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Harald Bille

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Harald Bille (1879-1916)

1917 Obituary [1]

HARALD BILLE met his death under tragic circumstances on the 10th August, 1916, whilst travelling from Norwood Junction to Victoria Station.

He was the son of a Danish clergyman and was born on the 25th May, 1879.

In 1902 he took the degree of Civil Engineer at the Polytekniske Laeranstalt at Copenhagen, and after a short time spent in the designs department of Burmeister and Wain, the well-known shipbuilders, he entered the technical branch of the Great Northern Telegraph Company at Copenhagen in August 1902. Two months afterwards he was transferred to Newcastle, and six months later to London.

On the 1st May, 1904, he was appointed an engineer's assistant at Copenhagen, where for the next few years his work was chiefly connected with the instrument factory, and this gave him full opportunity of developing his mechanical ability.

On the 1st March, 1907, he was promoted to assistant engineer and transferred to Shanghai. He remained in the Far East till the end of 1909, during which time he paid visits to the various stations of the company out there and conducted experimental work, which enabled him to become thoroughly acquainted with Great Northern practice. For about nine months he acted as engineer during the absence of Mr. Schonau.

He returned to Copenhagen at the end of 1909, and from May 1910 he was, in conjunction with Mr. Albertus, placed in charge of the technical department there.

During the following years he was constantly at work upon a receiving perforator, which he eventually succeeded in perfecting to such a degree that Mr. Creed, who some years earlier had invented a similar instrument, offered him a partnership in his business. This Mr. Bille accepted and, in consequence, resigned his position in the company on the 1st March, 1912.

Since the outbreak of War he devoted himself with unflagging energy to the work of producing munitions. He was heart and soul with the Allies and had applied for letters of naturalization so that he might offer his services to the War Office. As a telegraph engineer he stood in the front rank. His breadth of knowledge, his logical orderly mind, and his quiet and gentle bearing endeared him to all telegraph men with whom he came in contact. He had to an unusual degree the capacity of inspiring affection from all those who were subordinate to him.

He leaves a widow and three children to mourn his loss.

He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1914.

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