Hugh Beaver
Hugh Eyre Campbell Beaver

4 May 1890
Died16 January 1967 (aged 76)
London, England
Resting placeHoly Trinity Church, Penn Street
NationalityEnglish, South African
Alma materWellington College, Berkshire
Occupation(s)Engineer, industrialist
Years active1931–1960
Board member ofThe Guinness Book of World Records,
Guinness Brewery

Sir Hugh Eyre Campbell Beaver, KBE (4 May 1890 – 16 January 1967)[1] was an English-South African civil engineer, industrialist and bureaucrat, who founded the Guinness World Records (then known as Guinness Book of Records).[2][3][4][5][6][7] He was Director-General of the Ministry of Works and managing director at Guinness Brewery.


Beaver was born on 4 May 1890 in Johannesburg, South Africa. He was educated at Wellington College, Berkshire.[8]

Beaver spent two years in the Indian police from 1910 and returned to England in 1921, joining the civil engineering firm Sir Alexander Gibb & Partners, as the personal assistant of Sir Alexander Gibb. Upon the request of Canadian Prime Minister R. B. Bennett, he led a mission to Canada developing Canadian harbours. He directed the reconstruction of the harbour of Saint John in New Brunswick after it was destroyed by a fire in 1931. He then became partner at Sir Alexander Gibb & Partners, and worked mainly on factory building and the re-industrialisation of depressed areas in the UK.[8]

During World War II he was Director-General in the newly formed Ministry of Works, and was in charge of the whole wartime programme of works.[8]

Beaver was knighted in 1943. After the war, he was a member of the New Towns Committee.[8]

At Guinness

Beaver joined Arthur Guinness Son & Co. (Guinness Brewery) in 1945 as assistant managing director. He was appointed managing director in November 1946. The brewery was modernised and the company's interests were widened under his direction.[8]

Air pollution work and later life

After the Great Smog of 1952 Beaver was appointed as chair of the Committee on Air Pollution, known as the Beaver Committee, investigating the severe air pollution problem in London.[9] In 1954 the committee reported results which led to effective action, in part due to a shift in public opinion.[10]

He was Chairman of the Committee on Power Station Construction between 1952–1953, Chairman of the British Institute of Management between 1951–1954, Chairman of the Advisory Council of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research between 1954–1956, and President of the Federation of British Industries in 1957. He was also Director of the Colonial Development Corporation.[8]

Beaver was made Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1956.[8]

He was President of the Royal Statistical Society between 1959–1960.[11]

Beaver died of heart failure in London, United Kingdom on 16 January 1967.[12]



  1. ^ "OBITUARY. Sir HUGH EYRE CAMBELL BEAUER, KBE, LLD, 1890-1967". Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers. 38 (4): 827–828. 1 December 1967. doi:10.1680/iicep.1967.8212.
  2. ^ Heyworth (1 January 1967). "Sir Hugh Beaver, K.B.E". Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series A (General). 130 (4): 594. JSTOR 2982546.
  3. ^ "Guinness Book of Records". Archived from the original on 1 July 2007. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
  4. ^ Richard Cavendish (August 2005). "Publication of the Guinness Book of Records: August 27th, 1955". History Today. 55.
  5. ^ "Guinness Book History 1950 - Present". Archived from the original on 13 May 2006. Retrieved 8 May 2023.
  6. ^ "BEAVER, Sir Hugh Eyre Campbell 1890-1967 Knight engineer and industrialist - Archives Hub". Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  7. ^ Strutt, Peter. "Sir Hugh Eyre Campbell Beaver KBE | History, Monuments and Memorials of Penn". Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g "Presidents - Sir Hugh Beaver KBE: 1957—1959". Institution of Chemical Engineers. Archived from the original on 23 December 2022. Retrieved 23 December 2022.
  9. ^ Sheail, John (2002). An Environmental History of Twentieth-Century Britain. Basingstoke: Palgrave. pp. 247–8. ISBN 9780333949818.
  10. ^ Florman, Samuel C. (1994). The existential pleasures of engineering (2nd ed.). New York: St. Martin's Griffin. p. 40. ISBN 978-0-312-14104-2.
  11. ^ "Royal Statistical Society Presidents". Royal Statistical Society. Archived from the original on 17 March 2012. Retrieved 6 August 2010.
  12. ^ "Sir Hugh Eyre Campbell Beaver KBE". History, Monuments and Memorials of Holy Trinity, Penn Street. Archived from the original on 22 December 2022. Retrieved 23 December 2022.