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John Richard Preece

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John Richard Preece (1843-1917)

1917 Obituary [1]

JOHN RICHARD PREECE, C.M.G., was born at Carnarvon, North Wales, in 1843. He was the youngest son of R. M. Preece of that town and brother of the late Sir William Preece, K.C.B., and of the late George Edward Preece.

He was educated at a private school at Fulham and at the Imperial College, France. He afterwards joined his eldest brother's staff, who was then a divisional engineer of the Electric Telegraph Company and was stationed at Southampton.

In 1868, on the formation of the Indo-European Telegraph Department, he obtained an appointment as assistant traffic manager and was sent out to Persia.

From 1868 to 1891 he was connected with the Indo-European telegraphs and, except for occasional leave spent in this country, lived entirely in Persia, travelling very largely in that country.

In 1879 a paper written by him was read before the Society of Telegraph Engineers on "Telegraphs in Persia." He was also Local Honorary Secretary to the Society in Persia.

He retired from the telegraph service as superintendent in 1891 and was then appointed British Consul at Ispahan.

The following year he became Consul for the Governorships of Ispahan, Yezd, Gulpaigan, and Konsar, the Province of Irak, and the districts of Cheharm-Mahal and Feridan. Later on the Bakhtiari territory was also included. He received his C.M.G. in 1899 and was promoted to Consul-General in 1900.

He retired in 1906, having made his final journey to the Bakhtiari country the previous year when he was successful in obtaining the concessions from the Bakhtiari chiefs for the working of the oil-fields. From 1906 to 1917 he lived quietly in London, interesting himself mainly in Persian affairs.

He was an excellent Persian scholar, and thoroughly understood the Persian character, Persian policy, and diplomacy. He was also a noted collector of Persian carpets, china, and curios.

He married in March, 1916, Mary Isobel, the daughter of Mr. D. Graham Allardice, and widow of Mr. J. Duncan, and he died on the 25th February, 1917, aged 73.

He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1872.

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