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Inspecting Officers (Railways)

The Inspecting Officers were appointed by the Board of Trade to investigate accidents and to ensure that new railways and major works were safe and could be opened. They were closely involved in improving braking systems, signalling and the advancement of automatic train control. Jeffrey Wells gives a good short introduction based on obscure local nrwspapers, presumably accessed online, in Backtrack, 2021, 35, 153. Jack Simmons wrote about them in an Oxford Companion entry entitled inspectors, government and to some extent under Trade, Board of and in a more leisured way in The  Express Train Chapter 14 where Tyler's appreciation of the harshness of Victorian working conditions is questioned. Although he cross-refered from the former to the latter and to accidents, this entry which is wooly fails to acknowledge the key role of the Inspecting Officers, Virtually all were Royal Engineers, and were typically field officers, but some were generals. Some of the basic information has come from Dawn Smith which in turn cited Stanley Hall's Railway detectives. Ian Prosser and David Keay's A new illustrated hisory of Her Majesty's Eailway Inspectorate from 1840 edited by Nigel Harris adds much to the  story. Reginald Fellows wrote about 100 years of railway inspection in Locomotive Mag., 1940, 46, 245. Railway inspection; The Railway Gazette (not seen) reviewed Locomotive Mag., 1947, 53, 14. General Pasley was the first inspecting officer who acted on behalf of Dalhousie who was President of the Board of Trade
Following the establishment of the Irish Free State on 6 December 1922, it was necessary to provide for the functions of railway accident investigation and approval of new railway works, which had up to that time been carried out by the Railway Department of the Board of Trade. An accident at Bray Head on 24 April 1923, in which the Up mail train from Wexford ran into a 200-ton rockfall and became derailed, brought to light the fact that the position of Railway Inspecting Officer had not been filled. As it was considered that the role would not be a full-time position, IM. Batchen, Chief Engineer at the Board of Works, was appointed to carry out the duties on an 'as required' basis. This was the arrangement for successive Railway Inspecting Officers until the appointment of John M. Welsby as Chief Railway Inspecting Officer in 1992, but it continued to be a single-person role until the appointment of two additional Inspectors in 1999. John Welsby became Commissioner for Railway Safety following the establishment of the independent Railway Safety Commission on 1 January 2006. This and the following biographical sketches relate to the five engineers who served as Railway Inspecting Officer up until 1992 (Batchen, and are the work of Gerald Beesley. J. Irish Rly. Rec. Soc. 2018, 28, 77-9.

Addison, G.W.
Lt. Col. Inspecting Officer 1895-9. Dawn Smith.

Anderson, Edward Philip
Born Wavertree, Liverpool, on 30 March 1883. Inspecting Officer from 1929. Educated at Rugby and RMA Woolwich. Apart from service in France and Belgium during WW1 where he won DSO served on North Western Railway in India from 1904-1914 and on Khyber Railway construction rom 1922-4. Who Was Who.

Batchen, Thomas Mackenzie
Fourth and youngest surviving son of George Batchen, Masonry Inspector, and Elizabeth (née McKenzie), was born in Inverness on 10 July 1866. He was educated at Farraline Park School and privately. His railway career began at Inverness in 1882 as a pupil to Murdoch Paterson, Chief Engineer of the Highland Railway, and he was thereafter engaged on the survey, location and construction of several railway lines in the Highlands of Scotland. He was Resident Engineer on the construction of the southern division of the Inverness & Aviemore Direct Railway, on completion of which in July 1892 he was appointed Chief Assistant Engineer to the HR. In 1898 he was appointed to the Board of Works in Ireland to supervise construction of the 3ft gauge Camdonagh extension of the Londonderry & Lough Swilly Railway and the Letterkenny & Burtonport Extension Railway in Co. Donegal. Whilst working on those projects he met and was married in 1900 to Annie Reid, niece of J.Y.F. Cooke, the Contractor's Engineer for George Pauling & Co, the contractor for the construction of both lines. On 1 January 1905, T.M. Batchen was appointed Chief Engineer to the Board of Works in Ireland. In 1923 he succeeded Col John Pringle as Railway Inspecting Officer for railways in Ireland. He conducted inquiries into a number of Irish railway accidents; the most serious of which was that which occurred on the L&LSR at Owencarrow, Co. Donegal on 30 January 1925. Batchen retired in 1932 and died suddenly in Dublin on 3 July 1950. He was elected an Associate Member of the ICE in 1892 and transferred to the class of Member in 1902. He was also a member of the ICEI, of which he was elected a Member in 1905 and served on the council of that Institution. He was an active and constant member of Adelaide Road Presbyterian Church, Dublin, where he held the post of Honorary Treasurer for several years.; ICE and ICEI membership records.portrait J. Irish Rly. Rec. Soc. 2018, 28, 77-9. 

Campbell, Charles
Reported on three accidents on LNER lines in Scotland during 1929. NBRSG Journal, 1994 (56), 21.

Coddington, Joshua William
Born at Glenmore, County Meath, on 5 December,1802; After studying under Dr. Carpendale of Armagh, he entered the Royal Military College, at Woolwich, obtained his commission in the corps of Royal Engineers, on 25 April 1826, and was employed for several years on the Ordnance Survey, in Ireland, whence he was removed to the Island of Bermuda, where he remained about seven years, having charge, during the latter part of that period, of the extensive works of defence for covering the dockyard at Ireland Island.
On returning to England in 1840 he served professionally at Woolwich and in Scotland, until he received the appointment, in 1844, of one of the Inspectors of Railways, under the Board of Trade, which post he held for three years: 1844-7.  Reporterd on Jarrow accident in 1846. Inspected section of Midland Great Western between Dublin and Enfield on 28 June 1847 (Cox and O'Dwyer Early main line railways conference).  Inspected Trent Valley Railwy: Mathams and Barrett Backtrack, 2014, 28, 4. Inspected first part of Blackburn, Darwen & Bolton Railway see Backtrack, 2015, 29, 366.
During that period he had been frequently solicited by railway companies to undertake the general management of their lines, and eventually he accepted the post of General Manager of the Caledonian Railway, tendered to him on very advantageous terms, and under a guarantee of tenure for ten years. On entering that position he resigned his appointment under the Board of Trade, and retired from the army. For five years he devoted all his untiring energies to the service of the Company, with that zeal and intelligence for which he was remarkable, and yet with such conciliatory manner and kindness, as to render himself respected and beloved by all who were brought into contact with him.
At the expiration of that period he relinquished the charge, and was for some time chiefly engaged as arbitrator in litigated cases between railway companies; at length he accepted temporarily the general direction of the Chester and Shrewsbury Railway, and whilst  working there it was discovered that there existed a deep-seated disease of the femur, which eventually  led to the amputation of the limb. In every relation of life Captain Coddington was a truly estimable man, beloved and respected by all who knew him, as was testified by the respect and esteem entertained for him by all the Engineers with whom he came into contact, as Inspector of Railways, and by the affecting letter of condolence unanimously addressed to his widow, by the members of the establishment of the Caledonian Railway, who had served with and under him. He was elected an Associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1845, and served on the Council in 1847, frequently attended the meetings, and took part in the discussions, and was always ready to add to the collections of the archives, to afford information to the Members, and to contribute in any way to the advancement of the Society Died at Chester following an amputation of a leg on 1 December 1853. Graces Guide.  Dawn Smith

