Death of a Distinguished Officer
Our latest files to hand from London allude to the sudden death in April of Colonel Sir Vivian D. Majendie, X.C.8., who was well known throughout the United Kingdom and the Empire as Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Explosives. ,We take the following from the London Times: — He was the son of Major J. X.. Majendie, of Fife Grange. Born in 1536, educated at Leamington College, he passed through the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, and entered tho Royal Artillery in ISpl. He took part in the Canadiau campaign of 1855, receiving the medal, with clasp, and the Turkish medal. He also scored with distinction in the Indian Mutiny, and was present at the Relief of Luoknow and the action of Sirsee, for whioh he received the Indian medal and clasp. He then acted as Captain Instructor and Assistant Superintendent of the Royal Laboratory at Woolwich. In IS7I he was selected to be the adviser to the Home Office on the general subject of explosives, and appointed Chief Inspeotor of Explosives. As a result of his investigations he framed a scheme for amended legislation, which was embodied in a Bill which passed into law as the ' Explosives Act, 1875.' For his action in this connection he received the thanks of both Houses of Parliament, and was made a C.B. During the years 1881-5 occurred a series of dynamite outrages, and attempts to blow Up inter alia the Local Government Board Offices, the offices of The Times, the Underground Railway, Victoria Station, London Bridge, Westminster Abbey, Charing Cross and Paddington Railway Stations, and the Houses of Parliament, and it was generally conceded at the time that it was mainly owing to the wise precautions he took that no very serious loss of life and property occurred. Again he received the thanks of both Houses. of Parliament and the thanks of Her Majesty personally for 'averting national catastrophes aud saving human life.' The 'Explosive Substances Act, 1883,' which passed through Parliament in 48 hours, waa also largely the result of his experience and advice. This Act, directed against the perpetrators of dynamite outrages, whose frequency had inspired a general feeling of insecurity and dismay, has proved most effectual in enabling the law to cope with these dangers to society. Apart from his ordinary periodical inspections of gunpowder and kindred manufactories, for which he was always responsible, he had oast upon him, as a duty he refused to delegate to any one, the very delicate and dangerous task of analysing the mechanism of fully-charged infernal machines of unknown and incalculable power. One of his latest works was the drawing up of regulations for the storage of inflammable liquids, suoh as petroleum, and it is not long aiuoo he returned from a tour in America undei taken to study the methods of storage and transport. Ho was made a X.0.8. in 1595. Ho had been a widower many years, and has left one eon, now in the Rifle Brigade in the Soudan. In private life Sir Vivian Majendie was exceedingly popular. Of deep religious convictions, his non-profesßional life was devoted to good works, and his unceasing mental activity found scope in the production of several books and innumerable contributions to the magazine literature of tho day. The late Sir Vivian was a brother of Mr. F. A. Majeudie, of Ohariu, Wellington, who is well known in connection with local government, especially as President of the If aw Zoalaud Counties Association.