GUTTERIDGE, EDWARD CHARLES (Ted)

1920 - 2000 from England


engineer, was born on 9 December 1920 at Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, the second son of Percy and Alice Gutteridge. He had one sister and four brothers. His father was a self-employed shoe repairer and leather merchant and life was a struggle with Ted, whose education started at elementary school at the age of five, working for a local doctor before and after school at 12 years of age for a weekly wage of 7s 6d (37½p).

He left school at 14 and, after initially working for his father, in 1936 became an electrical trainee with Kingston Corporation and studied electrical engineering in the evening, gaining ordinary and higher certificates. The outbreak of war saw Gutteridge classified in a reserved occupation, but in 1941 he released himself by volunteering for aircrew duties with the RAF. However persistent airsickness led him to be grounded and transferred to Transport Command. Following demobilisation, he resumed work with Kingston Corporation but in the latter part of 1947 was accepted by the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey for service in the Antarctic. With his knowledge of electrics and radio he joined a team of scientists - geologists, meteorologists and others. Whilst in the Antarctic, at the base in the South Shetlands, a powerful Argentine naval squadron arrived in February 1948 and in accordance with procedure a formal note of protest had to be lodged for visiting British territorial waters without permission. The Base Leader, a former naval officer, took him along with him to lodge the protest with the Argentine Admiral, travelling in a leaking dory with Gutteridge much discomfited by being forced to wear two left-sided waders, the only ones available. His hilarious account of this venture appeared in the Falkland Islands Journal of 1999.

The Falkland Islands Governor, Sir Miles CLIFFORD, took a close interest in the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey and when it became necessary to replace Stanley's power system, and once he had acquired the equipment on advantageous terms, it was natural that he should arrange to have Gutteridge transferred to Stanley to become superintendent, Power and Electrical Department, following additional training in the UK. He held this appointment until 1973 when he retired to the UK. He was an immensely popular figure in the Islands, not only running an efficient electrical service but also participating in local affairs, becoming a Justice of the Peace. He married Dorothy Margaret Sedgwick, an Islander, in 1960 and they had one son, Tom, born in 1963. After retirement, he worked for the Crown Agents, travelling extensively throughout the Commonwealth, continuing part-time on a self-employed basis from the age of 60 through to age 65. He was honoured with an MBE in 1977.

Authors

Frank Mitchell