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British Industrial History

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James Douglas Kendall Restler

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James Douglas Kendall Restler (c1880-1948)

1949 Obituary [1]

"Lt.-Colonel JAMES DOUGLAS KENDALL RESTLER, 0 .B .E., was associated with the Rickmansworth and Uxbridge Valley Water Co for forty-five years, and at the time of his death, which occurred in London on 13th November 1948, at the age of sixty-eight, was holding the position of chairman and engineering director.

He was the son of the late Sir James William Restler, K.B.E., who was at one time chief engineer to the Metropolitan Water Board. After receiving his general education at Westminster School he took an engineering course at King's College, University of London. His practical training was obtained with Messrs. James Simpson and Company, Ltd., and for a time he was a pupil under his father, at that time chief engineer of the Southwark and Vauxhall Water Company, for whom he had the charge as resident engineer of laying 16 miles of a 36-inch main, an undertaking which included the construction of a tunnel under the Thames.

He began, in 1903, his long connection with the Rickmansworth and Uxbridge Valley Water Company with the post of chief engineer. In this capacity he carried out several improvements in the supply area and subsequently installed the first suction gas plants to be used for public water supply in this country.

During the war of 1914-18 he had a distinguished career and saw service with the R.N.V.R. in Egypt, the Mediterranean, Belgium, and England. On demobilization he resumed his duties as chief engineer, and in 1922 was made a director. Two years later he was appointed, in addition, chairman and director of the St. Albans Water Works Company and held these joint appointments until his death. From 1923 to 1928 he was attached to the Air Ministry as chief mechanical and electrical engineer, and in 1936 he accepted office as chairman of the Regional Advisory Water Committee for the north-western area of the home counties, in which capacity he took an active part in the preparation of air raid precautionary measures. For the last twenty years of his life he had been in practice as a consulting engineer in Westminster and was concerned with a number of other water undertakings and the supply of water, electricity, and other services to public institutions. Colonel Restler had been a Member of the Institution since 1918 and was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers."

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