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Research project

Business, Government And The Workplace: J Thornycroft & Co And The Great War

  • Lead researcher:
  • Research funder:
    Arts & Humanities Research Council
  • Status:
    Not active

Project overview

This project explored the archival sources associated with the role of Thornycroft in World War One. The archival collections held at Archives and at Southampton and Winchester Record Offices, together with the Classic Boat Museum at East Cowes were consulted. It was discovered that the daughter of John Thornycroft, Blanche, had been heavily involved in the design of Coastal Motorboats (CMB’s) that were used in action against Zeebrugge in 1918 and Kronstadt in 1919 (resulting in a Victoria Cross for Lieutenant Agar).

These boats were designed by Thornycroft at his purpose-built test-tank at Bembridge on the Isle of Wight. Blanche Thornycroft was to be involved in the founding of the Women’s Engineering Society and was one of the first members of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects in 1919.

Harcourt, Keith & Roy Edwards (2018). "Blanche Thornycroft". Science Museum Group Journal. 10 (10). doi:10.15180/1851009


Lead researcher

Dr Roy Edwards BSc (Econ), PhD.

Lecturer In Accounting

Research interests

  • Accounting History
  • Business and Transport History
  • Industrial Policy
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