On this day, 100 years ago the first IMechE member killed in action during the First World War died.

Thomas Arnold Venning: 5th September

Venning's membership form
Venning’s membership form

Associate Member, since 1899.

At the outbreak of war he was Assistant Engineer, HMS ”Hebe”, Mediterranean Fleet.

Wartime posting(s) was/were, Engineer Lieutenant Commander, HMS ”Pathfinder”.

Killed when he was torpedoed by a submarine in the North Sea.

Awarded: 1914 Star (given to maiden recruits.

1914 Obituary 

  • Engineer Lieutenant-Commander THOMAS ARNOLD VENNING, R.N., was born at St. Feock, Truro, on 4th January 1875.

    He received his education at St. Feock School and under private tuition at Truro.

    At the age of sixteen he was apprenticed to Messrs. Pool, Skinner, and Williams, engineers, of Falmouth. During this period he attended classes at the Falmouth Technical School, and gained many certificates and prizes.

    On the expiration of his apprenticeship in 1896 he entered the Royal Navy as assistant engineer, having passed the competitive examination held at Greenwich, and his first appointment was to H.M.S. “Victory” at Portsmouth. Since then he served in various ships on Home and Foreign Stations.

    In 1901 he was promoted to be Engineer Lieutenant, and early in the current year Engineer Lieutenant-Commander. His first foreign service was in H.M.S. “Undaunted” on the China Station from 1897 to 1901, and during that period he served in connexion with the Boxer rising.

    He also served in H.M.S. “Encounter,” having previously been appointed to her while building at Devonport, and left in her for the Australian Station, where he remained until 1908.

    On his return to England he served in other ships, the last one being H.M.S. “Pathfinder” in 1912, in which his life was lost through a German submarine attack about 20 miles off St. Abb’s Head on 5th September 1914, in his fortieth year.

    He was elected an Associate Member of this Institution in 1900.

Institution First World War Honour Roll.

Members login to Ancestry, via our Virtual Library, to access membership records for free.

Archive, Institution of Mechanical Engineers


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