Coleman, Vic
Joinrd Railway Inspectorate in 1990; headed it from 1998 to 2001 during period that company profit was more important than passenger safety. Portrait page 12 of Prosser.

Cooksey, Alan
Chartered Civil Engineer who joined the Railway Inspectorate in 1975 as an Employment Inspector having previously worked on the London Midland Region being mainly concerned with bridge and electrification works. He was promoted to the new post of Deputy Chief Inspecting Officer in 1988. Stanley Hall's Railway detectives.

Courtney,Thaddeus Cornelius
'Ted' Courtney was born in Cork on 13 December 1894. He was the elder son of Timothy Courtney, an officer in the Royal Irish Constabulary who, whilst in discharge of his duty at Whitegate, Co. Cork, on 21 June 1891, was severely beaten in a conflict with a number of drunken militiamen, and lost an eye. For this unfortunate incident, the Cork County Grand Jury awarded Constable Courtney £1,000 compensation. Ted Courtney was educated at the Christian Brothers' Schools at Our Lady's Mount and at Presentation College, Cork. He graduated from University College Cork with Honours in Engineering and in July 1916 took his first appointment as a junior engineering assistant under J.R. Kerr on the Cork Bandon & South Coast Railway. After one year with the CB&SCR, he moved north where he was engaged on construction of facilities in the Belfast shipyards. Later he went back to Cork and was involved in the building of the factory for the Ford Motor Co. In 1922, he joined the Free State Army on its formation where he was instrumental in organising the Corps of Engineers from which he retired at the rank of Major in 1925. His next appointment was as Engineering Inspector (Roads) with the Department of Local Government, from which he went to Tipperary (North Riding) as County Surveyor in 1930. In 1934, he returned to the Department of Local Government as Chief Engineering Advisor where he was responsible for reorganising the engineering services of the County Councils to meet the expansion in road improvement, public works, and housing. During this period he was called on to assist on several government commissions, inquiries and special projects. He was appointed to succeed A. Hassard as Railway Inspecting Officer in 1940 and conducted the inquiry into the collision that occurred on the GSR Cork mainline at Straboe on 20 December 1944. T.C. Courtney was married to Letitia Fitzsimons in Dublin on 5 August 1925. He resigned his position as RIO on his appointment as Chairman of Coras lompair Eireann in February 1949, a position he relinquished on 31 August 1958, but he remained a member of the CIE Board until his death at The Cable Station, Waterville, Co. Kerry, on 5 August 1961. Courtney was elected an associate Member of the ICEI in 1919, transferred to the class of Member in 1928, and was awarded the Mullins Silver Medal in 1938, for his paper entitled 'Road Reconstruction'. He served as a member of the Institution's council 1935-1942 and 1944-1961, as Vice-president, 1942-3; and President, 1943- 44. He was also the Engineers' Association in 1953.; ICE I membership records. portrait J. Irish Rly. Rec. Soc. 2018, 28, 77-9. 

Druitt, Edward
Commissioned in 1873. Lt. Col. in Royal Engineers . Inspecting Officer 1900-18: conducted the accident enquiry into Quintishill disaster of 22 May 1915. See Nock's Historic railway disasters (portrait p. 287). Died in Edinburgh on 25 July 1922. Enquiry into Waterloo derailment of Liverpool to Southport express hauled by 2-4-2T on 15 July 1903 conducted by Druitt is considered by John C. Hughes in Backtrack, 2017, 31, 548. 

Feehan, James Vincent
Vincent Feehan, son of John Daniel Feehan, who was to become Assistant County Surveyor for Carlow, and his wife Anastasia (nee Kinsella), was born at Ballickmoyler, Co. Laois on 31 March 1922. He was the grandson of James Feehan, Assistant County Surveyor for Queen's County (Laois), and his uncle, Malachi Andrew Feehan, who became County Surveyor for Laois in 1924, had worked on the construction of the Athy-Wolfhill colliery railway during 1917-18. Vincent graduated from University College Dublin with a BE in 1945 and was admitted as a Student of the ICEI in December 1944, subsequently being elected an Associate Member. Following the merger of the ICEI and Cumann na nlnnealt6iri to form the IEI in 1968, he became CEng MIEI, and in November 1989 he was transferred to the class of Fellow of the IEI. J.V. Feehan succeeded T.L. Hogan as Railway Inspecting Officer in 1973, and it was during his term of office that the most serious railway accidents in Ireland since that at Armagh in 1889 occurred. Hence he was responsible for conducting inquiries into the following accidents on the CIE network: Rosslare Strand, 13 August 1974; Gormanstown, 21 October 1974; Clogh, near Gorey, 31 December 1975; Arklow, 3 October 1979; Dalkey, 16 November 1979; Buttevant, 1 August 1980; and Cherryville, 21 August 1983. In the case of Buttevant and Cherryville, which were formal public inquiries with evidence taken under oath, he was assisted by Declan Budd BL. Strangely; the complete derailment of a passenger train near Claremorris on 24 September 1989 was not the subject of an independent extemal inquiry. He retired in 1992, but continued to work in a part-time capacity for some years after retirement, overlapping with his successor John M. Welsby. One of his last railway roles was as a member of the Rail Safety Working Party of the European Transport Safety Council that produced a paper entitled "Priority Issues in Rail Safety" in February 1999. He was also Chief Executive of the Air Navigation Services Office in Dublin, and, in his aviation role, he served as Vicepresident of the Committee of Management for Eurocontrol (1984-85) and as President in 1986. He also acted as Chairman of the Ireland West Airport at Knock, Co. Mayo, during 1986, in the absence of and following the death of Monsignor James Horan. Vincent Feehan died at the Blackrock Clinic, Co. Dublin, on 26 August 1999 and was buried at Shanganagh Cemetery, Co. Dublin. In 1979 he presented a paper to the IRRS on the Railway Inspectorate. portrait J. Irish Rly. Rec. Soc. 2018, 28, 77-9. .

