On this day, 100 years ago an IMechE member was killed in action.
Douglas Eckley Langdon: 23rd April
Graduate 1908; Associate Member 1911.
Drawing Office, Buenos Aires and Pacific Railway.
Captain, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, 1st Battalion.
Killed in action.
Captain DOUGLAS ECKLEY LANGDON, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, second son of William Langdon, of Launceston, was born at Huelva, Spain, on 3rd April 1884.
He was educated at Ipswich Grammar School, and in April 1900 began an apprenticeship at the works of Messrs. Saxby and Farmer, Chippenham.
Three years later he entered the service of the Great Western Railway as improver for four years in their locomotive works at Newton Abbot, and passed through the fitting, erecting, machine shops, and drawing office. During the period of his apprenticeship and subsequently, he attended Technical schools at Bath, Chippenham, and Newton Abbot.
In September 1907 he entered the service of the Buenos Aires and Pacific Railway in the drawing office at Junin, Argentina, and in the following February he was sent as assistant shed foreman to Villa Mercedes.
Two years later he became assistant to the Divisional Locomotive Superintendent at Justo Dorset until the following January, when he was promoted to take charge of the Company’s running-shed at Beazley.
On the outbreak of War in August 1914 he immediately applied for and obtained leave to go home, and on the day following his arrival in London he enlisted in A Company of the Public Schools and Universities Corps then just forming (afterwards 18th Batt. London Royal Fusiliers). He was offered a Commission in the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry in May 1915, and in September 1916 he was promoted Acting Captain abroad. In March of the same year he was sent out at night with a small party to repair the wire in front of their trenches, and was hit below the knee by a rifle bullet.
After being in the Red Cross Hospital at Rouen for eight weeks he returned to his battalion at the front.
On the night of the 22nd-23rd April 1917 he took his Company into action and was killed instantly while clearing the enemy out of some ruined houses. In this action all the officers of the Company were killed or wounded. He was thirty-three years of age.
He was elected a Graduate of this Institution in 1908, and an Associate Member in 1911.
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