Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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William Arthur Butterfield

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William Arthur Butterfield (1873-1943)

1943 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM ARTHUR BUTTERFIELD, O.B.E., whose death occurred on 7th February 1943, was for thirty years in the service of the Asiatic Petroleum Company and was well known in the Far East as an authority on oil storage. He was born in 1873 and after receiving his technical education at South Kensington, served his apprenticeship with Messrs. John Kirkaldy, Ltd., of London. He then became an improver in the works of Messrs. R. and H. Green, but after some two years' experience went to sea in 1895 and served on vessels of the Bucknall Steamship Company, rising to be chief engineer seven years later and obtaining his First-Class Certificate.

In 1908 he began his long connection with the Asiatic Petroleum Company with the post of manager which he held until 1911. In that year he was appointed engineer-in-chief at Hong Kong for the area of South China and the Philippines, with responsibility for the design and maintenance of oil storages. On the completion of twenty-seven years service in this position he retired in 1937, but in the following year offered his services to H.M. Government and was engaged as chief technical adviser, and subsequently as chief petroleum engineer, to the Mines Department of the Ministry of Fuel and Power. In recognition of his services in this direction he was awarded the O.B.E. in 1942. Mr. Butterfield had been an Associate Member of the Institution since 1910.

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