Galton, Douglas

Gibbens, Edward Brian
Report of the public inquiry [held by Brian Gibbens, QC into the accident at Hixon Level Crossing on 6 January 1968 (Cmnd. 3706)

Hall, E.
Lt. Col. in Royal Engineers . Inspecting Officer 1919-27. Minor bump at Brighton station: Locomotive was 4-6-4T: ispected by Hall Locomotive Mag., 1926, 32, 197. Described as a Major in Locomotive Mag., 1824, 30, 163 when describing a collision on the LYR main line due to lack of clarity in instructions to driver of express train and of the ease with which freight trains divided.

Hall, G.L.

Harness, Henry Drury
Born 29 April 1804. Educated at Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. In 1846 became Secretary for the Railway Commission which arbitrated. (in his case on behalf of) the Post Office and the railways. ODNB entry by R.H. Vetch, revised by James Lunt. Mentioned in Stanley Hall's Railway detectives.

Hassard, Arthur
Eldest son of Robert Hassard, JP, and Frances (née Read) was born in Desertcreat, Co. Tyrone on 15 July 1874. He obtained his BA and BAI from Trinity College Dublin in 1897, being awarded certificates of special merit in engineering, geology and chemistry, and subsequently secured his MAl from TCD in 1907. In January 1898 he commenced his career as a pupil to B.D. Wise on the Belfast & Northern Counties Railway where he had charge of alterations to, and relaying of, important junctions. In June 1899, he secured a position as assistant to W. Collen, Dublin County Surveyor, and was seconded to W. Barrington in November of the same year to prepare parliamentary plans for the Glasgow District Electric Tramways. He served with the Army during the Boer War and on his return to Ireland in 1901 he was appointed Assistant Engineer with the Congested Districts Board. He continued to supervise the construction and maintenance of harbours, piers, etc. on the western seaboard following the transfer of his function to the Department of Agriculture & Fisheries in 1905. Arthur Hassard was elected an Associate Member of the ICE in 1900 and transferred to the class of Member in 1919. In 1911 he was also elected a Member of the ICEI for which Institution he served as Honorary Secretary for three terms and Vice President for two terms. He was elected President for the 1926-27 term, and he contributed several important papers to the Proceedings of the ICEI. After several years spent exclusively on marine work, he was assigned to duties connected with inland fisheries, but returned to railways on being appointed to succeed T.M. Batchen as Railway Inspecting Officer in 1932, from which position he retired at the end of 1939. In that role, he conducted the inquiry into the derailment of the Drumm Battery train and ensuing electrical fire that occurred on 25 June 1935 at Dun Laoghaire. Arthur Hassard was married to Lillian Alice Harman at Oldcastle, Co. Meath, in 1908 and continued to reside in Co. Dublin up to the time of his death, which occurred on 21 January 1949 at his residence Churchville, Church Avenue, Rathmines.; ICE and ICEI membership records. portrait. J. Irish Rly. Rec. Soc. 2018, 28, 77-9.

Hewison, Chtristian H.
Born in 1909 in Worsborough Dale in 1909 where his father was a curate. In 1913 his father became Vicar of Thurgoland, moving to Marr near Doncaster in late 1916. In 1926 Christian became a Premium Apprentice at Doncaster Works.and studied Civil Engineering at Sheffield University. On completion of his apprenticeship he joined the running side and eventually became shed master of places like Melton Constable and Ipswich which are asssociated with Dick Hardy.After a period at he Rugby Testing Plant he joined the Railway Inspectorate in 1953. See also his two books.

Hidden, Anthony
Born 7 March 1936; died 19 February 2016. Barrister, Queen's Counsel and later Judge. Chaired enquiry into the 1988 Clapham Junction rail crash. Educated at Reigate Grammar School becoming head boy in 1954, and graduated from Emmanuel College, Cambridge in 1957. He served with the Royal Tank Regiment, and was called to the Bar 1961. He was made a Queen's counsel in 1976, appointed as a recorder in 1977, and for four years served as presiding judge on the South-East circuit. At the invitation of Paul Channon, the Secretary of State for Transport, Hidden chaired an enquiry into the causes of the 12 December 1988 Clapham Junction rail crash, in which 35 people died and nearly 500 were injured. He won praise for his unrelenting approach throughout the 56-day hearing, and for the thoroughness of his report. The enquiry report (known as the Hidden Report) made 93 recommendations for safety and other improvements, including the adoption of the Automatic Train Protection system. Mainly ikipedia (29-05-2017); also Stanley Hall's Railway detectives. who puts Hidden into a broader context.  

