On this day, 100 years ago an IMechE member was killed in action.
ALEXANDER DAVIDSON JOHNSTON: 1st July
Graduate Member since 1906 (lapsed 1911); Associate Member 1912.
At the outbreak of war he was an Engineer, Henry Simons Ltd.
Wartime posting(s) was/were, Private, London Regiment, 14th Battalion (London Scottish).
Killed in action.
Private ALEXANDER DAVIDSON JOHNSTON, JUN., London Scottish Regiment, was born at South Shields on 24th May 1883, and was educated at local schools.
In 1898 he began an apprenticeship of six years in the workshops of the Northern Press and Engineering Co., Ltd., South Shields, and in the last two years of which he was in the drawing-office. During his apprenticeship he took the evening course at the Durham College of Science, and later at the Sunderland Technical College.
On the completion of his apprenticeship in 1904 he remained with the firm as draughtsman for a few months.
During the college vacation in 1905 he went in a similar capacity to the works of Messrs. Vickers, Sons and Maxim, Barrow-in-Furness.
In 1906 he gained a Whitworth Exhibition, and returned to the Northern Press and Engineering Co., where he was engaged on the design and development of new machinery for the automatic production of stereo-plates for rotary printing presses.
Two years later he joined the firm of Henry Simon, Ltd., Manchester, and had charge of the experimental department, being responsible for the scientific development of milling machines. Subsequently he became head of the works department, where he showed great ability and promise.
In December 1915 he enlisted in the 1st Battalion, 14th London Scottish, and was drafted to France in the following June.
He was killed at the Battle of the Somme on 1st July 1916, at the age of thirty-three.
He was elected a Graduate of this Institution in 1906, and an Associate Member in 1912.
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