Ernest Boschi  - adapted from photograph c.1935The Arms of FraizeErnest Boschi was born at FRAIZE (Vosges) in France, on the 5th June, 1903.

He joined the company on the 12th November, 1920 bringing with him all the ambition and energy of youth - determined to work hard to enhance his career and to promote the success of Mather & Platt in France - to which end he eventually devoted his whole working life.

When Ernest Boschi was recruited in 1920, Loris Emerson Mather was Chairman of Mather & Platt Ltd. in Manchester, whilst Sydney Potter was M&P's General Agent in France. In 1921, however, the new French company S.A. Mather & Platt was formed with Sir John Wormald becoming its first Chairman and Sydney Potter the Managing Director.

Like so many others of this era, Ernest Boschi served an apprenticeship - in his case, as a pipe fitter. He served with field construction units and in many other capacities both in the Fire Protection and Sprinkler sections of Mather & Platt. After that he was sent to North Africa to take up a post of responsibility wherin he had to develop and install fire protection sprinkler systems, principally for the flour milling industry.

He returned to Metropolitan France to take up new responsibilities within the company, becoming involved in a variety of industrial departments - still working on sprinkler systems and concentrating on development and installation. He worked his way up through the company until, in 1931, he was appointed Manager (by Sydney D. Potter, the company General Manager) taking over from Robert Hilton who had been the Manager since 1925 at the company's factory at Roubaix. Fidex Sprinkler Head 1946

As Manager, his first goal was to modernise the factory and to equip it with new technologies capable of producing the necessary up-to-date plant for the installation of sprinkler systems - pipes, valves, pressure tanks, sprinkler-heads, coupling joints, hangers, hydrants - as well as maintenance supplies for this fire protection equipment. He also concerned himself with the improvement of working conditions and conditions of service within the factory itself.

Fire Door  - made at Roubaix.After the end of the Second World War, in 1946, he launched the company into the manufacture of sprinkler heads - developing in close co-operation with Alfred Hudson (an English engineer from Mather & Platt - Manchester) the Fidex sprinkler model which had been made in England under the name of Titan, by J H Lynde and George Mills of Radcliffe.

Writing in 1923, Sir John Wormald, Chairman of S.A. Mather & Platt, France stated, "The "Simplex" Sprinkler had been superceded by the Grinnell when Dowson & Taylor joined forces with Mather & Platt early in 1888, but the "Witter" and the "Titan" Sprinklers, in considerably modified forms remained on the market with other devices of later date." Once production of the Fidex had started in France, "Grinnell" sprinkler heads were no longer imported from Manchester. The Fidex sprinkler model was made exclusively in Roubaix.

In 1947 Ernest Boschi set in motion an upgrade of factory buildings whilst also developing new production lines for the prefabrication of pipes and couplings for sprinkler installations. In 1948 he also equipped the factory for the production of armoured fire-doors.

Ernest Boschi continued to serve as Manager and brought to the company the positive qualities of a self made-man. He had a hard-headed business sense, a determination to get the best out of himself and those about him and he was possessed of a great energy. He communicated his enthusiasm to his team, his family and to many others so that in his time he became a central figure.

Ernest Boschi - Manager, Roubaix 1931-1964

1952 - Ernest Boschi (right) receives his gold medal from Herbert North for 30+ years service.

His genius for organisation and his driving force inspired the confidence and support of his two serving Chairmen, Herbert North and, later, Mr. E. Balfour.

He was still employed by Mather & Platt when he died at the early age of 61 on the 24th June 1964 after a lengthy and debilitating illness.

The eldest of his family - four of his brothers also worked at the company - his private life was characterized by simple tastes coupled with the same rich appreciation of the values that marked his business career.

He was devoted to his parents, to his siblings and to his wife and son.

S.A. Mather & Platt - France
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A tradition in the north of France

On the 1st. December each year at Park Works, Roubaix, a fête was held in honour of St. Éloi, the patron saint of the Iron Workers Corporation. Every year, the Chairman of M+P (France) and all the employees of the company were invited by Ernest Boschi to a special luncheon.

On the occasion when these pictures were taken, (1952) Ernest Boschi (right) received the gold medal for 30+ years service at M+P - as pictured above - and the medal was presented by Herbert North, (centre) Président - Directeur - Général. Lucien Woindrich (left) gave the speech reporting on Ernest Boschi's career.

(Smaller image - right to left) Ernest Boschi, General Manager of Park Works, Roubaix,
Herbert North, Président-Directeur Général of M+P S.A.,
Sylvain Zanussi, Secretaire de Direction and Lucien Woindrich, Administrateur de la S.A. Mather & Platt, Directeur de la division Sprinkler. Fire Engineering.

Lucien Woindrich - 50 Years Service to M&P France

S.A. Mather & Platt Archives - 1954 Office Photograph

Lucien Woindrich was born in 1901,at Héricourt (Haute-Saône) in the Franche Comté region of France.  Héricourt was a significant centre for the cotton industry. He began working at Mather & Platt in 1916, at the age of 15, and began his career as an apprentice as did his long time friend, Ernest Boschi, just a few years later.

He worked his way up through the company and very quickly became Manager of the Sprinkler Division of Fire Engineering. Marcel Boschi, Ernest's son, remembers him as almost a member of the family. Marcel's four uncles worked under Lucien Woindrich and it was Woindrich himself who encouraged Ernest to accept Loris Mather's invitation to make a study trip to Manchester and to the British factories of M&P in 1951. Loris Mather was Chairman of Mather & Platt in Britain at that time.

Lucien Woindrich was a well-informed and highly-qualified man who took the time to listen to his workers. Respected for for his courtesy and for his diplomatic skills, he was an expert in industrial relations. In 1954 he was appointed to a seat on the Board - a seat he held until his retirement in 1966 after a career spanning some fifty years.


A view of TYCO SA Mather & Platt, France (at Trappes)