Hogan, Thomas Leo
Third son of Thomas Joseph Hogan, painter, and his wife Johanna, was born on 29 October 1903 in Dublin. He was educated at the Catholic University School, Dublin (1912-21) and graduated from University College Dublin with a BSc in 1924 and a BE in 1925. He joined the Office of Public Works in October 1925, where he was first engaged on the River Barrow drainage work, and in March 1929 he was appointed senior assistant to the Resident Engineer. Hogan was elected an Associate Member of the ICEI in 1928 and transferred to the class of Member in 1944, later becoming CEng, FIEI. In 1939, he presented a paper at the Institution entitled "River Barrow Drainage". He had also been elected an Associate Member of the ICE in 1930. Hogan was appointed to succeed Courtney as Railway Inspecting Officer in 1949 and during his term of office, he conducted a formal inquiry into the collision on the CDRJC at Donegal on 29 August 1949, in which he was assisted by TJ. Neylon BL. He also carried out inquiries into the following accidents on the CIE system: the collision at Hazlehatch on 4 January 1955; runaway at Cahir on 21 December 1955; collision at Dundrum on 23 December 1957; and the collision near Mullingar on 5 December 1963. Together with P.T. Somerville-Large (Chief Civil Engineer) and E. O'Flaherty (Operations Manager) from CIE, and two representatives from the Department for Local Government, he constituted the Level Crossing Working Group, which first met on 20 February 1964. He also served on the Standards Committee of the Institute for Industrial Research & Standards and, in addition to his role as RIO, he was Chief Airports Engineer at the Department of Transport & Power. TL. Hogan, who was unmarried, died unexpectedly on 6 November 1978 at his residence in Cowper Road, Rathmines, Dublin, and was buried in the family plot at Glasnevin Cemetery. ICE I and ICE membership records; Proc ICEI, vol.65, 1939; Irish Times, 07-11-1978. portrait J. Irish Rly. Rec. Soc. 2018, 28, 77-9. 

Hutchinson, Charles Scrope
Born in Hythe (Kent) on 8 August 1826; died Blackheath on 29 February, 1912. Educated at Royal Military College in Woolwich. He obtained his commission in 1843, On 26 January 1843  his elder Sapper brother was responsible for the demolition of Round Down cliff at Dover for Sir William Cubitt during construction of South Eastern Railway. Charles became an istructor and latterly Ptofessor of Fortifications and a substantive colonel in 1876, in which year he retired with the honorary rank of major-general.  In 1867 he became an Inspector of Railways for the Board of Trade and for the three years prior to retirement in 1895 Chief Inspector. He was responsible for 6500 inspections of railways and tramways and 1100 inquiries into accidents. From 1876 to 1879 he provided technical advice to Partliamentary Committees on the use of steam traction on street tramways and travelled extensively in Europe to study progress there.In 1896 he was responsible for the repeal of Red Flag Act (Locomotive Act of 1865) which had required a man with a red flag to walk in front of a locomotive running on the highway. He conducted the accident enquiry into the extremely tragic Armagh disaster of 12 June 1889 which had involved the deaths of many children. He inspected both the first Tay and Forth bridges. In the case of the former he wrote "I should wish if possible to have an opportunity of observing the effects of a  high wind when train carriages is running over the bridge."  A retirement notce in the Maryport Advertiser noted that he had conducted 1100 inquiries into railway accidents, made 6500 inspections and travelled 1,250,000 miles in connection with this work. See Nock's Historic railway disasters (Chapter 5 and portrait p. 287). Member of Special Committee appointed to inquire into certain schemes for the improvement of railway communication on the western coast of Scotland. See Backtrack, 2015, 29, 356. Elected an Associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers on 3 March, 1874. Biography in Stanley Hall's Railway detectives. Portrait page 12 of Prosser. Short entry in Biographical Dictionary of Civil Engineers by Robert C. William. Jeffrey Wells An inspector calls... in Backtrack, 2021, 35, 153-7.

King, Anthony (Tony) Gwyn Burton
Died on 20 December 2014. Buried in Bicknoller (Somerset) where he had retired. Major King reported on the Polmont accident in which a train being pushed by a Type 47/7 collided with a stray cow and this led to 13 deaths and 17 serious injuries. He also reported on the Taunton sleeping car accident (fire).

Laffan, Robert Michael
Born in Skehana (Ireland) on 14 August 1819. Educated at Pontlevoy in France and Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. Served in Natal in campaigns against the Boers and in Mauritius. In 1847 he was made the Commanding Royal Engineer for Belfast. From 1847 to 1852 he was Inspector of Railways for the Board of Trade. Eventually he became Governor of Bermuda, became a KCMG, Lieutenant General and died in Bermuda on 22 March 1882. . ODNB entry by R.H. Vetch, revised by Alex May. As Captain inspected Montrose terminus of Aberdeen Railway in 1848 (Nisbet Backtrack, 2012, 26, 526). Mentioned in Stanley Hall's Railway detectives.

Langley, Charles Ardagh
Born in Cork on 23 August 1897; died 21 November 1987. Educated  Cheltenham College; Royal Military Academy, Woolwich Served WW1: commissioned in Royal Engineers, 1915; France, 1916, served in field co. and as Adjutant to divisional engineers (MC and Bar). Subsequently took course of higher military engineer training, including one year at Cambridge University; Railway Training Centre, Longmoor, 1922–27; seconded to Great Indian Peninsular Railway, 1927–33, in connection with electrification of Bombay-Poona main line, including construction of power station at Kalyan; Railway Training Centre, Longmoor, 1933–38; various appointments, including Chief Instructor of Railways, War Office, 1938–40; War of 1939–45: responsible for initial transportation developments in Middle East; later formed Transportation Training Centre for raising and training Docks and Inland Water Transport troops of Indian Engineers. Dep. Quartermaster-Gen. (Movements and Transportation), Allied Land Forces, South East Asia Command, 1943–45 (despatches, CBE); Commandant, Transportation Training Centre, Longmoor, 1946. Inspecting Officer of Railways, 1946–58, Chief Inspecting Officer, 1958–63, Ministry of Transport. Consultant: British Railways Board, 1963–66; Transmark, 1972–73; Projects Manager, UKRAS (Consultants) Ltd, 1966–69, Managing Director, 1969–72. Consultant, Kennedy & Donkin, 1974–81. Author of several military text books on transportation (Ottley 5574; 11490; 11491 not the textbooks!). CB 1962; CBE 1945. Observations on propsal to modify Forth Bridge to accept road traffic see Backtrack, 2016, 30, 398). Paragraph in Stanley Hall's Railway detectives. Portrait page 12 of Prosser.

