George Jackson Churchward 1857 - 1933

born in:
Stoke Gabriel, Totnes, Devon, England, United Kingdom

George Jackson Churchward, born in 1857, had a keen mathematical flair, and in 1873 became a pupil of John Wright, the locomotive, carriage, and wagon superintendent of the South Devon Railway. Churchward completed his pupillage at Swindon under Joseph Armstrong, the locomotive superintendent of the Great Western Railway.

From 1877 to 1880 Churchward gained experience in the locomotive, carriage, and wagon drawing-offices at Swindon, and from then until 1882 worked with Armstrong's son on the development of an improved automatic braking system, which overcame the defects of previous systems which had been the cause of serious railway accidents. In 1882 he became assistant carriage-works manager at Swindon and in 1885 the manager.

Churchward was appointed locomotive works manager at Swindon in 1895, and two years later this job was combined with the position of chief assistant locomotive superintendent, with the intention that he should succeed William Dean, whose health was failing. He was eventually appointed locomotive superintendant in 1902. He spent the remaineder of his career with GWR and, after his retirement in 1922, he remained in Swindon until his death in 1933.