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David Samways

Page history last edited by Alan Hartley-Smith 1 month, 2 weeks ago

 

 

First David's own recollections of his career and an autobiographical note.

 

Tribute from Alan H-S

I understand David's email address is being monitored so I would like to express my sadness in using it for this occasion to contact his family. Over the years David and I have conducted a varied, interesting and stimulating correspondence to record the history of the company we both regarded as our work-life alma mater, which was so ignominiously treated in its final days, to at least ensure it is not forgotten. I had wondered the reason for an apparent pause in the flow of messages but did not suspect illness - I sent an e-card to him for Christmas. It is a fact of our lives that our numbers are inevitably reducing so each loss is keenly felt.

 

Tribute from Mike P 

What a shock.  David can only have been 78, or at most, nudging 79. One of the most striking of my" intake in 1957--tall, handsome in a way, and aristocratic in his manner and manners. A charming stammer and a ready wit, what memories flood back. The Oldfellows Group, started and run by him, I'm sure has grown  to a  much larger and detailed record than he originally envisaged!  How appropriate that HIS group should itself be a living memory of him and of those of us fortunate enough to have been present during his time in the Company.

Sadly, but with a smile too,  Mike

 

Tribute from John B

I was extremely sad to learn of the death of David Samways, who I got to know through my longest Marconi friend, Martyn Clarke. As you know of course, David had been compiling his wiki on Marconi Communications.  He needed to know the story of how Marconi had entered the Space Communications market and Martyn immediately gave him my name.  Incidentally, long before I knew anything about MOGS, I wrote for David about my time at Baddow;  in Radar Division;  and Space Communications. He passed the first two accounts to Alan H-S as he knew the two of you were gathering together, all the radar side of things;  he added my space communication account on to his wiki, where it now resides.  We then regularly exchanged our respective accounts of our time in Yorkshire.

 

Tribute from John P

I have known David Samways since we were both accepted as Student Apprentices by the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company in 1957. 5 years of alternate college and in-Works training and final study at Marconi College in 1961. We both worked on commissioning the USAF microwave in UK and France, and later David left Marconi and moved to Honeywell in London while I joined GEC Telecommunications in Coventry. Shortly after that I was delighted to act as David’s best man at his wedding to Doreen in Stoke on Trent. We met again in Lagos Nigeria in 1965 when David worked at the Marconi P&T Training college, and I was there with GEC commissioning the Lagos to Port Harcourt Microwave System. We only had intermittent contact until 1980, when we were both living in Sydney Australia. Honeywell, renamed Bull, employed David in a senior marketing role for most of the time until he retired with his wife Doreen, to enjoy his daughter’s family and his 2 grandchildren. His dedicated work in support of MOFS, the Wiki and assisting with the writing of the article “The Marconi Family” was much appreciated by all concerned. Many will share the sadness at David’s passing, a friendly, humorous, caring, English gentleman.

 

Tribute from Ian G

I didn't know David personally or professionally but I came to appreciate the dedication, conscientious attention to detail and sheer professionalism that he brought to bear on the work he did on the wikis. He will be greatly missed.

 

Tribute from Martyn C

I first got to know David electronically when he was setting up MOFS, later on with the Marconi Television Wiki. I scanned most of the UK items for David including a complete set of Marconi Companies and Their Peoples. As Ian Gillis has said his attention to detail was outstanding and he would come back to me to see if I could improve a particular page or picture scan, it was the ultimate quality control. We had a few Skypes and we got to know each other that way including his sense of humour, he even named my cat Bruno Scanner 2. David will be greatly missed and will be hard to replace. RIP my friend I will raise a glass to you on the 3rd.

 

Tribute from John W

David Samways was a wonderful chap and a great friend ever since I met him and the lovely Doreen as they stepped into the hot and humid atmosphere of Lagos airport and joined the Marconi team at the P&T training college Oshodi. It seems so recent, but it was over fifty years ago. Over all the intervening years we remained in contact as we pursued our respective careers in the communications industry, and it is quite obvious from the tributes already paid that David moved through life dispensing good humour and happiness to all who knew him.

I shall miss him terribly, but I have the memories (and his video of our times in Lagos). Rest in Peace good friend.

 

Tribute from Bob M

I met David through the MOFS site.  Most of our conversations were by email with the occasional Skype discussion to clarify information.  Over time I helped fill in some of the gaps by providing the names of fellow apprentices in my era, I joined MWT in 1952. I also helped a little by providing  some details of the physical aspects of the USAF Communications program, fitting out of the containers and siting the antennas and masts at sites in the UK. Later, as his thirst for knowledge of all aspects of the Marconi activities grew, I provided him with information regarding my experiences  in working  with  Marconi CCTV (later EOSD of MEASLS) and basic details of the then current equipment.

We all owe David a great debt of gratitude for his tireless endeavours in stitching together much of the history of the Marconi company, its projects and its people.

 

Tribute from Ken E

Like others, I only knew David via email, which started at the time he embarked on the Avionics wiki. I first heard about his passing when Martyn Clarke rang me soon after Christmas. He worked on the histories of a range of the companies' product groups and we have to offer a huge debt of gratitude for that.

I passed on the news to Fred Boot who dropped in to me a couple of days later a hard copy article about their time in Nigeria in the 60s.

Here is an extract:

"My wife and I first met David and his wife Doreen when they arrived in Nigeria in the August of 1963 to join the Marconi College Team that was running the Radio School in the top two floors of the Post & Telegraph training School at Oshodi, just north of Lagos. There were twelve expats in the team, most married with families but two or three bachelors and together they provided a four year training programme for young Nigerian men who, ultimately, would operate and maintain the multi-channel radio system that Marconi had installed linking the large interior through repeater stations in jungle and in the north dessert areas on the edge of the Sahara. Three streams of students were recruited every year with the intention of providing technicians for this system, so the training programme covered classroom theory and practical in laboratories and workshops."

Fred goes on to describe the life of the expats which David and his wife had joined. They maintained contact until David and Doreen moved to Australia in 1963, and then through an annual Christmas newsletter.

 

A post on the Marconi Veterans Association

 

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