The Times/1927/Obituary/Sir W. Galloway
Sir W. Galloway
We regret to announce that Sir William Galloway, the mining engineer, whose pioneer researches in the action of coal dust in colliery explosions were among those which led to the saving of many lives, died at Cardiff on Wednesday night.
The son of Mr. William Galloway, J.P., of Paisley, he was educated privately and at the University of Giessen, the Bergakademie at Freiberg, and University College, London, and later received the honorary degree of D.Sc. from the University of Wales. His experience as an inspector of mines in the West of Scotland and in the South Wales districts led him to investigate the causes of explosions in coalmines. In presenting him with the medal of the Institution of Mining Engineers in June, 1925, Dr. John Haldane said that Sir William Galloway had demonstrated that coal dust in the air of mines was the cause of explosions, and had proved that an initial explosion could raise further dust from the walls and floors of galleries, and so spread the explosions to other parts of the mine. "His wok," he added, "had been responsible for a considerable reduction in the loss of life in coalmines from explosions."
It was due to the pioneer observations and experiments of Galloway and the brothers Atkinson in this county that the coal-dust theory of great colliery explosions was developed. The experiments were continued on a large scale by the Mining Association of Great Britain, and in 1911 the Government took over the work and established an experimental station at Eskmeals, in Cumberland, recently transferred to Buxton. As far back as 1898, Galloway had suggested the use of stone dust as a means of prevention. He again suggested it in 1906, and it has now been extensively adopted under official regulations. He conducted a series of experiments with different kinds of explosives fired into mixtures of gas, air, and coal dust for the Royal Commission on Accidents in Mines. He also determined the relation between height of firedamp cap and proportion of firedamp in the air of mines, and invented the guides for sinking pits. For his services he was presented, in addition to the medal of the Institution of Mining Engineers, with the Shaw gold medal by the Royal Society of Arts, a special gold medal by the South Wales Institute of Engineers, and his portrait by the Monmouthshire and South Wales Coalowners Association.
Sir William Galloway, who was knighted in 1924, was formerly Professor of Mining in the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire. He was a fellow of the Institute of Directors, a past president and hon. member of the South Wales Institute of Engineers, a member of the panel of referees appointed under the Coal Mines Act 1911, one of the central examiners appointed by the board for mining examinations, and external examiner in mining for the University of Birmingham. He was the author of many papers, some in collaboration with Mr. R. H. Scott, F.R.S., on the causes of colliery explosions, some of which were published by the Royal Society, as well as papers and lectures on other subjects connected with mining. He married first Christiana Maud Mary, daughter of Mr. W. F. Gordon, of Milrig, Ayrshire, and had two sons; and secondly, Mary Gwenap Douglas, daughter of Captain Wood, R.M.L.I., of Nunlands, Surrey.