Clan Carruthers

Clan Carruthers: Prof. Donald Carruthers CBE

Donald Carruthers CBE ©️


Donald Carruthers was born and educated in Lancashire, England.  Upon completion of National Service with the Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers, the Corp of the British Army that maintains military equipment, he spent two years with contractors prior to joining West Riding County Council in 1958. During the next 16 years, he was involved with design and construction of employed as the Resident Engineer on several contracts.

In 1974, Donald Carruthers joined South Yorkshire County Council as an Assistant Engineer responsible for a large Works Unit, which carried out maintenance and improvement of roads, bridges and street lighting by both Contract and Direct Labour.

In 1979 he was promoted to Chief Engineer responsible for overall management of 8,000km of road and a large Direct Labour Organisation.

In 1982 he joined Strathclyde Regional Council, Department of Roads as Senior Depute where he was involved in a large variety of Management and Engineering activities.

Strathclyde was one of nine former local government region of Scotland created by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 and abolished in 1996 by the Local Governments etc (Scotland) Act 1994. The Strathclyde region had 19 districts.

Strathclyde region as it was until ’96

Donald Carruthers was appointed Director in 1989, working out of Richmond Exchange in Cadogan Street Glasgow, and was active in Professional Institution Affairs. He was made a visiting Professor of Strathclyde University, in 1994. He was named Municipal Engineer of the year and in 1996 was made a commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).

During his career he attained the peer reviewed international qualification; European Engineer (Eur Ing). This is an internationally recognised qualification and title, used in over 32 European Countries for those Engineers who are deemed to be highly qualified in their field of enginerring expertise. In providing an acceptable common and highly professional standard, the European Engineer requires proven experience and competency in the application of scientific knowledge, level of professional skill, safety and environmental consciousness, sense of responsibility and the ability to communicate within the level of supervision received and given. A minimum total period of seven years formation and practice, consisting of an accredited engineering degree, further advanced training and extensive responsible professional experience, is required. The title is pre nominal, eg comes before the name.

In the UK the Chartered Engineer (CEng) title is a prerequisite requirement for an application for the EUR ING title. In the United Kingdom the Privey Council, an advisory body to the Crown on the exercise of Royal Prerogative,  has approved the use of the title, which can be displayed on a British passport.

As a professor, he gave many lectures in his field of expertise, with at least one of which being put into print; Tomorrows Towns – Their Transportation Needs: Annual Civil Enginerring Lecture, 1993, University of Strthclyde.

Commander of the British Empire

Investiture Programme 1996, including Professor Donald Carruthers ©

The CBE (Commander of the British Empire) is the highest honour within the Order of without receiving a Knighthood. Wikipedia describes it well; The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British Order of Chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, and public service outside the civil service. It was established on 4 June 1917 by King George V and comprises five classes across both civil and military divisions, the most senior two of which make the recipient either a Knight if male or Dame if female. There is also the related British Empire Medal whose recipients are affiliated with, but not members of, the order.

The British Monarch is Sovereign of the Order, and appoints all other members of the Order (by convention, on the advice of the governments of the United Kingdom and some (Commonwealth Realms). The next most senior member is the Grand Master of whom there have been three: Prince Edward, Prince of Wales (1917–1936); Queen Mary,(1936–1953); and the current Grand Master, the Duke of Edinburgh (since 1953).

Knight/Dame Grand Cross (GBE): Knight/Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire, this is the top rank in the order and typically only one or two of these are given out a year – they’re extremely rare and are given out for exceptional service. The holder uses the title of Sir (male) or Dame (female).

Knight/Dame Commander (KBE/DBE): Knight/Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, this is the 2nd from highest rank in the order and is awarded usually for long and respected service in an individual’s field. The holder typically will use the title of ‘Sir’ if male in front of their first name and ‘Dame’ if female. KBE is male and DBE is for females.

Commander (CBE): Commander of the Order of the British Empire, is the mid-rank of the order and is generally awarded for outstanding work in an individual’s respective field. The holder uses the letters CBE after their name, for example Mr John Smith CBE.

Officer (OBE): Officer of the Order of the British Empire, is the second rank of the order and is the one that those who have performed very worthy service are admitted to. The holder uses the letters OBE after their name, for example Miss Jane Smith OBE.

Member (MBE): Member of the Order of the British Empire, is the first rank of the order and is the one which most are admitted to. It allows the holder to put the letters MBE after their name, for example Mr John Smith MBE.

The Order is limited to 300 Knights and Dames Grand Cross (GBE), 845 Knights and Dames Commander (KBE/DNE), and 8,960 Commanders (CBE). There are no limits applied to the total number of members of the fourth and fifth classes (OBE/MBE), but no more than 858 Officers and 1,464 Members may be appointed per year. Foreign appointees, as honorary members, do not contribute to the numbers restricted to the Order as full members do. Although the Order of the British Empire has by far the highest number of members of the British Orders of Chivalry, with over 100,000 living members worldwide, there are fewer appointments to knighthoods than in other orders.

Though men can be knighted separately from an order of chivalry, women cannot, and so the rank of Knight/Dame Commander of the Order is the lowest rank of damehood, and second-lowest of knighthood (above Knights Bachelor). Because of this, an appointment as Dame Commander is made in circumstances in which a man would be created a Knight Bachelor. For example, by convention, female judges of the High Court of Justice are created Dames Commander after appointment, while male judges become Knights Bachelor.

From time to time, individuals are appointed to a higher grade within the Order, thereby ceasing usage of the junior post-nominal letters. Other recipients and from all walks of life include:

Robert Plant, Brian May and Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner Sting  (England), Sir Lloyd George Geering (New Zealand)The Lord Lyon, King of Arms Dr Joseph Morrow (Scotland), Brig Gen Donald R Agnew (Canada), Major David George Ian Alexander Gordon, 4th Marquess of Aberdeen and Temair (Scotland), Barbara Farnsworth Heslop (New Zealand), Rod Stewart (England), Annie Lennox (Scotland), Admiral Sir Ernest Russell Archer (England), Edwin Sherbon Hills (Australia), Dep Govn Vivian Inez Archibald (Brirish Virgin Islands), Dame Charmian Jocelyn O’Connor (New Zealand)Sir David Frederick Attenborough (England), Air Vice Marshall William Hopton (Bill) Anderson (Australia), Chris Brink (South Africa), Roger Daltry (England) to name but a few.

Donald remains an epitomy of a Carruthers and their achievements. We cannot however rest on the laurals and hard work of others of our name, and that is not what we are tring to do, but we can celebrate and rejoice in  their good works and that is what we try to do here.

Clan Carruthers Society WP footnote grey



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