Arthur Perkins was born in Peterborough on the 26th February 1889.
He was the son of John Edward Sharman Perkins who was an engineer. Francis
joined Gresham's in the Lent term 1905 and left in the Summer of 1909. He was a
Howson’s boy and got a prize in Latin prose and was a successful sportsman.
After he left Gresham’s he went to Emmanuel
College in Cambridge where he successfully gained a pass degree in mechanical
engineering in 1910.
First World War started he joined up with immediate effect into the Royal
Engineers. While he was with them he went to the Dardanelles in Palestine and then to Egypt. He was demobilized in 1918 with the rank of Major.
First World War he went to work in engineering. He was a third-generation
engineer. He first started at a company called Lawes Chemicals Limited, and then followed the footsteps of his father and grandfather who both
worked for Barford and Perkins, a family firm that manufactured roads, rollers,
compactors, agricultural rollers and many other agricultural machines. After
working at both companies he went
to Aveling and Porter in Kent. While working for them he started work on a high-speed,
lightweight, diesel engine with someone called Charles Chapman. Soon
after starting this work, though, Aveling and Porter went bankrupt, forcing Francis and
Charles to start their own company.
firm was eventually sold to Massey Ferguson which is a major Agricultural company today.