Members of the resignation of Mr. C. Raggett as Hon. Secretary of the Institution. The increasing work of the Institution renders it necessary that a whole-time Secretary should be appointed and that the Institution should have its own offices. The Council also wishes to place on record its appreciation and thanks to Mr. C. Raggett for the great services which he has rendered to the Institution for so many years in the capacity of Hon. Secretary and for the continued use of his address as the Registered Office of the Institution.”
Capt. D. Richardson, R.A.F., Wh.Exh., A.M.I.M.E. and G. Young
As with all founding Members, Capt. D. Richardson, R.A.F., Wh.Exh., A.M.I.M.E. and G. Young were both individuals who, as outlined in the Inaugural Meeting article, came forward to consent to act as founders for the Institution. Capt. D. Richardson, R.A.F., Wh.Exh., A.M.I.M.E. sat on the Council of the Institution for 5 years until 1928 and G. Young sat on Council throughout the entire first decade of the Institution’s origin.
Within Lewis J. Yeoman, F.C.A.’s time on Council, his roles involved serving as a Vice-President from 1927 to 1928 followed by serving as President between 1928 and 1929. His involvement with the Institute continued moving forward with him being recognised and elected as a ‘Special Member’ in 1930 and him sitting on the Committee for Revision of Articles and By-Laws.
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