Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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William George Riddell

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William George Riddell (1871-1954) of John Hastie and Co

1954 Obituary [1]

IT is with regret that we have learned of the death of Mr. William George Riddell, which took place last week in Durban, South Africa, where he had lived for a number of years in retirement.

Mr. Riddell was born near Jedburgh in 1871 and received his training in marine engineering with the Fairfield Engineering and Shipbuilding Company, Ltd.

Shortly after completing his apprenticeship he went to sea as a junior engineer and in 1896 gained his chief engineer's certificate. The next two years he spent in the employment of his former company and then in 1898 joined David Rowan and Co., Ltd., as an under-manager.

Three years later Mr. Riddell sailed for Finland upon his appointment as the manager of a shipbuilding and engineering works at Abo, and in 1903 he returned to the Clyde to occupy the post of joint managing director of John Hastie and Co., Ltd., of Greenock.

When his co-director, the late Mr. Walter Graham, retired in 1918, Mr. Riddell became managing director and eventually chairman and continued in these positions until 1934, when he retired.

Mr. Riddell was awarded the O.B.E. for his work at the Admiralty during the first world war, and he was also the author of two books entitled Adventures of an Obscure Victorian and The Thank less Years, which described the work of a Clyde engineer ashore and afloat.

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