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Robert Cyril Thompson                         1907-1967
  Robert Cyril was born 31 May 1907, the eldest son of R. Norman Thompson.   He was educated at Cambridge, and served his apprenticeship in Sunderland's Laing Shipyard, before joining the family firm.   Robert married Doreen Hermine Allan on 4 September 1934.   He was then joint managing director of Joseph L. Thompson & Sons.
  In the slump of the 1930s, the Sunderland shipbuilding firm of Joseph L. Thompson put the slack time to good use by investigating how to produce a cheap and economical-to-run merchant ship.   At the firm's North Sands yard Cyril Thompson led a team which built a prototype, launched in 1935.   The first vessel built at the yard since 1930, she consumed much less fuel than comparable ships.   Seven sister vessels followed, and a superior version, longer and wider, the Dorington Court, was launched in 1939.
  On Sept 2, 1940, just one day less than a year after Britain declared war on Germany, Thompson was summoned to a
  high-level meeting at the Admiralty.   Word of Thompson's economical yet dependable merchant ships, whose superior performance was achieved through design changes to the engine and hull, had reached the naval warlords.
  With Britain's shipbuilding effort tied up largely in warships, Thompson was asked to visit the US to persuade it to build merchant ships of the Thompson design for Britain.   Losses of existing ships were so large that unless a new source was found, and the ships were built quickly, Britain would literally be starved into defeat.
  So Cyril headed a British Merchant Shipbuilding Mission to the United States with the object of ordering 60 ships from American builders.   Mr. Harry Hunter, of the North-Eastern Marine Engineering Company, headed the engineering side of the mission.   They took with them plans and designs of their own firms standard ships and engines.
  Returning home after his first trip to America in connection with this mission, Mr. Thompson sailed in the Western Prince,   which   was  torpedoed  in  mid  Atlantic,  in  rough weather.   He spent nine hours at the oars in one of the lifeboats before he and his fellow passengers were rescued by another ship.   Mr. Thompson managed to save precious documents he was carrying back to Whitehall.

  Further visits to the US followed to set up the project.   Designed to carry 10,000 tons, the vessel to be built was a second variation on the original, and a prototype, the Empire Liberty, was constructed at North Sands.
  As a result of this effort a syndicate of Todd Shipyards Inc. and Mr. Henry J. Kaiser's west coast construction & engineering firm known as Six Services Inc. built ships and engines at such record pace in new shipyards which Mr. Thompson helped to lay out.   The first American built Liberty Ship was the 10,000 ton Ocean Vanguard, launched 15 October 1941.   At the peak of production in 1943, 18 yards were building liberty ships.
  In May 1943 Thompson's yard was heavily bombed on two successive weekends.   In the early hours of Sunday May 16th, The North Sands boardroom, the general store,
  and part of the office block were destroyed.   A week later, the Manor Quay was devastated, the joiners shop burned out, a ship at the quayside (the Denewood) was sunk in the river, and the Chinese Prince, moored alongside was badly damaged.
  That same year, Cyril left the shipyard to join the Royal Air Force at the lowest rank. Trained as a flight mechanic, he became a flight sergeant and served in Italy.   Ultimately commissioned, he returned to the shipyard after the war, and he was still only 59 when he died of a heart attack on 9 March 1967.
His son, Robert Patrick Thompon followed him into the shipbuilding business, being the last of the Thompson family to be so involved, as shipbuilding on the Wear disappeared.

Doreen Hermine Allan                           1913-1975
Doreen was born 19 March 1913, the daughter of Dr. Douglas Allan and Mildred Hermine Gunn.   She died on 10 June 1975.
I have found the following children:
Robert Patrick Born 18 Sep 1936 Married Sarah Hedley Whyte
Fiona Bridget Hermine Born 7 Feb 1939   Married Lindsay Robertson Maclean

Birth of Parents
Robert Cyril Thompson b: 31 May 1907 c: 2 Jul 1907  Christ Church, Bishopwearmouth   1907 3Q Sunderland 10a 643
son of Robert Norman and Helena Victoria Thompson, Belford House, Shipbuilder

Doreen Hermine Allan b: 19 Mar 1913                     1913 2Q Sunderland 10a 1463
daughter of Dr. Douglas Allan and Mildred Hermine Gunn

