Lawrence Wilcock Allen died on 17th July, 1958, at his home in Chingola at the age of 49.
He was born in Johannesburg and educated at Jeppe Preparatory and High Schools. He matriculated in 1926 and came to England as a student at the University of Sheffield in 1926. After graduating B.Sc. (Eng) in 1930 he did postgraduate work under the aegis of the University for two years.
From 1932 to 1934 he worked as engineering assistant to Messrs. Masson Seeley and Co., Ltd., London, then returned to South Africa to become a partner in the ﬁrm of Allen and Ramsay, consulting and contracting engineers and merchants, in Johannesburg.
In December, 1936, he was appointed assistant surveyor at Glynn’s Lydenburg, Ltd., Sabie, Eastern Transvaal, and in the following year worked in a similar capacity at Crown Mines, Ltd., Johannesburg.
He went to Northern Rhodesia in February, 1938, to join Nchanga Consolidated Copper Mines, Ltd., as chief underground surveyor, and was made assistant chief surveyor two years later. In August, 1942, Mr. Allen was appointed technical assistant to the general manager. He obtained the Government Mine Managers Certiﬁcate of Competency in 1943 and in May, 1945, was promoted to the position of assistant underground manager, six months later being made underground manager. After acting on various occasions as assistant manager, Mr. Allen rose to that appointment in 1950, being then in direct charge of all mining and metallurgical operations of Nchanga Consolidated Copper Mines, Ltd., and acting as manager during the absences of the late Mr. Grace.
He was transferred to Rhokana Corporation in October, 1952, where he was manager until his return to Nchanga in June, 1956, as general manager. He had been unwell for some time before his death.
Mr. Allen was elected to Associate Membership of the Institution in 1946 and to Membership in 1951. He had served as Overseas Member of Council for Northern Rhodesia since 1954, and had been Vice-Chairman and, for the three years 1954-56, Chairman of the Northern Rhodesian Local Section of the Institution.
Mr. Jack Thomson writes: I am pleased to have the opportunity to pay a personal tribute to the late Lawrence Allen, whom I knew well both as a colleague and as a friend over many years. His name will long be remembered in Northern Rhodesia, not only for his contribution to the mining industry there, where his opinions and sound judgement were of great value, but also because of his many warm and human qualities of tact and understanding. Europeans and Africans and men and women from all walks of life who liked and respected him will mourn his passing. He never spared himself in giving of his best to his job and to the community.
Vol. 68, Trans IMM 1958-59, p.18