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British Industrial History

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William Robert Matthews

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William Robert Matthews (1875-1929)

1929 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM ROBERT MATTHEWS had a varied engineering career in many parts of the world. He served his apprenticeship as a fitter with the Airdrie Iron Company from 1891 to 1896, and after a further year in charge of outside construction work for the firm, he became a draughtsman with Messrs. Lamberton and Company, of Coatbridge.

After several more years in the same capacity with other engineering firms in Scotland, he joined the South American Shipping Company, of Valparaiso.

Three years later he went to Chile as assistant engineer to the Alianza Nitrate Company. From 1909 to 1910 he held a similar position in Rhodesia, and in the following year was assistant engineer on the erection and running of a sugar factory at Beira, in Portuguese East Africa.

A year later he returned to England and became a draughtsman with Messrs. Fawcett, Preston and Company, of Liverpool, but in 1913 he again went abroad to act as assistant engineer in connexion with alterations to, and the maintenance of, a sugar factory in Peru.

In 1916 he joined the Ministry of Munitions and was engaged in design work in connexion with the tanks.

At the conclusion of the War he returned to Peru, where he spent the last years of his life in charge of the sugar factory at Tuman.

His death occurred as the result of an accident on the sugar estate on 15th September 1929.

Mr. Matthews was born in Yorkshire in 1875 and he became an Associate Member of the Institution in 1917.

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