Charles Stewart Drewry
1843 - 1929
7 Dec 1842
Born in Notting Hill.
21 Apr 1843
Baptised in Paddington.
16th Jan 1875
Married Margaretta Elizabeth Main in South Horsham, Southampton.
4th Sep 1876
Birth of son Charles Stewart Drewry in 9, Upper Road, Plaistow.
Death of Margaretta Elizabeth Main in Essex.
11th Feb 1878
Married Julia Fava Wood in Marston, West Ham.
Birth of daughter Maude Stewart Drewry.
Birth of daughter Annie I. Drewry in London, Clapton.
Birth of son William C. F. Drewry.
Birth of son James Sidney Drewry in London, Clapton.
Birth of son Vincent H. Drewry in London Walworth Rd.
Birth of daughter Julia T. Drewry.
16th Jan 1888
Birth of son Alfred F. Vere Drewry in Finsbury Park.
23rd March 1929
Died in Richmond.
27th March 1929
Buried in East Sheen Cemetery.
Charles's Baptism Record
Charles, aged 30, was 2nd engineer on board the 'Baroda' travelling from the Port of Galle, carrying mail and passengers to Australia.
In February, 1872, the Baroda arrives at Adelaide in New South Wales.
In 1873, the ship is in quarantine in Sydney harbour because of a smallpox epidemic.
"The run-down Quarantine Station had become unsuitable for passenger quarantine, and particularly for first and second class passenger accommodation .. The passengers were kept aboard the ship, because the station could not adequately house them. The inadequacy was .. publicised during the quarantine of the Baroda in 1873, when first class passengers had to do their own washing.
Well-connected passengers ensured that government attention was focussed on the shortcomings of the Station accommodation. As result, a new group of First Class accommodation buildings were built in the Healthy Ground."
Marriage (1): Mar 1875, Drewry Charles Stewart, S Stoneham, 2c 91 (FreeBMD)
Charles married Margaretta Elizabeth Main, in Southampton. (Perhaps his ship was in dock there?).
Charles's address in the marriage certificate is given as Harrow Road, Paddington, and Margaretta's as South Horsham.
The marriage was witnessed by Elizabeth Greaves, Charles Greaves, and William Tillotson Drewry.
Birth of Charles Stewart Drewry in September, 1876
The birth announcement has Charles, in 1876, a member of the crew of the P&O ship the SS Nepaul.
(A passenger on the Nepaul, C. R Williams wrote 'Letters written during a trip to southern India & Ceylon in the winter of 1876-1877')
The SS Nepaul ran aground in 1890, near Plymouth, when she was homeward bound from Calcutta to London - but this was some time after Charles had left the ship.
(Mary Drewry said that when Charles married Julia, she made him stay ashore!)
Marriage (2): Mar 1878, Drewry Charles Stewart, West Ham, 4a 42 (FreeBMD)
In the marriage certificate, Charles is described as a widower; profession: Engineer. At the time of the marriage, Charles and Julia are both living in Plaistow.
In the 1881 census: the family is living at 14, London Rd.
The members of the household are:
|Charles S Drewry||38||Surgical Appliance Manufacturer||b. London|
|Julia F Drewry||29||b. Scotland Edinboro.|
|Charles S Drewry||4||b. Essex, Plaistow|
|Maud My. S Drewry||2||b. Essex, Plaistow|
|Annie Drewry||8 mths||b. Middlesex, Clapton|
|Mary F. Wood||24||unmarried, Sister-in-law||b. Scotland Edinboro.|
|Annie E. Wood||21||unmarried, Sister-in-law||b. Scotland Edinboro.|
|Jane Russell||32||married, General Servant||b. London|
In October, 1881, recorded in the birth certificate of their son William C. F., they are living at 11, Glenarvon Road, Hackney.
In William's certificate, Charles' occupation is shown as 'Surgical instrument maker'. (Interestingly, in Charles and Julia's marriage certificate, Julia's father, James, is described as a 'Surgical Hosier'.)
In 1883, the family is living at 184, Walworth Road.
On May 6th that year three of the children, Annie I., William C. F., and James S. are baptised in St. John's Walworth.
