W H Austen

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When Colonel Stephens died in October 1931, his 'first asistant' W.H. Austen, (or "Outside Assistant"), inherited the 'empire' of independent railways that Stephens had managed from his Tonbridge office. However, Austen did not become Chairman of the FR & WHR as Stephens had been, but only Engineer and Locomotive Superintendent, and he was not invited onto the Board. Evan R. Davies became Chairman, and the relationship between the two gradually deteriorated. When Davies advised Austen he was reducing staff, Austen resigned in September 1936. The Tonbridge connection continued, with audit accounting being conducted from there until 1947.

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