4 Sept 1934
Robert Cyril Thompson
Doreen Hermine Allan
Christ Church, Bishopwearmouth, County Durham          1934 3Q Sunderland 10a 1385
Shipbuilder, Belford House, Sunderland, Father: Robert Norman Thompson, Shipbuilder
14 West Lawn, Father: Douglas Allan, Surgeon
Wit: R. N. Thompson, Douglas Allan

The Times, 5 Sep 1934                            MARRIAGES
Mr. R. C. Thompson and Miss Allan
The marriage took place yesterday at Christ Church, Sunderland, between Robert Cyril Thompson, elder son of Mr. and Mrs. R. N. Thompson, Belford House, Sunderland. and Doreen Hermine Allan, daughter of Mr. and Mrs D. Allan, West Lawn, Sunderland.

Robert Patrick Thompson b: 18 Sep 1936                       1936 4Q Sunderland 10a 766
son of Robert Cyril Thompson and Doreen Hermine Allan           Died 11 Oct 2008
Fiona Bridget Hermine Thompson b: 7 Feb 1939                          1939 1Q Durham N E 10a 1152
daughter of Robert Cyril Thompson and Doreen Hermine Allan

While at the North Sands Shipyard of Joseph L. Thompson, the Duke was shown over the 80,000 ton tanker under construction there, by Mr. Cyril Thompson, chairman and managing director of the company.

Sunderland Echo, Friday, July 26, 1963


Royal Aero Club   Pilot's Certificate   21705
Thompson, Robert Cyril, Shipbuilder
Ashfield House, West Park Road,
Cleadon, Durham
Born 31 May. 1907, Sunderland, Durham
Taken on D.H. 82, [Tiger Moth]
30th Aug. 1946
Marshall's Flying School

Robert Cyril Thompson Died 9 Mar 1967, Age 59       1967 1Q Durham N.E. 10a 506
Ashfield House, West Park Road

Read his Obituary notice
Summary of the Will
of Mr. Robert Cyril Thompson C.B.E.
of South Lodge, East Boldon, County Durham, Shipbuilder
1907 - 1967       Dated 7 March 1966
(His estate totaled £ 94,220 19s 0d)
Trustees and Executors:  my wife, Doreen Hermine Thompson,
my son, Robert Patrick Thompson,and
Richard Henry Middleton, Solicitor, Sunderland
Wife Doreen Hermine Thompson My Gold cigarette case,
All income from my Trust Fund
Daughter Fiona Bridget Hermine Thompson Gold evening pocket watch, match box, and chain, and
upon death of wife, one third of Trust Fund
Son Robert Patrick Thompson My other cigarette cases, gold watches, guns, and fishing rods, and upon death of wife, one third of Trust Fund
Grandchildren any, and all upon death of wife, one third of Trust Fund

Doreen Hermine (Allan) Thompson Died 10 Jun 1975, Age 62,       1975 2Q Jarrow 2 1244
Summary of the Will
of Doreen Hermine Thompson (Allan)
of South Lodge, East Boldon, County Durham, Widow
1913 - 1975       Dated 6 February 1974
(Her estate totaled £ 195,689.43)
Executors:  my daughter, Fiona Bridget Hermine Thompson,
my son, Robert Patrick Thompson,and
John Derek Richardson Bradbeer, Solicitor, Newcastle upon Tyne
Trustees:  my son, Robert Patrick Thompson, David Herbert Seal, and
Dominic Thomas Scarre Rutter
Cousin Rosemary Dalgleish The portrait of my aunt Dorothy Dalgleish.
Son Robert Patrick Thompson My round diamond cluster ring.
Children My Son and Daughter My remaining pictures, divided equally.
Daughter Fiona Bridget Hermine Thompson
If she survives me

All my real and personal property
- - - - - - - If she does NOT survive me- - - - - - -
Niece Jennifer Rosemary Allan My diamond clip
Cousin Jane Dalgleish My emerald ring and pearls, Silver tray and Tea set, all of which belonged to my grandmother.
Son Robert Patrick Thompson Dousgill Farm High Dalton Hall, and High Dalton Hall Farm.
Grandchildren in equal shares My Residuary Trust Fund

31ST MAY 1907
9TH MARCH 1967
19TH MARCH 1913
10TH JUNE 1975