Again, the baptism records show their father as a 'Surgical instrument maker'
The Land Tax record, on the right, lists the property in Walworth Road as 'House & Shop'.
Walworth Road runs south from the Elephant and Castle, in London, becoming Camberwell Road and eventually Herne Hill. 184 has been redeveloped and is now The Consultation Hub, part of Southwark Council.
In 1890, according to the school registration of Maude and Annie Isabel, the family is living at 232, Barry Road, less than 4 miles south of Walworth Road.
In the 1891 census: the family is living at 1 Market Place, in the Camberwell parish. Charles now describes himself as a mechanical engineer.
The members of the household are:
|Charles S Drewry||49||Mechanical Engineer|
|Julia F Drewry||41||b. Scotland Edinboro.|
|Charles S Drewry||14||Shop boy||b. Essex, Plaistow|
|Maud M Drewry||12||Scholar||b. Essex, Plaistow|
|Annie I Drewry||10||Scholar||b. Middlesex, Bow|
|William C Drewry||9||Scholar||b. Middlesex, Clapton|
|James S Drewry||8||Scholar||b. Middlesex, Clapton|
|Harold V Drewry||7||b. London, Walworth|
|Julia T Drewry||4||b. Essex, Buckhurst Hill|
|Alfred V Drewry||3||b. Hornsey|
In January 1894, the school record of William, James and Vincent shows the family address as 105, Milkwood Road (near Herne Hill).
In 1896, when Alfred F V Drewry was baptised, the family address was 55, Deronda Road (near Tulse Hill and Dulwich).
In 1898 the Electoral Registers have Charles S Drewry in Underhill Road, 1, Market Place.
In 1900 the Electoral Registers have Charles Stewart Drewry at 303, Milkwood Road, Tulse Hill District.
(In 1900, the Herne Hill Cycle Works were located in three railway arches at 286-290 Milkwood Road - see below).
In the 1901 census, the family is living at 34, Kestrel Avenue, Lambeth
and the family comprises:
|Charles S Drewry||58||Mechanical Engineer|
|Julia F Drewry||52|
|James S Drewry||18||Mechanical Engineer|
|Vincent H Drewry||17||Shorthand Clerk [Harold V. in previous]|
|Julia T Drewry||14||Scholar|
|Alfred V F Drewry||13||Scholar||b. Finsbury Park, Lambeth|
|Jessie M Wood||11||niece of Julia||b. London, Lambeth|
|Teresa J Wood||13||niece of Julia||b. London, Lambeth|
In 1909, James Sidney (aged 27) and Harold Vincent (aged 25) are paying a rent of 15 shillings each per week, as 'lodgers', living with their parents in Stanley Lodge, Stanley Road, Teddington. [Stanley Road still exists, but I cannot find a 'Stanley Lodge' - though there is a 'Teddington Lodge' at number 66.]
In 1909, the Electoral Registers have Charles Stuart Drewry at 26, Stanley Road, Teddington.
Vincent married later that year, and James the following year, setting up their own homes. By 1911, the rest of the family had moved to Kew Gardens.
In the 1911 Census - 30, Lawn Crescent, Kew Gardens
|Charles Stewart Drewry||Head||68||Mechanical Engineer, own account, at home|
|Julia Fava Drewry||Wife||62||married 33 yrs||b. Edinboro' NB|
|Maude Stewart||daughter||32||Actress||b. Plaistow Middlesex|
|Julia Teresa Drewry||daughter||24||L.C.C. teacher||b. Buckhurst Hill Essex|
|Alfred Frederick Vere Drewry||son||23||Buyer in Motor body factory|
In 1914, in his son, Alfred's wedding certificate, Charles is described as 'Retired Engineer' (He would be 71 then)
Herne Hill Cycle Works - Drewry & Sons
Civil and Etherington (C&E) state that
"the Drewry & Sons 'works' was located in three railway arches at 286-290 Milkwood Road, beneath the south end of Herne Hill railway station. The arches remain there to this day. This site was known as Herne Hill Cycle Works in 1900 and was then occupied by H D Coventry & Co. The first recorded the appearance (in a 1902 trade directory) of the Drewy name at this address, lists Charles Stewart Drewry & Sons as cycle makers, whilst corresponding entries for 1905 and 1906 show Drewry & Sons as motor engineers."
