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William Charles Purvis Groundwater

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William Charles Purvis Groundwater (1886-1939)


1939 Obituary [1]

"Major WILLIAM CHARLES PURVIS GROUNDWATER was a well-known figure in the oil industry, and at the time of his death on 17th May 1939 was sales manager for Lobitos Oilfields, Ltd.

He was born in London in 1886, and attended the Scotch School, Woolwich, from 1891 to 1894, and the Bloomfield Science School, Plumstead, from 1894 until 1900. He entered Messrs. Fraser and Chalmers' works at Erith on leaving school, and served his apprenticeship until 1906, concurrently attending the Woolwich Polytechnic till 1905. He joined the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co in 1906, and served in RMS Caledonia and RMS Delhi as assistant engineer, and obtained the colonial certificate of competency as second class engineer in 1908.

In 1909 he was transferred to HMTS Soudan, resigning a year later to take up an appointment with the Asiatic Petroleum Co, and he later went to Japan. Here he became engineer in charge of the Hodogaya Oil Refinery. He was promoted in 1912 to be manager of the petroleum refinery and installation of the Rising Sun Petroleum Co, Saitozaki, Japan. While in this country he became proficient in the Japanese language.

In 1914 he passed the examinations of the Military College of Science, and rose to the rank of major and first class inspector of ordnance machinery. For his services he was mentioned in dispatches. After the War he joined the British Mexican Petroleum Company, Ltd., later becoming divisional sales manager in the midland area. In 1923 he was appointed sales manager for Messrs. Alexander Duckham and Company, Ltd., and in the next year was given a seat on the board of that company. He joined the firm, with which he was connected at the time of his death, in 1934. Major Groundwater became a Graduate of the Institution in 1909, and was transferred to Associate Membership in 1913."


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