1937: Sir John Edward Thornycroft

1937: Sir John Edward Thornycroft

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Biography Thornycroft was born in Chiswick 1872. He was educated at St Paul’s School and gained his engineering training at the Central Technical College.

He was the eldest son of Sir John I Thornycroft, the founder of the Thornycroft Shipyard at Chiswick. On completing his technical training he joined his father’s shipyard working on construction. He achieved the position of managing director in 1901.

The main interest of the family business after 1901 was the development of the torpedo boat destroyer. Thornycroft’s design and construction work during the First World War led to a knighthood which was conferred in 1918.

Aside from ship design, the business also developed road vehicles, including the steam wagon and oil engine tractor. Thornycroft’s diverse engineering interests led him to gain Presidential positions with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1937 and the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1942.