Hugh Pembroke Vowles was a British engineer, socialist, and prolific writer. He authored several books on historical and technical subjects. Hugh Pembroke Vowles collaborated with H.G. Wells and Professor Sir E. Ray Lankester. He also contributed articles to professional journals and newspapers, including The Citizen of Gloucester.
Vowles was a self-proclaimed communist. He was interested in the Soviet Union, particularly Ukraine. In 1939 he published a book, Ukraine and its People, dedicated to the Ukrainian people, their religion, language, literature, and history.
Hugh Pembroke Vowles was born to Henry Hayes Vowles, a Wesleyan minister, author, and theologian, and Hannah Elizabeth Thistle. Although he published under his birth name, early records refer to him as William Hugh Pembroke Vowles.
Vowles attended Elizabeth College, Guernsey, and the Technical School in Gloucester, where he served an apprenticeship and gained experience as a junior draughtsman.
During World War I, he worked as the assistant district manager for the Metropolitan Munitions Committee and later as assistant Manager at the Ailsa National Shell Factory in London.
According to a letter from his daughter-in-law, Vowles tried to volunteer for military service but was turned down for medical reasons.
He later became associated with Cox and Company Ltd, bankers of London, as a technical advisor and factory manager before joining W.H. Allen, Sons & Co Ltd mechanical and electrical engineer. In 1929, Vowles went into practice on his account as a consulting engineer.
Vowles was a member of several learned societies, including the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the Newcomen Society, the Society of Authors, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
In 1929 he retired to devote himself to writing. During World War II, he served as editor of technical literature for the British Council in London.