Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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William Edward Perkins

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William Edward Perkins (c1905-1949)


1950 Obituary [1]

"Major WILLIAM EDWARD PERKINS, R.E.M.E., who died in an aircraft accident in New Zealand on 18th March 1949, at the age of forty-four, was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1941.

He was educated at the School of Arts, and at a technical school in Birmingham. After serving an apprenticeship from 1920 to 1923 at Cranwell, where he obtained a high place in the final examinations for both practical and theoretical work, he was engaged on testing aircraft at the Martlesham Heath Experimental Establishment, Suffolk. In 1925 he went to Iraq and was in charge of the drawing office of the aircraft factory at Hinaidi for two years. On his return to England he took up an appointment at Halton Camp, Bucks., where he was responsible for the discipline of the apprentices and the teaching of machine drawing at the Training School.

In 1930 he accepted an appointment as senior draughtsman to Messrs. Morris Motors, Ltd., at Oxford, in which capacity he was responsible to the chief draughtsman for the complete design of cars and light vans. At the outbreak of the 1939-45 war he rejoined H.M. Forces and was gazetted to the R.A.O.C. as O.M.E. with the rank of captain. Subsequently he was transferred to the R.E.M.E. and promoted major. He served in France and the Middle East, and in Cairo was responsible for workshop organization. After serving for a while at the headquarters of the Eastern Command, Colchester, he moved to the War Office, and about a year later he went to New Zealand, where shortly afterwards his untimely death terminated a brief and promising career."


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