The 'sons' in Drewry & Sons were minimally James and Alfred. Alfred does not appear to have been officially connected with the Drewry Car Co although one suspects that various members of the family were at different times involved.
For example, in 1908, William Drewry "was awarded a bonus of £20 in consideration of the 'good results obtained from the cars running on the Leopoldine Railway'" (C&E p.24)
In 1928, Vincent Drewry, as a 'Railway Officer', visited Argentina.
The obituary of Charles' son, James S Drewry, says that "After serving an apprenticeship in the family cycle business of Drewry and Sons at Herne Hill, he joined in 1899 the firm of De Dions." So it seems that Charles (& Sons) had been in the cycle business for some time before they took over the Herne Hill Cycle Works. It may be that the move to the new premises coincided with, indeed may have been needed by, the development of the first Drewry railcar.
Drewry & Sons - The Drewry Car Co.
In 1904, James Drewry (right) took his first motorized rail inspection Trolley to Africa. One suspects that enough interest was shown in it to persuade Charles that Drewry & Sons should be in the railcar business.
The Wikipedia entry for the Drewry Car Co. says:
"Drewry & Sons ran a motor and cycle repair business in Herne Hill, London, and started building BSA engined inspection railcars. A ready market was found in South America, Africa, and India. Drewry Car Co Ltd was registered on 27 November 1906. In 1908 BSA (of motor-cycle fame) took over building the railcars at Small Heath, Birmingham."
The Leicestershire County Council Record Office holds the picture on the left, entitled: "L1100 - Four-wheeled, petrol engined engineers' inspection trolley near Denham".
They suggest that it is "possibly of Drewry Car Co. Ltd, Teddington origin". It almost certainly is.
"The driver is dressed in a typical chauffeur's uniform, with button-over front and fur collar".
The pictures below show 1908 and 1910 railcars in production.
'A Catalogue of the Papers of the Birmingham Small Arms Company Limited' in www.warwick.ac.uk: MSS.19A/1/2/4 (Dec 1908) mentions an "order for manufacture of 10 Drewry railcars".
The Wikipedia entry for the Drewry Car Co. continues:
"In 1911 building was taken over by Baguley Cars Ltd, Burton-on-Trent. From 1930 a lot of Drewry locomotives were built by English Electric companies."
However, there is also the following statement which is to say the least rather curious:
"In 1962 Drewry acquired a controlling interest in what had become E E Baguley Ltd, and formed Baguley-Drewry Ltd in 1987, thus once again building its own locomotives, in Burton-on-Trent. The company closed in 1984."
(The '1987' could be a typo, an '8' instead of a '6', but given that James Drewry died in 1952, who was the Drewry who took over E E Baguley?)
The Drewry Car Co. in Civil and Etherington (C&E)
C&E (p.24) report that: "The Drewry Car Co Ltd. was registered on 27th November 1906 with its office at River Plate House, 13 South Place, London EC. " This address was also the headquarters of a number of British owned Argentinian railway companies and of Arthur G Evans & Co Ltd. Evans & Co were the London arm of import agents based in Buenos Aires.
"It was the prospect of supplying more Drewry railcars to [the South American] market that induced Arthur G Evans & Co to take a major financial interest in the new company."
The directors of the new company were Charles Drewry (Chairman), James Drewry, and Guy Evans (partner in Arthur G Evans & Co).
At the first board meeting in December 1906 "it was resolved to 'purchase and acquire the business of manufacturers of railway-motor cars heretofore carried on by the firm of Drewry & Sons at Herne Hill, but now intended to be carried on at (59) Somerset Road, Teddington.'
The Drewrys were each allotted 250 paid up £1 shares in the new company .. A further 500 shares were allotted to Guy Evans [and his partners]. .. Arthur G Evans & Co was appointed sole agent throughout the world for the sale of railway motor cars and other products."
