LMS Biographies - The Presidents

(Sir) Josiah Charles Stamp, born 1880, died 1941, LMS President, 1926-1941, LMS Chairman, 1827-1941
 
Stamp started his career in business with the Inland Revenue at the age of 16, and his academic ability meant that he rose quickly through the ranks. In 1919, he became company secretary, and a director of, Mond Nickel Co., which was eventually absorbed by ICI.
 
In 1926, Stamp joined the LMS as president of the Executive,assuming the post of chairman the following year. He became the head of an American-style of corporate management, heading an executive committee of vice-presidents. It is Stamp who is generally credited by ending the in-fighting between the locomotive and rolling stock departments by appointing William Stanier in 1932.
 
Towards the outbreak of World War II, Stamp became more and more involved with government and academic work, with the result that he delegated more to the vice presidents. This tended to make him somewhat remote from his staff. However he was an effective spokesperson with the government and spearheaded the "Square Deal" campaign 0f 1938-1939. In 1940, he was offered the position of Chancellor of the Exchequer, a post he declined.
 
Tragically, Stamp was killed with his wife and eldest son in an air raid in 1941.
 
(Sir) William Valentine Wood, born 1883, knighted 1937, died 1959, LMS president 1941-1947
 
Born in Belfast, and an accountant by training, Wood joined in the LMS in 1924 as assistant to the accountant-general. Given the post of controller of costs and statistics, he impressed Josiah Stamp so much, he received rapid promotion to a vice-president of the executive committee.

Stamp's death in 1941 elevated Wood to the presidency of the LMS, which he held until nationalisation. After nationalisation, he became a member of the British Transport commission.

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