THOMPSON, Raymond Thomas (1907–1976) MA, BSc, FCIS, FIOM. The son of a grocer, came from a modest background. He was born on 10 November 1907 of Walter William Thompson and Lillie Frances (née Huntington ) in Doncaster and died on 4 March 1976 after an unsuccessful heart by-pass operation in Harefield Hospital aged 68 years. He was educated at Ilkeston Secondary School in 1919 and won a major scholarship to Pembroke College , Cambridge , in 1925. He distinguished himself with a first class Mathematical Tripos Part 1 and a BSc first class honours at London ; on leaving university he studied for the Chartered Secretaries' examinations. He started his working career with Owen & Owen Ltd, Liverpool , where he was an Assistant Secretary.
Thompson started work at Lyons on 1 June 1931 as a Trainee in the Stock Department under John Simmons. At the end of 1932 he became Assistant Manager and in 1935 when Simmons was visiting the USA he became Acting Manager and finally Manager. He married E. A. Foulk, secretary to John Simmons, on Saturday 28 May 1938 and subsequently the couple had two children Roger (b.1942) and Margaret (b.1944).
During the war Thompson was responsible of reorganising the Stock Department to deal with the rationing and food regulations and during the Blitz arranged for the Stock Department to be decentalised into the basement areas of Cadby Hall. He was also a member of the ARP Central Control staff and for a time was on the Management Committee of the Elstow Ordnance Factory which Lyons ran in Bedfordshire for the MOD. In 1943 the Stock and Checking Departments were reorganised into the Statistical, Catering and Control Offices and Thompson became responsible for these offices including a number of Cost Offices. Later the Despatch Office and Accounts Department were joined to this group. In 1945 he was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Company and in 1946 Chief Assistant Comptroller of the Clerical Department and joined the Board of Leo Computers Limited on its formation in 1954.
Although he had frequent flashes of brilliance and undoubtedly had a quick, agile mind, his management style was thought by many to be arrogant. He did not treat his subordinates with courtesy and was said to be intolerant, but nevertheless he was a very active promoter of the LEO project and his enthusiasm undoubtedly persuaded the Lyons Board to continue to fund the department. He contributed many ideas, supported others and took a very active part in promoting the machine to other parts of industry. Without his involvement it is doubtful whether the project would have succeeded. He was always known as TRT . He was a member of the Institute of Office Management for over 35 years. From March 1946 to February 1949 he was a member of Council, and part of that time acted as Treasurer. He was for many years a member of the Institute's Research Committee, and was elected a fellow in 1951 to mark his services to the Institute, particularly in connection with the Clerical Job Grading Scheme and preparation of the biennial Clerical Salaries Analysis . He was previously Vice-Chairman of Council for two years and Chairman of the Electronic Data Processing Division. In 1966 he joined Shell-Mex and BP Ltd as advisor on computer applications and techniques.
His main hobby was working in his garden and he loved cementing. Before his marriage he was very much into the social events of the J. Lyons (he was Honorary Secretary of the Rugby Section) and organised the first fun-fair at the Sudbury Sports Event in 1937. This became a popular feature in succeeding years. He was very keen on Bridge and played with Simmons and others during the evenings at Cadby Hall.