All did not go well at Teddington (too small, too costly) and in 1908 the Birmingham Small Arms Co Ltd (BSA) agreed to manufacture the railcars. "It also agreed to take over the stock, modern machine tools and usable plant at Teddington .. and further agreed to employ J S Drewry as a designer for a minimum six months. As a result of this he left the Drewry board and is not heard of again in a Drewry Car Co context." (C&E p.24)
BSA and Baguley
Unfortunately, while business was growing steadily, BSA were not making any money out of manufacturing Drewry cars. In March 1910, Ernest E Baguley Manager of BSA's Motor division suggested to the BSA board that they should ask Drewry to find another manufacturer for their vehicles. When the board eventually did so in September, 1911, the Drewry board had already found a new manufacturer and the agreement with BSA was terminated in December of that year.
The new manufacturer was Baguley Cars Ltd of Burton-on-Trent, set up by Ernest E Baguley. BSA had 'dispensed with his services' towards the end of 1910, and Ernest had seen that with financial backing he could create a company that could bid for Drewry work.
The Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Archive Service have some of the records of 'Baguley-Drewry Ltd., of Uxbridge Street, Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire'.
They describe the company as follows:
"Baguley Cars was founded in 1902, developing from the earlier Burton railway engineering firm of Thornewill and Warham. In 1911 the firm began the concentration of railcar and locomotive construction but in 1931 Baguley (Engineers) Ltd. failed. A new firm, E. E. Baguley Ltd., was founded in 1933 to continue the work of the earlier firm and this later became Baguley-Drewry Ltd.
Most of the early output of the firm was under the Drewry (headquarters at River Place House, London E.C.2) name and the variable link with Drewry is frequently confusing, as many "Drewry of London" vehicles were actually built at Baguleys in Burton."
About the production they say:
"All Baguley/Baguley-Drewry/Drewry products
were referred to as "cars", irrespective of whether they were
petrol/diesel railcars, petrol/diesel/steam/electric locomotives, or
railway rolling stock.
Much of the Company's production was for Overseas markets - narrow gauge locomotives became a particularly speciality. Many of the products were highly individualistic (many ornate inspection saloons for Oriental railways, for instance) and often of highly archaic appearance."
The following are a few examples of the many records in the National Archives:
- 10 ton platform truck supplied to Ministry of Munitions
- 4 h.p. rail car (literally a car on rails) for the war office
- No.902 20h.p. 0-4-0 supplied to war office for Le Havre
- No.681 10 h.p. 2ft. gauge supplied to Assam Tea Gardens
- No.684 10 h.p. 60 cm. gauge 0-4-0 for War Office Trench Warfare Department
- No.698 20 h.p. metre gauge loco supplied to French Government's Bourges Arsenal
- South India Railway: cars No s1324-1325 for Nilgiri Mountain Railway
- Car No.1326 for Barbados Government Railway
- Tasmanian Government Railways - 75 h.p. chassis Nos. 1498-1500
- Cars Nos. 1543-1544 for Fayoum Light Railway, Egypt
- Saloon car No.2048 for Burma Railways
- 102 h.p. 0-4-0 loco. No.2128 for Calcutta Electric Supply Co.
- 6 wheel petrol railcar "Panghai, Namtu" (?China)
- and many, many more.
'Ask Jeeves' discussing the Baguley-Drewry company state:
"Drewry Car Co, strictly speaking, was a railway locomotive and railcar sales organisation for most of its life. Only at the start and the end of its life did it build its own products, relying on sub-contractors for the rest of its time. ..."
"Drewry & Sons ran a motor and cycle repair business in Herne Hill, London, and started building BSA engined inspection railcars. A ready market was found in South America, Africa, and India. Drewry Car Co Ltd was registered on 27 November 1906. In 1908 BSA (of motor-cycle fame) took over building the railcars at Small Heath, Birmingham.
In 1911 building was taken over by Baguley Cars Ltd, Burton-on-Trent. From 1930 a lot of Drewry locomotives were built by English Electric companies.
