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Sir Vincent Litchfield Raven
40th President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers
Raven was born in 1858 at Great Fransham Rectory, Norfolk, England. In 1877, he began a three-year apprenticeship at the Gateshead works of the North Eastern Railway. In 1880, he entered the drawing office, and he was then employed for five years on firing and inspector’s duties. He became a divisional locomotive superintendent in 1888. He was promoted in 1894 to the divisional locomotive superintendent and chief assistant mechanical engineer in 1903. Seven years later he became chief mechanical engineer.
During the First World War, he was appointed Chief Superintendent of the Royal Arsenal Factories, Woolwich. In 1917, he was made a Knight Bachelor for his services. Following the war, he returned to the North Eastern Railway. He remained chief mechanical engineer until it merged with the London and North Eastern Railway in 1923. He then retired but continued to act as technical advisor to the LNER.
After his retirement, he travelled to New South Wales in Australia, and New Zealand to investigate the working of the State railways. In 1925, he was appointed Chairman of a committee of experts reporting on Indian railway workshop organization.
He died at Felixstowe on 14 February 1934.