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A Register of Engineering Appointments and Attainments
The Engineers Who's Who 1939 is a useful family history resource for researchers with engineers in their family tree. At this time with the impending Second World War many engineers were involved with the war effort in the War Office, the Admiralty and the Royal Air Force.
Only a year earlier a British steam locomotive had set a new world record while German troops had occupied Austria. In 1939 the Royal Air Force took delivery of 400 planes a month and free air raid shelters were being distributed to London homes. Britain was also planning to introduce conscription and UK farmers were being urged to dig for victory. Hitler's army invaded Poland on 1 September 1939 and World War II began.
"Nearly 7000 names are recorded in this volume - within most cases some biographical details; no endeavour has been made to include British Engineers operating abroad, and the majority of those contained in this record are active engineers whose work lies in the United Kingdom."
The records in the main include the Surname, forename(s), British order of chivalry, qualifications, accomplishments and appointments as well as the private address, career and education. In some instances the age, war service and useful dates are included. Providing a fascinating insight into individuals.
Individuals in the Engineers Who's Who included Professor Sir Bennett Melvill Jones (1887-1975), who demonstrated the importance of streamlining the design of an aircraft. Whilst at Cambridge he supervised Frank Whittle the inventor of the jet engine. As well as Barnes Wallis the inventor of the bouncing bomb used by the RAF in Operation Chastise the "Dambusters" raid.
His entry reads as follows;
JONES, Bennett Melvill. C.B.E., A.F.C., M.A., F.R.Ae.S., F.I.Ae.S.
Francis Mond Professor of Aeronautical Eng., Laboratory, Cambridge.
Age: 51. Career: Aeronautics Dept., Nat. Phys. Lab., 1910 - 1913 ; Royal Farnborough, 1914 - 1916 ; Experimental Officer, Royal Air Force, 1916 - 1918.
Another leading structural engineer Sir John Fleetwood Baker worked with the Air Ministry on the structural problems of airships. During the Second World War, Baker was appointed Scientific Adviser to the Ministry of Home Security, using his plastic theory of structural analysis on reducing the impact of bombing of buildings he created the indoor air raid Morrison Shelter named after the Home Secretary at the time.
BAKER, Professor John F. M.A., Sc. D., D.Sc., Assoc.M.Inst.C.E. (Telford Medal. Telford Premium, Howard Quinquennial Prize), M.I.Struct.E.
Professor of Civil Engineering, University of Bristol. Private Address: 1, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol, 2. Age: 37. Career: Technical Officer Royal Airship Works, Cardington ; Scientific Officer, Building Research Station, Watford ; Technical Officer, Steel Structures Research Committee.