Alfred Yarrow


Alfred Yarrow

Sir Alfred Fernandez Yarrow, 1st Baronet (13 January 1842 – 24 January 1932) started a shipbuilding dynasty from humble origins in east London. He was educated at University College School. After serving an apprenticeship in Stepney, he opened a yard — Yarrow and Hedley (a partnership) — at Folly Wall, Poplar on the Isle of Dogs in 1865 to build steam river launches.

He ventured into military vessels from the early 1870s, building torpedo boats for the Argentine and Japanese navies, among other customers. Then in 1892 he built the first two destroyers for the Royal Navy: "Havock" and "Hornet" of the "Havock" class.

By this time, the Hedley partnership had been dissolved (1875), and the company was known as Yarrow & Co, and around 1898 moved out of Folly shipyard to the nearby London Yard. It was to be a short-lived move, for less than 10 years later (1906–1908) Yarrow gradually moving his yard northwards to Scotstoun on the banks of the River Clyde on the west coast of Scotland, closing the London shipyard in 1908. An operation in Vancouver, Canada was also started. (Yarrows was later purchased by GEC in 1974; in 2003 it was part of BAe Systems Marine.)

He lived in Greenwich, London for some years - occupying Woodlands House in Mycenae Road, Westcombe Park for some years from 1896.

Knighted in 1916, Sir Alfred displayed extensive philanthropic tendencies throughout his later years, donating towards: a convalescent home on the Isle of Dogs for the benefit of children; residences for soldiers' widows in Hampstead Garden Suburb (the Barnett Homestead, Erskine Hill); a school, Bearwood College, in Berkshire; a home and hospital for children in Broadstairs, Kent; a scholarship at University College London; a gallery at Oundle School in Northamptonshire; and medical research at the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, among other noble causes. He also left a bequest to the Institution of Civil Engineers.

References

*Kidd, Charles, Williamson, David (editors). "Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage" (1990 edition). New York: St Martin's Press, 1990.
* [http://www.angeltowns.com/town/peerage/ Leigh Rayment's Peerage Page]
* [http://www.oundleschool.org.uk/unique/ou_yarrow.php The Yarrow Gallery at Oundle School, Northamptonshire, England]


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