Day: February 27, 2019

Workday Wednesday – Warren John Bruce (1880-1964)

Warren John Bruce is the husband of my wife’s 2nd cousin 2x removed, Sarah Jane Espley. My wife and Sarah Jane share common ancestors in James Espley and Martha Silvester (my wife’s 3x great grandparents).

Warren was born on 5 February 1880 in Stockport, Cheshire. He started working for the Manchester Ship Canal company at the age of 14 in 1894. In the 1911 census his occupation is “chief clerk Manchester docks”.

In November 1938 Warren was promoted to Docks Manager from his position as Deputy Dock Manager. He remained in post until 1945 when he retired after 51 years service. His retirement was mentioned in the Manchester Evening News of 18 December 1945 (image from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

Warren John Bruce - Manchester Evening News 18 December 1945.png

Manchester Evening News – British Newspaper Archives

Canal Docks Manager is Retiring

After 51 years’ service with the Manchester Ship Canal Mr. Warren J Bruce is retiring as docks manager. His service with the company began in 1894 – when the Canal was opened for through traffic to Manchester. He had been docks manager since November, 1938.

His successor, Mr H Oakley Smith, who was educated at Argyle House School, Sunderland, and HMS Worcester, served with the P and O Company until 1924, when he joined Lever Brothers Traffic Dept., and went to West Africa, ultimately becoming assistant to the Nigerian Traffic Manager.

Mr. Oakley Smith, who is a member of the Institute of Transport, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and an Associate of the Institute of Naval Architecture, was appointed assistant docks manager with the Manchester Ship Canal in 1940.

I also know from a report in the Lancashire Evening News of 26 October 1938 that Warren’s predecessor as Docks Manager, Mr F W Way, had been with the Manchester Ship Canal company for almost 50 years.

Clearly a company at that time which inspired people to stay with them for a long time.