In 1962 Drewry acquired a controlling interest in what had become E E Baguley Ltd, and formed Baguley-Drewry Ltd in 1987, thus once again building its own locomotives, in Burton-on-Trent. The company closed in 1984. "
The above is very curious. Which Drewry "acquired a controlling interest" in 1962?
William Jefferson Wakley
The book The First Tank Crews has a biography of Lieutenant Jefferson Wakley. It includes the statement that "After the [first world] war he was the proprietor of the Drewry Railcar Coy".
The Journal of the Institution of Locomotive Engineers, Volume 21 / 1931 reports a meeting in London in February, 1931, of the the Institution of Locomotive Engineers. William Jefferson Wakley, Drewry Car Co., Ltd, 13, South Place, London EC2, is listed as a member.
First World War
(See also James Drewry)
A Plate found in Russia
This plate is solid steel, 9cm. x 25cm. (3.5"x10") and about a centimetre thick - and heavy!
SOCIETE ANONYME HELWIG
1, SQUARE DELAMBRE
S A Helwig: in 'The Railway Products of Baguley-Drewry Ltd' (which lists all known orders).
There are several references to vehicles 'ordered by' or 'sold to' S A Helwig and the French Government.
|Date||No of cars/trailers||Order details||Baguley No|
|21/11/14||1||'sold to S A Helwig (French Government)'||375|
|26/10/14||1||'ordered by S A Helwig for French Government Railway School Versailles'||560|
|29/1/15||3||'ordered by French Government for Military Railway'||616/618|
|10/1/17||5||'ordered by French Commission for French Government Railway School Versailles'||941/945|
|13/12/18||4||'ordered by Eastern Railway of France, Paris'||1072/1075|
Interestingly, the Russian chassis for armoured railcars were similar to some of those ordered by Helwig. They were Type 2w-2PMR, B Body (although presumably there was no body as they were chassis), 20 hp Baguley 4 cylinder engine.
[Are the armoured railcars similar to those sent to Mesopotamia? - See James Drewry's page.]
Note that it is possible that there may be other orders by SA Helwig, not mentioned in 'The Railway Products of Baguley-Drewry Ltd'.
1, Square Delambre still exists in Paris
The plate was found on the Vanyukov merchants estate in an agricultural area, where there had been stables and warehouses. There is a village, Lemenka, 1.5 km away, with a railway station on the line from St. Petersburg.
The estate is in the Novgorod region, about 220 kilometers south of St. Petersburg. (Coordinates: 57.979100, 30.130629.) After the revolution of 1917 the property was taken over by the state and became a warehouse and repair area for agricultural machinery. In the second world war it was occupied by the German invaders who gained control of the large air base nearby at Dno in July 1941. When they retreated in 1944, the Wehrmacht troops destroyed the estate and the air base complex.
Sergei, who found the plate, suggests that it came from some trailer or railway carriage that was recycled in the repair facility. Or perhaps the car worked until World War II and was blown up by German (or Allied) bombs. Perhaps it was damaged in the German destruction of the estate. It is certainly severely buckled by some extreme force.
Sergei also suggested "a third fantastic, but interesting option - that the plate was removed from the car which took the Emperor Nicholay II to the station Dno." - carrying the Tsar and his family to imprisonment and death in Tobolsk in Western Siberia. The souvenir was then damaged in the War.
Other Orders in the First World War
The first two years of the first world war were not too busy for the Drewry Car Co, but in 1916, business started to get better with orders from the French and British governments.
One order from the British on behalf of the Russian government was for 20 armoured rail car chassis. These were being delivered in 1917 when the Revolution started.
C&E (p.29) point out that for some time there was uncertainty about who would settle the account.
"Someone paid up the following year (1918), but whether it was the Russians or the British government is not recorded. "
(See also Vincent Drewry)
In the Statfold Barn Railway Web site.
A restored Drewry inspection railcar. A "10HP petrol-engined railcar was built by Baguley of Burton-on-Trent, on behalf of the Drewry Car Co. Ltd, as one of a batch of 20 ordered in December 1918 for the French Government Railway School (Ecole Chemin de Fer) at Versailles near Paris.