McMullen, Denis
Born 21 April 1902; died 3 June 1973. Educated Cheltenham College; Royal Military Academy (Woolwich). Commissioned in Royal Engineers, 1921; posted India, 1924; seconded Indian State Railways (North Western Railway), 1925–39. WW2 service in France, Iraq and India. Controller of Railways, Allied Commn, Austria, 1945–46; seconded to Indian State Railways (N.W. Railway), 1946–47; seconded to Pakistan State Railways (N.W. Railway) (Chief Operating Superintendent), 1947–48. Chief Inspecting Officer of Railways, Ministry of Transport, 1963–68 (Inspecting Officer, from 1948). Colonel in Royal Engineers. He conducted the accident enquiry into the Hither Green derailment of 5 November 1967 caused by a broken rail.. See Nock's Historic railway disasters (portrait p. 288). Paragraph in Stanley Hall's Railway detectives.Portrait page 12 of Prosser.

McNaughton, Lt-Col Ian Kenneth Arnold
Born 30 June 1920. Education Loretto School. Royal Military Academy, Woolwich; RMCS Shrivenham. WW2 served in North West Europe. Inspecting Officer of Railways, Ministry of Transport from 1963 — Chief Inspecting Officer of Railways, Department of Transport, 1974–82. Retired 1963. Chairman., Railways Industry Advisory. Committee, Health and Safety Commnission, 1978–82. Paper: Price of safety. Proc. Instn Mech. Engrs., 1977, 191, 1.  Paragraph in Stanley Hall's Railway detectives. Portrait page 12 of Prosser.

Marindin, [Sir] Francis Arthur
Wikepedia lists place of birth as Weymouth on 1 May 1838 and death as London 21 April 1900: buried at Craigflower, Dunfermline. Educated at Eton and Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. Served in Crimean War. When Colonel in Royal Engineers, became Chief Inspecting Officer of Railways between 1895 and 1899: he had been an Inspecting Officer since 1877. He encouraged Sapper soccer and was President of the Football Association for several years. ODNB entry M.A. Bryant. . See Nock's Historic railway disasters. Portrait with biography Rly Arch, 2012 (37), 24 upper. Preliminary inspection of West Highland Railway. NBRSG Jounal, 1994 (56), 4. Inspection of Helensburgh station NBRSG Jounal, 2020 (140), 53. More on West Highland NBRSG Jounal, 2020 (140), 38 Portrait page 12 of Prosser.

Melhuish, S.C.
Briefly assistant Inspecting Officer of Railways in 1840. Dawn Smith. Simmons also mentions Captain Melhuish in The express train on page 215.

Moore, J.L.M.
Civilian ("Mr") who reported on Craigenhill firebox collape on No. 6224 on 10 September 1940. Hewison. Reported on accidents between 1929 and 1953. Reported on fatality of guard at St. Margarets (Hertfordshire) on 22 August 1929 NBRSG Journal, 1994 (56), 21. Reported on South Pelaw derailment in 1942 (Locomotive Mag., 1942, 48, 166) and several other WW2 accidents including boiler explosions. Accident near Aviemore when broken coupling led to the division of a mineral train on the climb to Slochd and the runaway portion colliding with another freight train with footplate crew on the pilot engine being killed. Locomotive Mag., 1940, 46, 246. See NBRSG Journal for Harry Knox's account of Granton accident in 1953. Called Director General, Ministry of War Transport in report on Beighton accident in which 14 soldiers were killed: see Locomotive Mag., 1942, 48, 72

Mount, [Sir] Alan Henry Lawrence
Born in Welwyn in 1881, died 13 August 1955. Educated at Bradfield College and Coopers Hill. Served with the Royal Engineers; a time which included experience on the North Western Railway in India. Chief Inspecting Officer Railways (from 1929 until 1942; previously Inspecting Officer from 1919) (he had investigated the serious derailments of Maunsell's 2-6-4Ts, most notably one which immediately preceded the one at Sevenoaks) and was Chairman of the Pacific Locomotive Committee which investigated rhe serious derailments of Indian locomotives which had been supplied by British locomotive manufacturers. Cox was a member of this Committee and this activity is described (and the members of the Committee are illustrated) in Volume 2 of Cox's Locomotive panorama. The 190pp Report (outlined in Locomotive Mag., 1939, 45, 215) was published in Delhi in 1939. The cause of the derailments was poor bogie design and this was established by the French Member Léguille. Mount commented upon his Indian experiences at a joint meeting of the Locomotive, Civil and Mechanical Engineers: this is reported in J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1943, 33, 226-7. See also Nock's Historic railway disasters (including portrait p. 288). Mount also chaired a Commiittee set up by the Ministry of War Transport with the four Chief Mechanical Engineers and representatives from the Ministries of Supply, Aircraft Production, Labour and the Admiralty to enhance the production of war materials in the railway workshops. Volume 1 of Locomotive Panorama outlines this and the quest to build 2-8-0s (Stanier 8F and Riddles' Austerity in the various worksshops. Mount was knighted in 1941. Photograph on board SS Narkunda with Alan Mount on voyage back to Europe following Indian Pacific inquiry see Cox Locomotive panorama Volume 2.. Portrait page 12 of Prosser.

Olver, Peter Michael
Born in September 1924; died 26 July 2009. Following a career in the Royal Engineers he joined the Railway Inspectorate as a Major in 1965 and did not retire until 1989. He specialized in safey on the growing number of preserved railways and in accidents at level crossings. Based mainly on Stanley Hall's Railway detectives. Body and Parker Real railway tales: from taking the marks to double derailment

Pasley, [General Sir] Charles William
Born Eskdalemuir, Dumfriesshire on 8 September 1780, and died in London on 19 April 1861. (Marshall). Excellent biography by Jack Simmons in Oxford Companion which makes it even more absurd that ODNB entry by R.H. Vetch (some sort of weed) supposedly revised by John Sweetham fails to make anything of his contribution to railway safety. Established Royal Engineers Institution at Chatham. Inspector of Railways at Board of Trade 1841-6. Diary at British Library: see Parrish, H.W. Pasley's Diary: a neglected source of railway history. J. Transport Hist., 1963, 6, 14-23. Ottley 5361a. Contributed to discussion on Crampton paper in Proc. Instn Civil Engineers, 1849, 8, 254-5. Simmons also contributed further appreciation of Pasley in The express train on page 215. The North British Railway Study Group has published a significant study by Donald Cattanach:. General Pasley and the inspections of the NBR in 1846 and 1847. Report on Dog Kennel Bridge accident on broad gauge Great Western see  Backtrack, 2020, 34, 250.

