Francis Arthur MARINDIN
Francis Arthur MARINDIN


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Francis Arthur MARINDIN 91

  • Born: 1 May 1838, Weymouth 91
  • Died: 21 Apr 1900, 3, Hans-crescent, S.W, London at age 61

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Sir Francis Marindin's obituary appeared in The Times on Tuesday 24th April 1900.


Sir Francis Marindin.

Colonel Sir Francis Arthur Marindin, K.C.M.G., R.E. (Retired), Senior Inspecting Officer of Railways, Board of Trade, who died on Saturday at 3, Hans-crescent, S.W., was born at Weymouth on May 1, 1838. He was the second son of the late Rev. S. Marindin, of Chesterton, Shropshire, and of Isabella, daughter of Andrew Wedderburn Colville, of Ochiltree, Craigflower, Fife. He was educated at Eton and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, and entered the Royal Engineers in 1854. From 1860 to 1863 he was A.D.C. and Private Secretary to Sir William Stevenson, Governor of Mauritius, during which period he was also employed on special duty in Madagascar. From 1866 to 1868 he was Adjutant at the Chatham School of Military Engineering, and in 1869 was appointed Brigade-Major. In 1872 he obtained his majority, and, after vacating his Staff appointment at Chatham in 1874, he joined the Board of Trade in 1877 as an Inspecting Officer of Railways. In 1879 he retired from the Royal Engineers as a Major, but later renewed his association with the Army as an honorary colonel in the Engineer and Railway Volunteer Staff Corps, which is entirely composed of high officials connected with railway affairs and administration.

As an inspecting officer of railways it fell to Sir Francis Marindin, in the earlier days ofhis connexion with the Board of Trade, to examine the permanent way, bridges, stations, and signals of many new railways and branch lines, and subsequently to hold inquiries on a number of accidents. In 1891 one of these enquiries revealed an iniquitous system of overworking railway employes, a goods guard having been crushed to death beetween the buffers of two wagons while in a state of physical collapse after being on duty for over 22 hours at a stretch. Major Marindin's strongly-worded report on this incident led to the appointment of a Select Committee of the House of Commons and to a notable improvement in the conditions under which railway servants were worked. Again, after the terrible Thirsk accident of November 2, 1892, Major Marindin declared most forcibly that it was the duty of all railway companies to adopt some combination of mechanical and electrical appliance which would make such an accident impossible unless the driver deliberately ran past fixed signals. He also urged the engagement of relief signalmen, and the importance of housing the men near their work. By this repeated plain-speaking, coupled with a complete mastery of his subject and great discriminating capacity Major Marindin originated several most important railway reforms, besides keeping the lines throughout the country continually aware that the office at 8, Richmond-terrace, Whitehall, was not likely to allow irregularities to remain long unnoticed.

In 1887 Major Marindin, having rendered important services in connexion with the Egyptian State Railways, was made a C.M.G., adn in 1897, on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee, was promoted to the Knighthood of the Order. Sir Francis Marindin married, in 1860, a daughter of Sir William Stevenson, K.C.B., on whose personal staff he served three years in Mauritius.

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