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British Industrial History

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Leslie Ballesat Williams

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Leslie Ballesat Williams (1880-1942), General Manager of the Mill Close Mines

1942 Obituary [1]

Mr. L. B. Williams died on January 29, 1942.

He was born in 1880 in New South Wales, where he was educated, obtaining the B.E. degree of Sydney University in 1904. Here he was also for a time a Demonstrator in Inorganic Chemistry, before being nominated to a Caird Scholarship in Chemistry and a travelling scholarship of the British Iron and Steel Institute.

Afterwards Mr. Williams worked at various mines in Western Australia, until in 1907 he was appointed Field Engineer and Inspecting Surveyor at the Kalgoorlie Head Office of Bewick Morings Company, London. He continued in the service of that company for several years, and in 1912 was appointed Superintendent of one of their mines. Later he was General Manager and Attorney for several mines in Western Australia operated by London companies.

In 1922 Mr. Williams came to England and late in 1923 was engaged as General Manager of Mill Close Mines, Ltd., Derbyshire, in which position he remained until the mine ceased operations in 1940. During the 16 years he was in charge, Mr. Williams effected great improvements in the plant at the mine, which was the largest metalliferous mine in Great Britain, and raised the production of ore to twice what it had been in the preceding 60 years.

Besides being a member of the Institute of Metals, Mr. Williams was a member of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy and a Fellow of the Geological Society. He visited and examined most of the metal-mining districts in this country and also some on the Continent. He translated much French, both literary and technical, a great deal of Spanish, and some German and Italian.

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