Pickard, Lieut-Col Jocelyn Arthur Adair
Born 1885; died 18 April 1962. Education Rugby; Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. Commissioned Royal Engineers, 1904; During WW1 served in France and received DSO in 1918. Had served in London Traffic Branch, Board of Trade, 1912–14; and following WW1 the Ministry of Transport, Director, Tramways and Road Services Branch; Assistant Inspecting Officer of Railways, 1919–23; Chief Executive. Officer, Royal. Society for the Prevention of Accidents, 1923–50, CBE 1948 

Pringle, [Sir] John Wallace
Born in India in 1863. Died 16 July 1938 at Cuckfield aged 75. When 20 he was given a commission in the Royal Engineers, and served with the Burmese Expedition in 1885-6. From 1891 he was mainly associated with railway work, and directed the survey of the Uganda Rly. In 1896 he was appointed superintending engineer on the survey and construction of the Hyderabad-Godavery Valley Rly. Later he became lnspecting Officer of Railways for the Board of Trade (from 1900) — Chief Inspecting Officer 1916–29. Conducted the accident enquiry into the Sevenoaks derailment of 24 August 1927. See Nock's Historic railway disasters (portrait p. 288). Chaired two high-powered Committees to investigate the general adoption of automatic train control on British railways (following the adoption of an electro-mechanical system on the GWR). The first reported in April 1922: its members were W.C. Acfield, Signalling Superintendent of the Midland Railway,;E.C. Cox, Superintendent of the Line, SECR; Major Edmonds of the Ministry of Transport; H.N. Gresley, Locomotive Engineer, GNR; Major Hall, Inspecting Office, Ministry of Transport, J.H. Thomas, General Secretary, NUR; and Sir Robert Turnbull, a Director of the LNWR. The second committee reported in 1930, its members were H.C. Charleton, MP; C.B. Collett, E.C. Cox, Chief Operating Superintendent of the SR; Gresley, Lt. Col. G.L. Hall, Assistant Engineer, Signals & Telegraphs, SR, A. Newlands, Chief Civil Engineer, LMS, J. Sayers, Telegraph Superintendent, LMS and E.A. Wilson, Chief Engineer to the Metropolitan Railway. As was shown later at Harrow & Wealdstone (and elsewhere) little was done outside the GWR. He was also Chairman of the Electrification of Railways Advisory Committee which reported in 1928 (see R.A.S. Hennessey. 'Sparks' – the electrical consultants. Backtrack, 2008, 22, 564-9) Obituary: J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1938, 28, 504-5. Also Marshall. His Report into the Ais Gill accident is considered in great depth by the late Peter Robinson in Backtrack, 2014, 28, 666 and 2015, 29, 46. See Harry Knox article in NBR Study Group J., 2016 (129) 28. Portrait page 12 of Prosser.

Prosser, Ian
Experienced HM Chief Inspector of Railways with a demonstrated history of working in the transportation/rail/chemical/utilities and highway industries . Strong in engineering and professional skilled in Operations Management, Health and Safety Management, Project management, Transportation, and Contract Management. In recent years have become a recognised inspirational speaker now with a well established international reputation. Lead author of A new illustrated hisory of Her Majesty's Railway Inspectorate which includes a portrait of him on page 12 of Prosser.

Reed, W.P.
Inspecting Officer in 1950s and 1960s: as yet no personal details. See Peter Tatlow's review of Richard Westwood's The Hixon railway disaster: the inside story in Backtrack, 2018, 32, 574

Rich, Francis H.
Born at Castleconnel near Limerick. Joined Royal Engineers in 1843. After postings to Canada and the West Indies he was secionded to the Board of Trade as an inspector of railways in April 1851. Colonel from 1873. Chief Inspecting Officer Railways: 1885-9. A major inspection involved that of the Severn Tunnel in 1886. Jeffrey Wells An inspector calls... in Backtrack, 2021, 35, 153-7. Brief biography in Stanley Hall's Railway detectives. Dawn Smith.

Robertson, Col John Richard Hugh
Born 18 November 1912; died 20 February 1977. Educated Aysgarth School.; Wellington College; Royal Military Academy, Woolwich; Trinity Hall, Cambridge University (Prize Cadet, Cadet School., Army Schol., and Sword of Honour; boxing, athletics and pentathlon teams); Served WW2 (BEF, 1939; Norway, 1940) Chief Instructor Transportation Training Centre, UK, 1946; then varied career; Inspecting Officer of Railways, 1959. Chief Inspecting Officer of Railways, Department of the Environment, 1969–73. CBE 1974 (OBE 1951) See also comments made on J.M. Jarvis: Fire precautions in locomotives and rolling stock. Rly Div. J., 1971, 2,: 127-9. Reported on accident at Coton Hill, Shrewsbury on 11 January 1965: see Backtrack, 2015, 29, 378. Paragraph in Stanley Hall's Railway detectives whhich mentions his courageous battle with arthritis which not prevent him inspecting bridge clearances on the West Coast main line electrification when he sat in a chair on the flat roof of an inspection vehicle in mid-winter.

Robertson, Stanley
Joined the Health & Safety Executive in 1974, when he was made electrical inspector of factories for Manchester Division. He became Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Railways in 1993.  Awaeded CBE. Portrait page 12 of Prosser.

Rose, Major Charles Frederick (Freddie)
Born 9 July 1926; Education Xaverian College, Brighton; Royal School of Military Engineering, 1951–52 and 1957–59 Career: Student engineer, Southern Railway Co., 1942–46; commissioned RE, 1947; service with military railways, Palestine and Egypt, 1947–51; Germany, 1952–53; Korea, 1953–54; Inspecting Officer of Railways, 1968–82; Chief Inspecting Officer of Railways, Dept of Transport, 1982–88. Chairman., Anglo-French Channel Tunnel Safety Authority, 1987–89. independent consultant in railway engineering and safety, 1989–98 CBE 1988 (MBE 1968). Comment on flexibility of electric multiple unit operation in discussion of Warder ILocoE paper. Portrait page 12 of Prosser.

