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Post Info TOPIC: The Mk IX and Lt. G.R. Rackham - Who He?


Legend

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The Mk IX and Lt. G.R. Rackham - Who He?
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Lt. G.R. Rackham is a name routinely trotted out in descriptions of the Mk IX, without any details. Does anyone know who he was?



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Legend

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Lt George J. (not R.) Rackham was an Assistant Designer in the Design and Drawing Office of the Mechanical Warfare Department, reporting to Shaw (Head of Design) and thence to Wilson (Chief of Design). He was an important, if undeservedly little known, figure in early tank design. He designed the Mark IX but also contributed to other designs. His name is probably best known in association with the Rackham clutch transmission used in the A12 Matilda II.

Gwyn



-- Edited by Gwyn Evans on Saturday 20th of April 2019 07:31:10 PM

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Legend

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Many thanks, Gwyn. That sent me off on a trail. If I've got the right bloke :

Born 1886. He became a draughtsman with the Vanguard company in 1906 before leaving to join the LGOC as Chief Draughtsman in 1907. He was then 22 years of age. After a brief spell with David Brown of Huddersfield in 1910 -11, he returned to the Walthamstow works of the Associated Equipment Company (AEC). In 1916 he took up the post of Works Manager with the general engineering firm of Heenan and Froude (which rather later became owners of the Brush company). He became an officer in the Tank Corps and was brought in by the War Office to develop details of tank design. There he met up again with George Green, himself a former Vanguard employee who had become Chief Assistant Engineer of LGOC. Green had left for America in 1912 to become General Manager of the Fifth Avenue Coach Company in New York and Vice President of the Yellow Coach Manufacturing Company. He came back to Britain for war service and then went back to America. In 1922, Rackham followed Green to the USA, where he became Chief Engineer of Yellow Coach, later better known as GMC. Four years later, Leyland Motors invited him back to Britain to become Chief Engineer, and his Titan and Tiger models soon began to dominate much of the bus and coach market. This achievement spurred Lord Ashfield of the Underground Group to headhunt Rackham by offering him the post of Chief Engineer to AEC. In July 1928 Rackham accepted, and the advanced Regal and Regent models soon placed the company in a dominant position alongside Leyland. After his early globe trotting career, Rackham then remained as Chief Engineer with AEC, though he was once again involved in aspects of tank and flame thrower design during WW2. He retired in June 1950.

I've also corrected the references to him in Wikipedia as G.R. Rackham. All in a day's work.

 



-- Edited by James H on Monday 22nd of April 2019 12:26:47 PM

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"Sometimes things that are not true are included in Wikipedia. While at first glance that may appear like a very great problem for Wikipedia, in reality is it not. In fact, it's a good thing." - Wikipedia.



Legend

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Thanks, that's useful. I found a copy of his patent for the clutch transmission and that was an American patent under the name of the Yellow Coach Co. When I wrote my original post I had a bell ringing at the back of my mind that there was a Heenan & Froude connection, but I couldn't put my finger on it.

Gwyn



-- Edited by Gwyn Evans on Monday 22nd of April 2019 07:29:04 PM

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