Gilbert Savil Szlumper (1884-1969) had a distinguished civilian and military career in railway engineering administration before coming to Southampton in 1919 as assistant to the docks and marine manager. He was promoted to docks and marine manager a year later, at the age of just 36. In 1925 he was appointed assistant general manager of Southern Railways working from Waterloo Station. In his short spell at Southampton docks he played a significant part in the movement which led to the development of the new docks, work on which began in 1927.
He was awarded the CBE in 1925, and later went on to become general manager of Southern Railways. He was created a major-general in 1939 and during World War Two held a number of important posts in the Ministries of Transport and Supply, and at the War Office. After the war he was elected chairman of the Atlantic Steam Navigation Company, from which he retired in 1954. In an interview with a Daily Echo reporter, he said that the years he spent in Southampton were the happiest of his life. He died at his London home in 1969.

Gilbert Savil Szlumper

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Szlumper (second from right) at a ceremony inaugurating the building of the new docks, 1927.

Gilbert Savil Szlumper

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Szlumper (centre) at a social event in Eastleigh in 1931.

Further reading:
Familiar and Forgotten, by Southampton Art Gallery. (HS/t)


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