Jack Herbert (J. F. Herbert)
(1908 - 1982)
'Jack' Herbert, the elder son of Arthur Stephens Herbert, was born in London. He was educated briefly at Merchant Taylors' School, London, but principally in Australia, at the Sydney Church of England Grammar School (Shore) and Sydney University, from which he graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering in 1929. He then joined English Electric, the firm for which his father was working, and returned to the UK in 1933. He worked as a graduate apprentice gaining practical experience in their works at Rugby, Stafford and Preston. He then moved on to the sales side and after short spells in Edinburgh and East Anglia spent some nine months in West Africa before being appointed English Electric Company's representative in what was then known as the Federated Malay States.
In 1937, he married Alice May Lay ('Paddy') at St. Andrew's Cathedral, Singapore. They had two daughters, Susan Mary (1938) and Margaret Ann Ferguson (1942).
Whilst at Sydney University he was commissioned in the Australian Territorial Army and once settled in Ipoh, he joined the Federated Malay States Volunteer Force (Perak). Following the invasion of the Malay Peninsular by the Japanese in 1941, he took part in the retreat to Singapore and was captured there when it fell on 15th February 1942. He spent considerable time in the ill-famed Changi POW Camp before being moved to work on the Burma/Siam railway, documented so vividly in the film 'Bridge on the River Kwai'.
His experiences as a prisoner of war under the Japanese would fill a book but only let it be said that on repatriation to the UK in late 1945 he was literally a shadow of his former self.
After a period of recuperation and adjustment in the London Offices of English Electric, he returned to Malaya in 1947 and, based in Kuala Lumpur, he took up the position of General Manager Far East, moving to Singapore in 1949. He returned to London in 1953 to join the Export Department, taking responsibilities for the company's activities in the Far East. During 1958/1959 he was seconded to the British Atomic Energy Authority. Subsequently, he was appointed General Export Manager for the Company and a Director of the Export Subsidiary. While in this position he travelled extensively and was involved in many major electrical engineering projects throughout the World.
Following the merger of the English Electric Company with GEC in 1968, he continued as General Export Manager until his retirement in 1971 when he moved to Portesham near Weymouth.
He was appointed a Non-Executive Director of Herbert & Sons in May 1953 and was a regular attendee at Board Meetings, where his experience and advice generally was greatly valued.
Jack Herbert is pictured talking to Jimmy Eyre at the company's Silver Wedding party in June 1977 held at Doveden Hall.
Jack died on May 20th 1982.