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Cecil William VernonChemist
Full name of worker at H.M. Factory Gretna (and any other names they are known by): Cecil William Vernon
Date and Place of Birth: Birkenhead 17/10/1892
Date and Place of Death: 1972 Dumfries age 79
Parents: William and Ada Sarah Vernon
Parent’s occupations: School teacher (father)
Schools / universities attended and years of attendance:
St Paul’s Infants School, Acomb School, Yorks to Jan 1900
Place of residence at Gretna: N/K
Job title at Gretna: Chemist at Dornock
Marital status: Married Jessie Mcgaw 04/03/1920 Dumfries
Children: Roy Cecil Vernon b.1921, Kenneth Robert Vernon CBE b.1923 in Dumfries
Travels: Calcutta, India 1922 and 1926
Trivia / any other information:
- Books published (Title, year of publication, publisher): N/K
- Books written about the individual or mentioning the individual (Title, year of publication, publisher): N/K
- Blogs about the individual: N/K
- Websites about the individual: N/K
Further links, notes, and comments:
Cecil William Vernon was born in Birkenhead on 17th October 1892, the son of William and Ada Sarah Vernon. William was a schoolteacher. The family lived in York and Cecil and his two siblings attended St Paul’s Infants and then Acomb School up to January 1900. On the 1901 census, the family is back in Birkenhead, living with William’s parents. In 1911, William is teaching in Runcorn, and Cecil is a student. Perhaps he found his vocation as a chemist while living at the heart of the British chemical industry.
He appears to have served as a Royal Engineers’ corporal 106542 during the Great War and its likely that he was one of those chemists seconded to the Ministry of Munitions. He worked at HM Factory Gretna and is remembered on the Dornock Souvenir. It was presumably while working at Gretna that Cecil met Dumfries-born Jessie Mcgaw, who he married on 4th March 1920. They had two sons Roy Cecil Vernon (b.1921) and Kenneth Robert Vernon (b.1923). The family lived at Anwoth Cottage, Annan Road, Dumfries.
In September 1922 Cecil sailed to Calcutta, and in October 1923 Jessie and the two boys also sailed there to join him. The whole family returned from India in April 1926, their contact address being 7 Orchard Villas, Purfleet, Essex. However, the family appears to have continued to live in Dumfries for most of their lives (1).
Tragically, their son Roy was killed on the 1sy May 1942 while serving in the Royal Navy aboard the Greenock-built destroyer HMS Punjabi. The ship was sunk in a collision with the battleship King George V while escorting an Arctic convoy in bad weather (2).
Cecil and Jessie’s other son Kenneth Robert Vernon went on to become the Deputy Chair and CX of the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board and was awarded the CBE (3).
Cecil died in Dumfries in 1972 age 79 (4).
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