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Arnold Morley Willis (1886-1950), Chairman and Managing Director of Brecknell, Willis and Co.
Arnold Morley Willis, who died on the 27th May, 1950, was born on the 10th September, 1886. He received his early education at Bristol Grammar School, and also at Bristol Merchant Venturers Technical College, where he later received his engineering education. After serving as a pupil with Brecknell, Munro and Rogers, he filled various positions with that firm in the course of which he had experience in many parts of the world on power stations, electric traction systems, and overhead lines. In 1914 he became Director's Assistant, responsible for works administration. In 1928 a new company—Brecknell, Willis and Co., of Bristol and Chard—was formed and Mr. Willis became Chairman and Managing Director. This Company was one of the pioneers of electric traction systems and was associated with the construction of electric tramway and trolleybus systems in all parts of the world. Mr. Willis travelled widely, advising undertakings on their electrical installations. He held world patent rights for many tramcar, trolleybus and other appliances, including the Brecknell-Willis trolley base, which is used in all parts of the world on electric traction systems, and at the same time he helped to develop the use of electric traction and power in many industrial and manufacturing works in this country. His keen engineering instinct also led him to the manufacture of many improved forms of industrial appliances, and his influence in this field will be felt for many years to come.
He was a Past-Vice-President of the Engineers Employers Association, and a member of the Institution of Production Engineers. He was also on the boards of directors of several other companies, including the Anti-Attrition Metal Co., with which his own business was merged in 1947. He was of a kindly disposition, a model employer, and did much good by stealth.
He joined The Institution as an Associate Member in 1918 and was elected a Member in 1947. He served on the Committee of the Western Centre 1929-32.