Ross, G.
Inspecting Officer 1858-61.  Dawn Smith

Rothery, Henry Cadogan
Grabbed position of chairman of Tay Bridge Inquiry usurping Yolland. Inquiry condemned Bouch. Rothery was Commissioner for Wrecks and appointed by Board of Trade. McKean. Battle for the North

Sefton, Allan
University of North Wales: BSc, PhD. Biologist and ecologist. Former head of Railway Inspectorate (2004-2006): had joined in 2001. Board member Health & Safety Executive. Non executve director of Angel Trains. Portrait page 12 of Prosser.

Seymour, Robin J.
Robin Seymour joined the Railway Inspectorate as Chief Inspecting Officer in 1988, having previously been with the Health & Safety Executive. He been working since 1984 as Her Majesty's Deputy Chief Inspector of Factories in the Hazardous Substances Division.
A Cambridge graduate, Mr Seymour served as HM Inspector of Factories in Yorkshire, Lancashire and the West Midlands dealing with health and safety in a wide range of industries, before being appointed District Inspector for Stirling in 1966.
In 1973 he moved to the London headquarters of the Inspectorate, anc the establishment of the Health & Safety Executive he worked for several years in the Executive's Safety Policy Division, later serving as Area Director of the Inspectorate's North West London area. In 1982 he returned to the Inspectorate HQ on promotion to Deputy Chief Inspector with responsibility for Area offices in Scotland and the North of England; he moved to the Railway Inspectorate six years later. Portrait page 12 of Prosser.

Simmons, John Lintorn Arabin
Simmons was born on 12 February 1821 at Langford, Churchill, (place of birth corrected 2009-03-13) in Somerset. He was the fifth son of Lieutenant Thomas F. Simmons, a Royal Artillery Officer. He was educated at Elizabeth College Guernsey (where his father was serving) and at the Royal Military College in Woolwich. He was commissioned on 14 December 1837 as a Royal Engineer and sent to Chatham for further study under Col. Sir Charles Pasley who was to become Chief Inspector of Railways in 1841, until deprived of this post following the collapse of bridges on the NBR due to flooding. Simmons spent six years in Canada, and on his return was sent to Chester to provide expertise on the bridge collapse there on 24 May 1847. Captain Simmons recommended a Royal Commission on the Application of Iron to Railway Structures. He inspected the Conway Tubular Bridge and perfprmed load-deflection tests upon it (Backtrack, 2018, 32, 518). Subsequently, he became involved as an advisor to the Turkish Army and rose in rank. He became Governor of the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich, was involved in the Royal Commission on Railway Accidents of 1874, became a full General in 1877, the Govenor of Malta between 1884 and 1888 where his diplomatic skills were used in negotiations with the Pope. He retired on 28 September 1888 and was made a Field Marshall in 1890. He died at Blackwater (Hants) on 14 February 1903 and is buried in Churchill, Somerset. See Stanley Hall's Railway detectives; Horne Backtrack 16 504 and Horne Backtrack, 15, 148. ODNB biography by R.H. Vetch revised by James Lunt. Susan Hots in Chrimes. Cartoon Rly Arch, 2012 (37), 20 upper. Portrait page 12 of Prosser.

Smith, [General Sir] John Mark Frederic
Born in London on 11 January 1790 into a military family, and died in London on 20 November 1874. Became a general in 1863 and was a senior Colonel Commandant of the Royal Engineers. For a time he was Inspector General of Railways and reported on the London & Birmingham Railway. He was Chairman of the Commission of Inquiry into railway gauges, and one of the Commissioners who investigated London termini. In 1841 he reported with Peter Barlow on railway communication between London and Scotland. Marshall. Lawrance Hurst in Chrimes. R.H. Vetch, revised James Falkner in ODNB. Simmons also contributed further appreciation of Smith in The express train on page 215. Portrait page 12 of Prosser.

Thomson, R.
Simmons mentions Lt. Col. Thomson as assistant to Pasley in 1840 in The express train on page 215.

Trench, Arthur Henry Chenevix [Who's Who entry under Chenevix]
Boro 28 April 1884; died 12 January 1968. Served WW1 in Mesopotamia  Rly Mag., 1927, 61, 496/7 notes that appointed an Inspecting Officer of Railways. Educated at Charterhouse and Royal Military Academy Woolwich. Commissioned in Royal Engineers in 1903. In 1911 appointed Assistant Electrical Engineer at the Delhi Durbar. Photograph p. 497.  Secretary to the Weir Committee: Colonel: Inspecting Officer accident reports c1936-c1950: Who Was Who Saltcoats accident 5 August 1939: see Locomotive Mag., 1939, 45, 348. 

Tyler, [Sir] Henry Whatley
Born on 7 March 1827 and died on 30 January 1908 in London. Educated Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. In 1852 married Margaret, daughter of Lieut General Sir Charles Pasley, first Government Inspector of Railways. Appointed a Government Inspector for Railways in 1853: Chief Inspector 1870-7. Knighted in 1877. Became closely involved with Grand Trunk Railway of Canada. MP for Harwich 1880-5 and for Great Yarmouth 1885-92. Deputy Chairman GER. Became chairman of the British Westinghouse Co. Biography in Stanley Hall's Railway detectives. Not in ODNB, but excellent thumbnail biography by Jack Simmons in Oxford Companion and further in The express train on page 215. Marshall.
On the Festiniog Railway for passengers. Min. Proc. Instn Civ. Engrs., 1865, 24. (Paper 1130) .
On the working of steep gradients and sharp curves on railways. Min. Proc. Instn Civ. Engrs., 1867, 26. (Paper 1160) 

Von Donop, P[elham] George.
Born 28 April 1851; died 7 November. 1921. Educated Somerset College, Bath.. Lt. Col. in Royal Engineers who became an Inspecting Officer of Railways in 1899. He conducted the accident enquiry into the Grantham derailment of 9 September 1906, Chief Inspecting Officer of Railways, Board of Trade, 1913–16. Had played for the team which won the Football Association Cup in 1875. See Nock's Historic railway disasters (portrait p. 287). Wikepedia gives first name from when playing soccer. Who Was Who. Portrait page 12 of Prosser. 

