Basic Biographical Details

Name: John Thomas Saunders
Designation: Architect
Born: 15 June 1876
Died: 7 April 1947
Bio Notes: John Thomas Saunders was born on 15 June 1876 in Haddington, the son of John Saunders (b.1846 in Haddington), an architectural draughtsman, and his wife Agnes. He was educated at the Knox Institute, Haddington, and Watson's College, Edinburgh. In the 1891 Census he is recorded as being a 'joiner's apprentice'. He also received private tuition in architectural drawing from 1893 to 1895, subsequently studying at Heriot-Watt College both architecture and engineering. He was awarded several medals and achieved second place in the David Cousin Prize in 1897. Information in Saunders' RIBA Nomination Paper states that from 1899 to 1902 he worked as a joiner and as General Foreman 'on works in Edinburgh'. However the Census of 1901 shows that he was resident in London in that year and was a boarder with the Maynard family at 50 Peel Street, Kensington. Another joiner from Scotland, William G Adams, was also a boarder there.

In London he took posts as assistant or clerk of works in several offices, spending two years with Godfrey Pinkerton and two with Henry Martineau Fletcher before joining Maxwell Maberly Smith in 1906. He married Annie___ about 1905 and the couple had one daughter and one son. His obituary in the 'Structural Engineer' states that he continued his training under Maberly Smith. He was admitted LRIBA on 24 June 1912, his proposers being Smith, Pinkerton and Fletcher, at which time he was still working for Smith as managing assistant.

Saunders served in the Army for three years during the First World War. He commenced independent practice in London in 1916 (the date 1917 is given in his obituary in the 'Structural Engineer'). He admitted FRIBA in 1920. He served as Vice President of the Institute of Structural Engineers in 1935, and was President of the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Architectural Association from 1940 to 1946.

His principal architectural works included the Princess Louise Hospital, North Kensington, and New Place, Framfield.

He died on 7 April 1947.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 4Hope Park, Haddington, East Lothian, ScotlandPrivate1891 * Family home
Item 2 of 450, Peel Street, Kensington, London, EnglandPrivate1901 *  
Item 3 of 4Kentwood Lodge, Tilehurst, Berkshire, EnglandPrivateBefore 1911 *After 1912 
Item 4 of 41a, Linden Gardens, Bayswater, London, EnglandPrivate/business(?)1947 *  

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 3Godfrey Pinkerton19021904AssistantAssistant/clerk of works
Item 2 of 3Henry Martineau Fletcher19041906AssistantAssistant/clerk of works
Item 3 of 3Maxwell Maberly Smith19061912Managing AssistantIt is unclear whether he was managing assistant from 1906 or whether he started as assistant and was promoted


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3Henry Martineau Fletcher12 June 1912for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 3Godfrey Pinkerton12 June 1912for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 3Maxwell Maberly Smith12 June 1912for Licentiateship


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 1Who's Who in Architecture1914    

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Builder11 April 1947v172 p339 - obituary
Item 2 of 2RIBA JournalJune 1947v54London: Royal Institute of British Architectsp442 - obituary

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L v25 no2085; F no1821 (microfilm reel 15)