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Robert Arthur Williams

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Robert Arthur Williams (c1884-1934)

1934 Obituary [1]

ROBERT ARTHUR WILLIAMS, O.B.E., M.C., had been engaged, with the exception of the War period, in the supply and distribution of electric power in China since 1910.

He was a native of Carnarvon and received his technical education at University College, Bangor. After graduating in 1903, he commenced an apprenticeship with the British Westinghouse Engineering and Manufacturing Company at Manchester, serving in both the mechanical and electrical departments.

In 1905 he joined Messrs. Ferranti as an inspector and tester, but later became engineer in charge of constructional work, and was responsible for the erection of the 11,000-volt main switchgear for the South Wales Power Company.

Five years later he left for Shanghai, on his appointment as consumers' engineer at the electric power station.

He resigned in 1915 in order to volunteer for military service, and on his arrival in England he joined the Royal Engineers. He served for two years in France, and was mentioned in dispatches and subsequently awarded the M.C. In 1917 he was wounded, but later was transferred to the staff of the Director of Works, where he took charge of the supply of electrical stores to the armies. In the following year he was appointed to the staff of the Director of Engineer Stores, and was promoted to the rank of captain.

He left for China in 1919 and again took up his former post at Shanghai. A year later he was appointed engineer and manager to the electricity undertaking of the British Municipal Council, Tientsin; the undertaking at that time possessed one small power station and a system taken over from a private company. Mr. Williams supervised the construction and subsequent operation of a new generating station. The plant was considerably enlarged in 1927, but further extensions which were contemplated more recently had to be postponed, on account of political troubles in China.

Mr. Williams was also largely occupied with municipal and social affairs in Tientsin; he was awarded the O.B.E. for his work for the welfare of British troops in the town.

His death occurred on 20th December 1932, in his fifty-first year.

He was elected to Associate Membership of the Institution in 1913, and was also an Associate Member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers.

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