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Name: Henry Pilkington

Burial Number: 1440

Gender: Male

Occupation: Chief Royal Navy Engineer

Distinction: Chief Naval Architect

Born: 15/03/1849

Died: 08/05/1930

Buried: 12/05/1930


Sir Henry Pilkington 1849 – 1930

Chief Naval Architect / Engineer

According to the ‘Western Morning News’ in 1905: ‘Sir Henry Pilkington was responsible for the greatest series of engineering works, carried out in any country in the history of the world.’

Henry Pilkington was born on 15th March 1849 in Swanage Dorset to Commander Edward Williams Pilkington R.N. and Louisa Frances Bayton. He had 7 siblings: six sisters and one brother, Edward.

Henry joined the Royal Engineers in 1869 and served in India. He married Ella Julia White, daughter of Colonel J. H. White R.E., Mint-master, Bombay. The wedding was on 29 April 1882 in Malabar Hall, Bombay. Their first child, Frances was born in Bombay in 1883, twins Dorothy and William were born on 24th December 1884 in Woolwich, Kent,  Helen Maud, was born on 4th June 1895 in Working and lastly Edith was born in Woking in 1898. Sadly, Frances died in Woking in March 1895.

in 1900, Henry and Ella moved to Studland House, Lansdowne Road, Worthing. Henry’s sister Georgina Parry also moved to Worthing.

In 1902 Henry was knighted for his services to the Admiralty. He was the chief engineer architect of the Naval Loans Department and designed several dockyards, notably Chatham.  The dockyards were vast, the size of small towns. Chatham was famous for its military hospital.

All three of Henry’s surviving daughters married in Heene Church. Helen Maud married Lt. Col Ralph Evelyn Drake- Brockman in 1917. Dorothy married optician, Edwin Victor Collerick  in 1919 and, unusually, Dorothy’s occupation was recorded on the marriage certificate. She was in administrator for Queen Mary’s Auxillary Army serving in war time France.  WokingWEdith married Dr Max Alan Chapman in 1922.

Henry and Ella’s son, William, served in the B.E.F. in Canada during WW1.

Henry died in Worthing in 1930 and was buried in Heene Cemetery.


Projects designed by or under the responsibility of Sir Henry Pilkington:

Admiralty work at Portsmouth, Keyham, Gibraltar, Hong-Kong and Cape Town

In 1900, breakwaters enclosing a 28 acre tidal dock, a graving dock and other extensive works were started at Simon’s
Town naval dockyard in Cape Town. Designs had been prepared by William Shields in 1897 and later by Sir Henry Pilkington, Engineer-in-Chief. The contract was awarded to Sir John Jackson and the completed dockyard was inaugurated in 1910 by the Duke of Connaught.



Chief Naval Engineer, Colonel, Sir Henry Pilkington, designed, H.M.S Pembroke at Woolwich, the Royal Navy training establishment and hospital.


To be continued.

Researcher: Pat Brownbill

The Grave

No headstone image available

Location in Cemetery

Area: EB Row: 1 Plot: 30

Exact Location (what3words): dates.rooms.draw

Ashes or Urn: Unknown



No description of the headstone has been added.


Sacred to the memory of Henry Pilkington died May 8th 1930 "Oh Lord my strength and my redeemer"

Further Information


Name: Henry Pilkington

Gender: Male

Born: 15/03/1849

Town: Swanage

County: Dorset

Country: England


Maiden Name: Not applicable

Marriage Date: //1882

Spouse First Name: Ella

Spouse Second Name: Julia

Spouse Last Name: White

Town of Marriage: Unknown

County of Marriage: Unknown

Country of Marriage: India

Information at Death

Date of Death: 08/05/1930

Cause of death: Unknown

Address line 1: Studland House

Address line 3: Lansdowne Road

Town: Worthing

County: Sussex

Country: England


Worthing Gazette 14th May 1930



The death at his residence. Studland House, Lansdowne Road, Worthing. on Thursday, at the age of 81. of Major Sir Henry Pilkington. K.C.B., formerly in the engineering service of the Admiralty and for eleven years Civil Engineer in Chief of the Naval Loan Works Department. He had lived in retirement here for many years.

The son of Captain E. W. Pilkington. R,N., Sir Henry Pilkington joined the Royal Engineers 1869. From 1890 to 1895 was director of the Engineering anal Architectural Works Department of the Admiralty. and was then appointed Civil Engineer in Chief of the Naval Loan Works Department, retiring in 1906. He was created C.B. in 1895, and was promoted to K.C.B in 1902.

In 1882 he married Miss Ella Julia White, daughter of Major General J. H. White R.E. . ILE.. and had three daughters. married respectively Captain E. V.  Collerick late The York and Lancaster Regiment,  Lieutenant-Colonel R. E. Drake-Brockman. D. S.O., and Lieutenant N A. Chapman late R.N.

The funeral took place on Monday afternoon at Heene Cemetery, the service being conducted by the Rector the Rev. J. P. Fallowes

Personal Effects

Money left to others: £9496 4 s 10 d

Current value of effects: Not calculated

Census Information


Living in Swanage, Dorset: Edward Williams Pilkington (head aged 47) Commander in RN., Louisa S Pilkington (wife aged 38), Emily L Pilkington (12), Isabella E Pilkington (9), Elizabeth C Pilkington (7), Harriet S Pilkington (4), Thomas Masters (4 cousin), Henry Pilkington (2),  William Masters (2 cousin),Mina Martha Pilkington (6months) and 8 domestic staff.


Living at Kingswood, Mount Hermon, Woking, Surrey : Henry Pilkington (42 Major in Royal Engineers), Ella J Pilkington (28) wife, Frances D (8), William (6), Dorothy (6), Annie L Williams (24 Governess)


Living at Chilgrove,  Newstead, Wimbledon Common: Henry Pilkington (52 Major R.E. (retired)), Ella Julia Pilkington (wife aged 38), William Pilkington (16), Dorothy Pilkington (16), Helen Maud Pilkington (5), Edith Hubbard Pilkington (3)  and 4 servants.


Living at Studland House, Lansdowne Road, Worthing:  Sir Henry Pilkington (62 Major R.E. retired),  Ella Julia Pilkington (48 wife), Edith Hubbard Pilkington (aged 13) , Jane Suter (30 housemaid), Minnie Emma Cane (29 Cook).


Studland House, Lansdowne Road, Worthing, Sussex.

Henry aged 72, retired Major Royal Engineers KCB. Eleanor Frances Pilkington aged 64, visitor, no occupation. Plus 1 servant.


Miscellaneous Information

Retirement of Sir Henry Pilkington August 1905

NAVAL AND MILITARY.  Western Morning News 11 August 1905

Sir Henry Pilkington about to retire from the civil department the Admiralty after period thirty-six years in the service the country. Born m 1849, entered the Royal Engineers in 1869, and retired from the Army eleven years ago. He was once been employed  “engineer-in-chief of the  Naval Loan Works at the Admiralty, and many millions bare been spent under his supervision. He has superintended an immense number of most important schemes and Dockyard extensions, and it remarkable testimony the care and ability which he has brought to his duties that has carried out all the works entrusted to him with complete success.  Sir Henry Pilkington has been responsible for the greatest series of engineering works, carried out in any country in the history of the world. And it is fitting on his approaching retirement, tribute should paid the great services which has rendered. We are now approaching the end of the naval developments under the loan policy inaugurated Lord Spencer ten years ago and with these great projects that Sir Henry Pilkington’s name will always honourably associated. This officer has had a distinguished career, and is only now in his 60th year, his many friends will hope that he has him long period honourable retirement.