A brief Biography of Edmund Basil Wedmore

Obituary from "The Times" Tuesday June 19th, 1956

Mr. Edmund Basil Wedmore, C.B.E. M.I.E.E. the first Director of the British Electrical and Allied Industries Research Association, died in London on Saturday at the age of 80.

Born at Bristol on Jan 24 1876, he was educated at the University College of his native city and for a short time was a junior assistant in the corporation electricity department.   In 1896 he became a lecturer and demonstrator at Finsbury Technical College under Prof. Silvanus Thompson, and in 1899 he joined the staff of the British Thomson-Houston Co, as designing engineer, being for 18 years chief switchgear designer to the Co.   In 1919 he was appointed technical officer to the Electrical Research Committee and two years later become director and secretary of its successor, the British Electrical and Allied Industries Research Assn.   Under his administration the staff of the association increased from 2 to 175, with 22 research committees and over 80 sub-committees, and research was undertaken on many problems of fundamental importance to the electrical industry.   He retired from the post for reasons of health in 1944.   Besides technical papers read before the Institution of Electrical Engineers, of whose council he was a past member, he was the author of "Switchgear for Electric Power Control" and - a reflex of the hobby to which he devoted his leisure - "A Manual of Bee-Keeping" and "The Ventilation of Beehives".

He was twice married, first to Miss E. H. Brison and secondly to Miss W. A. M. Parry.   There were a son and two daughters of the first marriage and a son and a daughter of the second marriage.

He was a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and was awarded the C.B.E in 1938 for services to the Electical Industry.   He was a director of ERA Patents Ltd.   He was a nember of the Enginering Divisional Council of British Standards Institution and a member of the council of Conférence International de Grande Réseau Électrique.

The Manual of Beekeeping originally published in 1932 was revised for the second edition published in 1945 and was recognised as one of the leading works on the subject.   "Successful Beekeeping" was published in 1948.   He held directorships of the Bee Research Association and Bee Craft.

He seems to have had a wander-lust, born and educated in Bristol, he moved to London, then Rugby and back to London.   During WW2 he lived in Bickley, Kent; then on retirement to Buxted, Sussex; three addreses in Eastbourne and finally to Ealing, London W13 where I remember him.

The children of his second marriage are still living and well.   He leaves nine grandchildren, fifteen great-grandchildren and at least six gt-gt-grandchildren.

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© Geoffrey Stone, Braintree   12-9-2005   Last Update 13-9-2005