Thomas William Ward (industrialist)

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Thomas William Ward (1853 3 February 1926) was a scrap metal merchant and shipbreaker from Sheffield, England, most famous for the establishment of his company Thos W Ward Limited (Company No. 81020), and its First World War-era 'employee' Lizzie the Elephant.

Ship breaking type of ship disposal involving the breaking up of ships for scrap recycling

Ship breaking or ship demolition is a type of ship disposal involving the breaking up of ships for either a source of parts, which can be sold for re-use, or for the extraction of raw materials, chiefly scrap. It may also be known as ship dismantling, ship cracking, or ship recycling. Modern ships have a lifespan of 25 to 30 years before corrosion, metal fatigue and a lack of parts render them uneconomical to run. Ship breaking allows the materials from the ship, especially steel, to be recycled and made into new products. This lowers the demand for mined iron ore and reduces energy use in the steelmaking process. Equipment on board the vessel can also be reused. While ship breaking is sustainable, there are concerns about the use of poorer countries without stringent environmental legislation. It is also considered one of the world's most dangerous industries and very labour-intensive.

Sheffield City and Metropolitan borough in England

Sheffield is a city and metropolitan borough in South Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, its name derives from the River Sheaf, which runs through the city. With some of its southern suburbs annexed from Derbyshire, the city has grown from its largely industrial roots to encompass a wider economic base. The population of the City of Sheffield is 577,800 (mid-2017 est.) and it is one of the eight largest regional English cities that make up the Core Cities Group. Sheffield is the third-largest English district by population. The metropolitan population of Sheffield is 1,569,000.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.



Thomas William Ward was born in Sheffield, England in 1853, and began work as at the age of 15 as a coal merchant. He was soon drawn into Sheffield's famous steel industry and became a successful scrap metal dealer in the city, helped by the great demand for the product during the early 1870s. Ward became an expert at dismantling big structures, and rose to considerable fame as a skilled shipbreaker and tradesman with his company Thos. W Ward Ltd, established in 1873 and formed into a Limited Company at the Albion Works in Sheffield in 1904. He owned breakers' yards at ports around Britain, and was well known for his resourceful nature, recycling everything on the warships and redundant luxury liners given over to his care, down to lamps and carpets, even the timber being used for garden furniture. Some of his most famous shipbreaking projects included the SS Majestic (1890) White Star Liner from the early 1900s, which was broken up at his yard near Morecambe in 1914 and the Olympic, which was finally towed to Inverkeithing. [1]

Morecambe town and civil parish in Lancashire, England

Morecambe is a coastal town on Morecambe Bay in Lancashire, England, which had a population of 34,768 at the 2011 Census.

RMS <i>Olympic</i> transatlantic ocean liner

RMS Olympic was a British transatlantic crossing ocean liner, the lead ship of the White Star Line's trio of Olympic-class liners. Unlike the other ships in the class, Olympic had a long career spanning 24 years from 1911 to 1935. This included service as a troopship during the First World War, which gained her the nickname "Old Reliable". She returned to civilian service after the war and served successfully as an ocean liner throughout the 1920s and into the first half of the 1930s, although increased competition, and the slump in trade during the Great Depression after 1930, made her operation increasingly unprofitable.

Inverkeithing town in Scotland

Inverkeithing is a town and a royal burgh, and parish, in Fife, Scotland, located on the Firth of Forth. According to population estimates (2006), the town has a population of 5,265. The port town was given burgh status by King David I of Scotland (1124–53) in the 12th century and is situated about 9 miles (15 km) north from Edinburgh Airport and about 4 miles from the centre of Dunfermline. Modern Inverkeithing is almost continuous with Rosyth and Dalgety Bay. Inverkeithing is a developing town and has many new housing sites including one next to the town's railway station. It is a busy commuter town, with a major railway station that trains to and from several large towns and cities call at. The town is also home to the Ferrytoll Park & Ride, and is served by many buses.

Thomas Ward was elected to the prestigious office of Master Cutler in 1913 and his brother Joseph became Chairman of the Scrap Advisory Committee to the Ministry of Munitions.

The Master Cutler is the head of the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire established in 1624. Their role is to act as an ambassador of industry in Sheffield, England. The Master Cutler is elected by the freemen of the company on the first Monday of September of each year and the position taken in the first Tuesday of October. Despite the title, the Master Cutler does not have to be involved in the cutlery business, or even the steel industry, to be elected.

Ward died on 3 February 1926 and was buried at Crookes Cemetery, Headland Road, Sheffield.

Crookes Cemetery

Crookes Cemetery is a cemetery between Crosspool and Crookes in the city of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. Its main entrance is on Headland Road with additional access from Mulehouse Road. It was opened in 1906, and covers 29 acres (120,000 m2). By 2009, over 29,000 burials had taken place since its opening.

After his death Thos. W Ward Ltd was able to survive throughout the Second World War and was run by Ward's family until the latter part of the 1950s. In January 1982 Thos. W Ward Ltd was taken over by Rio Tinto Zinc.

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Thomas William Ward may refer to:

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