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William Vaux Graham

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William Vaux Graham (1859-1940), M. Inst. C.E. of Westminster

1940 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM VAUX GRAHAM, who was born in 1859, commenced his engineering career as a pupil of the late R. W. Peregrine-Birch, from 1876 to 1879, and continued as his assistant until 1896, when on the death of Mr. Birch he succeeded to the practice. During this period he was engaged upon many important sewerage schemes and on surveys of the Thames Estuary in connection with the Royal Commission of 1884-5 on Metropolitan Sewage Discharge. He was also engaged with Mr. Birch upon work connected with the Metropolitan water companies in their struggles against the London County Council at the time of Lord Balfour's Commission; and upon railway work, carrying out the surveys for the Guildford, Kingston, and London Railway, and the Wimbledon and Putney Railway, to which Mr. Birch was engineer.

He was appointed resident engineer on the water-power works at Foyers for the British Aluminium Company, and subsequently became engineer to the company. Mr. Graham was one of the engineers appointed to the Kinlochleven works when the British Aluminium Company obtained its powers in 1901; and in collaboration with the late J. C. Hawkshaw in 1907-8 he carried out the construction of the Vigeland waterpower works in Norway, which were afterwards taken over by the British Aluminium Company. He also reported upon many proposals for utilizing the water power in this country, and in 1918 was one of the engineers selected by the Board of Trade to survey and report upon the water-power resources of Great Britain. Although he carried out several sewerage schemes in the country, Mr. Graham's principal work was connected with public water supply.

He was an authority on the question of underground water, and frequently gave evidence before Parliamentary Committees as to the effect of pumping upon existing wells, etc. He was consulting engineer to a number of water authorities and was responsible for the construction of works at Epsom, Sutton, East Grinstead, Chepping Wycombe, Sheppey, Wey Valley, etc. In addition he was a director of the Sutton District Water Company. Some railway work also engaged Mr. Graham's attention; he was engineer for the East Herts Railway (afterwards constructed by the Great Northern Railway); and in 1910 he was engineer with Messrs. M. M. Bidder and W. N. McClean for the promotion of the Wimbledon and Sutton Railway, later taken over by the London Electric Railway and eventually constructed by the Southern Railway. He had many interests outside his profession.

He worked for Westminster Hospital for forty years, for twenty years as vice-chairman, and for a short time as chairman. He was also one of the few engineers to be elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. Mr. Graham was a past-chairman of the Association of Consulting Engineers.

He was elected a Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1900 and was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers. His death occurred in Westminster Hospital on 23rd May 1940.

1940 Obituary [2]

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