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William Kennedy

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William Kennedy (1864-1938)

1938 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM KENNEDY had had an interesting career in Malaya before he went into partnership with his father-in-law, Mr. James Smith, with whom he started the consulting engineering firm of Kennedy and Smith, of Aberdeen.

He was born in Aberdeen in 1864 and received his technical education at Robert Gordon's College during 1878-9. In the latter year he became an apprentice with Messrs. Dalgity Brothers, engineers and boilermakers, of Aberdeen, and served in the workshops and drawing office until 1885. He then entered the laboratory of the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, as a fitter, and in the following year, after six months' further experience with an Aberdeen shipbuilding firm, he went to sea, sailing in various vessels as second engineer until 1889.

After one year's engagement as a foreman of the New Harbour Dock Company, he again went to sea, and the next six years were chiefly spent in the service of Sir Charles Brooke, Rajah of Sarawak. Mr. Kennedy joined Howarth Erskine, of Singapore, in 1896, as outdoor foreman. In the same year he was responsible for the construction of a new steel pier at Bangkok and for the erection of a flagstaff no less than 166 feet high, in the royal palace grounds, in connection with the return of the King of Siam from England. Subsequently he was made manager of the Bangkok branch of Messrs. Howarth Erskine, and in 1902 he returned to Singapore as outdoor superintendent. He was a pioneer motorist, and owned the first motor car in Singapore. Prior to the passing of the Traction Ordinance, he personally carried out the testing of new drivers applying for licences. He returned to England and began his work as a consulting engineer in 1910, retiring in 1932.

Mr. Kennedy's death occurred on 2nd May 1938. He had been an Associate Member of the Institution since 1905.

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