Sir William A. Stanier, FRS
|Died||27 September 1965 (aged 89)|
|Ella Elizabeth Morse|
|Children||Son and Daughter|
He was born in Swindon, where his father worked for the Great Western Railway (GWR) as William Dean's Chief Clerk, and educated at Swindon High School and also, for a single year, at Wycliffe College.
In 1891 he followed his father into a career with the GWR, initially as an office boy and then for five years as an apprentice in the workshops. Between 1897 and 1900 he worked in the Drawing Office as a draughtsman, before becoming Inspector of Materials in 1900. In 1904, George Jackson Churchward appointed him as Assistant to the Divisional Locomotive Superintendent in London. In 1912 he returned to Swindon to become the Assistant Works Manager and in 1920 was promoted to the post of Works Manager.
In late 1931, he was "headhunted" by Sir Josiah Stamp, chairman of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) to become the Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of that railway from 1 January 1932. He was charged with introducing modern and more powerful locomotive designs, using his knowledge gained at Swindon with the GWR. Stanier built many successful designs for the LMS, particularly the "Black 5" mixed traffic 4-6-0 and the 8F 2-8-0 freight locomotive. His Princess Coronation Class 4-6-2 No.6220 Coronation set a new British record of 114 mph, beating the previous record set by a Gresley A4.
During WWII he worked as a consultant for the Ministry of Supply and retired in 1944. He was knighted on 9 February 1943 and elected a Fellow of the Royal Society on his retirement, only the third locomotive engineer after Edward Bury and Robert Stephenson to receive that honour. He was also president of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers for 1944.
Sir William was a vice president of the Stephenson Locomotive Society for a number of years until his death in 1965.
William Stanier, with the backing of Sir Josiah Stamp, Chairman of the Company, reversed the small engine policy, which the LMS had inherited from the Midland Railway, with beneficial results. Designs introduced by Stanier include:
Stanier's designs were a strong influence on the later British Railways standard classes of steam locomotive designed by R A Riddles, which adopted LMS design principles above those of the other "Big Four".
| Chief Mechanical Engineer of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway
|Professional and academic associations|
| President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers
Col Stephen Joseph Thompson