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1896 - Francis Elgar.png

Under President John Hamilton’s watch, Ye Cronies featured a number of notable figures from the Clyde’s shipbuilding community.


One such individual who was awarded an Honorary membership in the 1890s was Dr. Francis Elgar who served on the Board of Directors for the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company at the time.

Born in Portsmouth in 1845, the Elgar family had been long associated to the Royal Dockyard, and this is where Francis Elgar began his professional training in 1858.

After a distinguished three years at the new Royal School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering at South Kensington, Francis graduated with first class honours in 1867 and took up a junior role in the Navy’s shipbuilding department.


Elgar undertook contracts with various institutions over the next 14 years, including assisting Chief Naval Constructor Sir Edward James Reed in the Admiralty and advising the Japanese government on their naval construction.


In 1883 Elgar was appointed the first professor of naval architecture at Glasgow University, a position he held for the next 3 years, achieving his Doctor of Laws (LL.D.) in 1885. Leaving his University post after such a short tenure only occurred as Francis was invited to become Director of the Admiralty Dockyards, which led to him being appointed Naval Architect and a Director of the Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Company in 1892.


Coming towards the end of his career in 1906, Francis attempted to stand down from his post at Fairfield but was quickly recalled and asked to take on a second Chairmanship at Cammell, Laird & Co. where he continued until his sudden and unexpected passing in 1909 whilst in Monte Carlo.

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