Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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John Lloyd Williams

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John Lloyd Williams (1885-1940)

Joined the Royal Flying Corps and later shot down over France and lost the use on one arm

Close friend and confidant of Harry Ferguson

1940 Died when his car crashed during a war time black-out

1943 Obituary [1]

Captain JOHN LLOYD WILLIAMS. who was killed on active service in September 1940, was born in 1885 and educated privately. He received his technical education at the Belfast Municipal Institute and served a six years' apprenticeship from 1902 to 1908 with Messrs. Harland and Wolff, latterly gaining experience in the drawing office. A brief period at sea followed as engineer in charge of watch on S.S. Pollacsek of the Atlantic Steam Navigation line.

In 1910 he joined Messrs. Harry Ferguson, Ltd., Belfast, as experimenter in the production of aeroplane engines. A year later he transferred his services as works manager to the May Street Motor Company of the same city and on the merger of the firm with Messrs. Harry Ferguson, Ltd., he became director and engineer of the new company. From 1914 to 1921 he served in the R.F.C. and R.A.F. as pilot.

In 1915 he was shot down in France and was also severely wounded, and lost the use of his left arm. Nevertheless, in spite of this disability, he proceeded to Canada, where he was officer in charge of various training squadrons and responsible for many new pilots at a critical stage of the war of 1914-18. On demobilization he resumed his directorship of Messrs. Harry Ferguson, and for some years was engaged on experimental work connected with agricultural tractors on behalf of the firm and its ancillary, the Ferguson-Sherman Company of Dearborn, Michigan, U.S.A. Captain Williams was in the Reserve of the R.A.F. and at the outbreak of hostilities, although nearly fifty-five years of age, was accepted as a pilot officer for flying duties.

He had been an Associate Member of the Institution since 1913.

1940/41 Obituary [2]

John Lloyd Williams was born in 1885 and educated at Richmond Grammar School, Yorks.

He served his engineering apprenticeship with Harland and Wolff, Ltd., Belfast, and then went to sea as Engineer for one year.

After a period of private experimental work on aeroplanes he joined the May Street Motor Co., Ltd., of Belfast, as Works Manager.

In 1912 he became Director of Harry Ferguson, Ltd. During the present war he served as a Flight-Lieut. and was killed in a road accident on 11th September, 1940, at the age of 55.

He was elected an Associate Member in 1913.

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