Walker, R.J.
Colonel active mainly in Scotland during early years of British Railways: investigated fires in trains in Penmanshiel Tunnel and near Huntingdon; and collisions in a tunnel near Bridgeton in Glasgow, at Euston, and a serious one at Pollokshields East and at occupation crossing on the Western Region when three agricultural workers were killed but the train was not derailed For fatal accident at Strathmiglo see NBR Study Group J., 2008 (103), 3-5.

Wilkie, A.G.
HM Factory Inspector: wrote to Railway Wld concerning danger of asbestos Railway World, 1973, 34, 83. Wilkie published paper on dust exposure on cotton operatives and effect of smoking.

Williams, Linda
Office of the Rail Regulator ehich she joined in 2004, headed drom 2006-2008. Portrait page 12 of Prosser.

Wilson, George Robert Stewart [Bob]
Born Devizes on 17 April 1896 and died in London on 20 March 1958. Educated at Marlborough College and Royal Military Academy at Woolwich. Served with Royal Engineers during WW1, and following that he became an instructor at Longmoor following which he joined Railway Inspectorate. He reported on the head on collision between two busy passenger trains in thick fog at Eccles on 30 December 1941. With rank of Lt Col he became Chief Inspecting Officer in 1949 and was responsible for the report on the Harrow & Wealdstone disaster of 8 October 1952. He was working on the Lewisham disaster of 4 December 1957 at the time of his death. He was involved in advising the Ministry of Transport on Automatic Warning Systems. Marshall. See  also Nock's Historic railway disasters (portrait p. 288). Stanley Hall (Railway detectives) notes that "Bob Wilson was something of a railway 'bufP. In this schooldays he contrived to frequent a certain Wiltshire signalbox, and he continued throughout his life to correspond with the signalman who first taught him the rudiments of railway operation. His remarkable bent for mechanical engineering found expression in his delighted study of locomotives, of which he was a connoisseur, and he was completely at home on the footplate. One story told about him concerns the engine of the 'Sud Express' behind which he and his family were travelling to the Basque country on holiday. It developed a fault and the train came to a stand, whereupon Bob Wilson went to the front of the train and helped the driver to locate and adjust the fault."

Woodhouse, Ernest
Commandant of the Railway Training Centre at Longmoor (Locomotive Mag., 1930, 36. 317 (page 322)). Inspecting Officer and eager member of Festiniog Railway. Died 25 November 1971 (Festipedia). Investigated accidants at Doncaster on 24 March 1934 and at Guidea Park on 2 January 1947.

Wynne, George
Born 1804; diesd 1890 (Baker and Fell Rly Arch., 2013, (40), 2.) Lt. Colonel Inspection Officer: 1847-58 Dawn Smith. Inspected bulk of Midland Great Western beyond Enfield (Cox and O'Dwyer Early main line railways conference). Inpected Sough Tunnel on Blackburn, Darwen & Bolton Raiulway on 9 June 1848 see Backtrack, 2015, 29, 366. . As Captain inspected Montrose terminus of Aberdeen Railway in 1848 (Nisbet Backtrack, 2012, 26, 526). In 1857 investigated collision of two coal trains in Shugborough Tunnel: see Baker and Fell. Mentioned in Stanley Hall's Railway detectives.

Yolland, [Col.] William
Born in Plympton St Mary on 17 March 1810 and died on 5 September 1885 (places and revised dates taken from Chrimes in Chrimes pp. 816-17) in Atherstone (a temporary abode according to ODNB) (Marshall). Jack Simmons (Oxford Companion): excellent concise biography. Royal Engineer (trained Royal Academy Woolwich): longest serving of all Board of Trade Inspectors of Railways (1854-77). He served on the Tay Bridge Commission with W.H. Barlow and Henry Cadogan Rothery, the Commissioner of Wrecks, which investigated the failure of the bridge. McKean. Battle for the North. Very strict in his investigations, but not harsh. Deakin (Trans. Newcomen Soc, 1929, 9, 1) stated that Yolland suggested interlocking between points and signals (report into Brockley Whins accident of 6 December 1870 is highly forthright in his report). Saught greater Government control over railways. Biography inStanley Hall's Railway detectives who calls him a colourful and fiery character.  R.H. Vetch revised C.G. Matthew (ODNB) adds that underpass between Westbourne Park and Bishop's Road beneath GWR approach roads to Paddington was constructed by a reluctant Metropolitan Railway at the behest of Yolland: only trouble is that literary types at ODNB refer to this as "submerged" as if Great Western Canal. He condemned the Great Northern link with the Metropolitan at King's Cross, but could not prevent it from opening: see Barnes Rly Wld, 1963, 24, 425. Reported on the sad death of Sir Francis Goldsmid who fell to his impendind death on alighting from a moving train at Waterloo in 1878 (Backtrack, 2016, 30, 182).. Simmons also comments on Yolland in The express train on page .Portrait page 12 of Prosser.

Yorke, [Lt Col. Sir] [Horatio] Arthur
Born 3 June 1848; died 10 December 1930 {The Times obituary]. Educated Cheam school, Charterhouse and Sandhurst (passed out in 1865), and the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich. Joined Royal Engineers in 1869. Served in Afghan War 1879-80 and Nile Expedition 1884-5. Inspector of Railways from 1891, Chief Inspector of Railways from 1900 until retirement in 1913. Visit to United States on behalf of Board of Trade in 1903: see Locomotive Mag., 1904, 8, 291. Paper (The organization and administration of an American railway) presented at Institution Civil Engineers Conference in 1903. Attended International Railway Congress in Washington in 1905 and Berne in 1910. Director of SECR, Grand Trunk Railway of Canada and of GWR. Marshall.  and BDCE3. Further comment on Yorke's character in correspondence relating to Welshampton accident: see J. Rly Canal Hist. Soc., 2011 (211) letter from Peter Johnson Obituary Locomotive Mag., 1931, 37, 34. Portrait page 12 of Prosser.

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