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Walter Edgar Twells

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Walter Edgar Twells (c1874-1928) of the Post Office

1928 Obituary [1]

WALTER EDGAR TWELLS died, after a long illness, on the 21st April, 1928, in his 55th year.

After a short service on the commercial side of the telegraph department of the Post Office, he was in 1896 transferred to the staff of the superintending engineer at Nottingham.

In 1901, when the Post Office entered into competition with the National Telephone Co. for the development of the London telephone system, he was appointed engineer in charge of the Wimbledon Exchange area. The able way in which he developed that area caused him in 1907 to be transferred to the engineer-in-chief's headquarters staff. While there he was engaged in the designs section in the provision of large telephone exchange systems.

He had to leave headquarters for a short time in order to get promotion, but in 1911 he returned as an assistant staff engineer after passing a competitive civil service examination for the post. He came back when the inventory work, prior to the acquisition of the National Telephone Co.'s plant by the Post Office, was about to commence. He was given charge of a group engaged in the preparation of the large amount of statistical work involved in the Post Office case. For his share in this and the subsequent court proceedings he received the thanks of the Postmaster-General.

During the strenuous years of the War when the engineering staff of the Post Office was depleted to less than half strength he carried on at home the vital work of maintaining the line plant, much of which was in use for War purposes. In addition, for a year or so he devoted the whole of his leisure to training signallers for the Army and giving elementary lectures to them on the maintenance and care of telephones.

When peace came and reconstruction and development became urgent, upon him fell much of the work of providing the main underground cables of the Post Office and the submarine cables required for cross-channel communication. He carried a heavy burden of work cheerfully. However busy himself, he could always find time to give a colleague the benefit of his wide experience, and the way he did it caused all who knew him to like and respect him.

He was elected an Associate Member in 1921 and a Member in 1922.

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