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British Industrial History

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William Alexander Gow

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William Alexander Gow (1880-1940)

1941 Obituary [1]

Engineer Lieutenant WILLIAM ALEXANDER GOW, R.N. (S.R.), who was reported missing, officially presumed killed on active service, in September 1940, was born in 1880 and served his apprenticeship at the Newmill Ironworks, Elgin, from 1898 to 1903 except during the South African War, when he served as a Volunteer with the Seaforth Highlanders.

He subsequently became an improver with Messrs. John Brown and Company, Clydebank, when he was employed in the installation of machinery in naval and mercantile vessels, and in running steam trials from 1903 to 1905. From 1905 to 1907 he sailed in ships of the Anchor Line, Glasgow, rising to be second engineer, and during this period he obtained his Board of Trade First-Class Engineer's Certificate.

He then joined Messrs. Pinchin, Johnson and Company at Silvertown, where he took charge of the power house for three years, and subsequently obtained a similar appointment with Messrs. David Rowan and Company of Glasgow. In 1915 he became an Engineer Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Reserve and supervised the building and installation of machinery on several minesweepers; he also served at sea as chief engineer on various ships. He was then transferred to the Royal Navy and served from 1917 to 1919; for most of this time he was attached to the repair base of the Caspian Naval Force, at Baku, where he supervised the alteration and arming of ships at Nobel's shipyard.

After a short period with Messrs. Calder and Company, distillers, of Edinburgh, he went in 1921 as engineer-in-charge for the Lewis and Harris Welfare and Development Company, at Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, remaining with that Company until 1925, when he went to West Africa as clerk of works to Messrs. Lever Brothers, Ltd.

On his return to England in 1927, he was employed as Sales Engineer (refrigeration) by Messrs. Frigidaire and the British Thomson-Houston Company until the outbreak of war in 1939. Lieutenant Gow had been an Associate Member of the Institution since 1925.

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