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William Charles Mitchell

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William Charles Mitchell (1890-1942)

1943 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM CHARLES MITCHELL, whose untimely death occurred on 11th March 1942, had a long and distinguished career in the service of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company and was well known as an authority in oil refining. He was born in London in 1890 and after a two years' course in electrical engineering at the City and Guilds Technical College, Finsbury, where he gained the College Diploma, he entered upon a similar course in civil and mechanical engineering at the City and Guilds College, South Kensington, obtaining in 1910 the Diploma and graduating with honours.

He then entered the office of Messrs. Mott and Hay, consulting engineers, of Westminster, as a pupil, and after three years' training was engaged by the firm as assistant engineer, being chiefly engaged on bridge reconstruction. He was subsequently employed in a similar capacity under Sir H. H. Dalrymple-Hay. In 1914 he became engineer and sub-agent to Sir John Jackson, Ltd., but in 1915 he was granted a commission in the R.F.A., transferring to the R.F.C. in 1917. He was then placed in charge of the Experimental Station at Farnborough.

On demobilization in 1919 Mr. Mitchell joined the marine engineering and aircraft works of Messrs. May, Harden and May, Ltd., of Southampton, as engineer and general manager, but in 1920 he resigned this appointment to become general works manager in Glasgow to Messrs. Armstrong and Main, Ltd. On the termination of this appointment in 1923 he began his long association with the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, Ltd., and accepted the post of assistant chief engineer, becoming, later, manager of the engineering department in London. In 1927 he was appointed chief engineer and manager of the National Oil Refinery at Llandarcy. Four years later he became director and general manager. During his tenure of office he was responsible for many extensions of the plant and his many-sided activities took him also to Persia where he constructed railways, docks, and electric generating and oil-pumping plant.

Mr. Mitchell was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1920 and was transferred to Membership in 1924. From 1929 to 1934 he served on the South Wales Branch Committee, being Chairman of the Branch and a Member of Council in 1932. He was elected to the Council for a further term as recently as 1941. He was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers. He presented a paper in 1929 on "Engineering Practice in Oilfields and Refineries" and another in 1932 on "Cost Criterion in Manufacture and Production and the Engineer's Influence thereon".

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