It is representative of several batches of such vehicles supplied to the French Government and the Eastern Railway of France during and immediately after the First World War. It is designed for bi-directional use, with tram-style flip-back seats and removable throttle and gear levers that can be inserted into slots in the floor at either end of the vehicle. Lifting poles were provided to enable the crew to lift the 1¼ ton vehicle clear of the track if the need arose. A simple flatbed trailer was originally supplied with the railcar ... "
From Railways and War Before 1918 ([Mechanised warfare in colour]) by W.J.K. Davies and Denis Bishop
(Left) An ambulance car destined for the French Government and Mesopotamia. Baguley workers are demonstrating the loading of stretchers.
(Right) Also destined for Mesopotamia, "Possibly the ugliest trolleys ever built".
(source: Google Books
Death of Charles
C&E (p.31) state that:
"Mr C S Drewry, the founder and last member of the family to serve on the board of directors died on 23rd March 1929 whilst still in office. He had been prevented by ill health from attending meetings for some two years "
Death: Mar 1929, Drewry, Charles Stewart, Richmond S. 2a 1202
Charles's burial is recorded as 27/03/1929 in Richmond's East Sheen Cemetery, section F plot/grave 54. It is unmarked.
The unmarked grave beside it, grave 53 is that of Charles's son-in-law, Fred Knight.
(See photo and burial entry in Julia's page.)
Around the World
The photos on the right belong to the Fiji Sugar Corporation.
Both photos have the caption: "Drewry inspection Car at Labasa, 1957. (Photograph:Peter Hodge)."
The link to images on the Web site is broken so I was unable to find any further description or any more photos.
The photo on the left was found in a German site: Auf schmaler Spur - Cyprus Government Railway.
The caption is: "1914: Schienenmobil der englischen Drewry Car Company Ltd. für die C.G.R.."
"aus: The Railway Gazette, Mai 1914."
This photo was found on the (now defunct) 'Beautiful Karachi Blog'.
The author describes it as a "mechanized trolley of 1960s. It was called 'Drewry Trolley'."
Roger Farnswoth has this photo on his blog page, with the picture of James on Trolley No 1 (above).
He says that the High Commissioner had the railway extended to his estate. The railcar (built by Drewry Car Co with a BSA engine) was used for hunting parties and when the American President Theodore Roosevelt visited Uganda he borrowed the railcar.
(The BSA Railcar above was restored by the Sandstone Heritage Trust in South Africa)
From the Historical Railway Photographs of Central Western NSW site. (Link broken)
This picture shows Australian railway workers - a 'fettling gang' from Mallee Camp (west of Mellelea), in New South Wales, gathering "to collect their wages from a paymaster in the Drewry Car".
The two pictures below show BSA 20hp Rail cars for the Central Uruguay Railwayand the Salvador Railway Company.
The adverts on the right claim that the Drewry Car Co supplies "Over Ninety Railways in South America Alone".
And in the UK
From the Spurn Railway Web site.
A Drewry railcar from 1920 - at the end of its life.
People: Harold Jennings Kitchen (from Bermuda Railway Pages)
"If I had to choose one name synonymous with the Bermuda Railway, it would have to be that of the line's Chief Engineer, Harold Jennings Kitchen, whose job description seems to have been 'keep the damn thing running.'"
"Harold Kitchen's earlier railway experience had been on mining and other railways in South America. In the 1920s he worked as a design engineer for the Drewry Car Company, in England, which was responsible for the design and manufacture of the rolling stock for the Bermuda Railway. Kitchen himself designed the gearbox used on the Bermuda Railway power cars."
" With the Railway under construction, in the late 1920s, Kitchen came to Bermuda, probably to represent the Drewry Car Co. ...."
Also found in FreeBMD curiously:
Marriage: Dec 1879, Drewry, Margaret Elizabeth, Lambeth, 1d 668
This Margaret Elizabeth, marrying George Trill, in the presence of John Darwin Smith and Emma Drewry, was born Margaret Elizabeth Smith, about 1822.
The marriage certificate shows her as a widow, almost certainly of George Drewry whom she married in Lambeth in 1845 (GRO: Sep 1845, 4, 332).