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William Wallace (1881-1963)

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Sir William Wallace (1881-1963), chairman of Brown Brothers and Co

1963 Obituary [1]

Sir William Wallace, C. B. E., LL. D.,(Member) died suddenly on 27th May, 1963,in his 82nd year. After his education at Paisley Grammar School and Anderson College, and an apprenticeship with Bow McLaughlin and Co., he joined the British and Burmese Steam Navigation Company, gaining his Board of Trade First Class Certificate, and ultimately serving with them as a Chief Engineer.

He entered the engineering industry in 1910, when he joined the staff of Brown Bros. and Co. Ltd.

In 1916, at the age of 35, he became Managing Director, a position which he held until he relinquished it forty-one years later: and he was Chairman from 1947 until he finally retired in 1959.

The tradition established by Andrew Betts Brown, a pioneer in the marine application of hydraulic machinery, was ably carried on by William Wallace, and during his long tenure of office, some thousands of steering gears were designed and manufactured for many famous ships, including the 'Queens'.

In 1917 Wallace was on board the submarine K.13 when she sank during trials in the Gareloch, and was instrumental in saving many lives by blanking off a hydraulic pipe with a two shilling piece inserted in a pipe coupling.

The early 1930s saw the start of a new venture, when Sir Maurice Denny collaborated with William Wallace to develop the Denny Brown Ship stabiliser: the first was fitted in a cross-Channel ship in 1936, followed by a number of similar installations, a large number in H.M. Ships during the 1939-45 war.

In a long and vigorous life Sir William became widely known and made many friends. He was a Director of the British Linen Bank, of the Edinburgh investment Trust, Wm. Beardmore and Co., Alexander Cowan and Sons, and other companies.

He was a Vice-President of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects and a Past-President of the Institute of Marine Engineers, the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland, the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce and the Engineering and Allied Employers Federation.

A C.B.E. was conferred upon him in 1944, and he was knighted in 1951. Among his academic distinctions, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1946, was the second recipient of the Churchill Medal in 1954 and received the honorary degree of LL.D. from Edinburgh University in 1956.

1963 Obituary [2]

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