William Frecheville died at his residence, Horse Block Hollow, Cranleigh, Surrey, on July 30th, 1940, at the age of 86.

He was born at Halifax, Nova Scotia, but came to England at an early age and received his education at the Royal Naval School, New Cross, London. He entered the Royal School of Mines, at that time housed in Jermyn Street, in 1871, and graduated in 1875 as A.R.S.M. in mining, metallurgy and geology. During 1874 and 1875 he also took practical courses at Clausthal and Freiberg.

In 1875 he went to South Africa as, assistant manager of the Cobalt Mines in the Transvaal and in 1877 he was engaged for about twelve months in manganese mining in Cape Colony. In 1879-80 he visited mines in French Guiana, the Transvaal, Germany and Spain, and for five years, 1881-85, he was manager of the Hoover Hill gold mines, North Carolina, U.S.A. Thence he went to India, where for two years he was manager of the Gold Fields of Mysore, Ltd.

In 1889 he established himself in London as a consulting mining engineer, and in the course of his practice visited Mexico, Queensland, the United States, Venezuela, the Transvaal, Norway, Tasmania, New Zealand, Australia, Spain, Rhodesia, Austria and Turkey at different dates.

In 1912 he was appointed head of the Department of Mining at the Imperial College and was the first Professor of the Royal School of Mines in its present building. He was a Governor of the Imperial College from 1914 to 1919, and in 1915 was elected President of the Royal School of Mines (Old Students) Association. He was made a Fellow of the Imperial College in 1932 and was an Emeritus Professor from 1919. From 1912 to 1932 he was a Governor of the School of Metalliferous Mining at Camborne.

Professor Frecheville was elected a Member of the Institution in 1892, the year of its foundation, and a Member of Council in 1895 and Vice-President in 1900. He occupied the Presidential Chair in 1905-6. He was given an Honorary Membership in 1919, and in 1926 received the Gold Medal, of the, Institution in 1894 recognition of his services to the mining industry during a long and distinguished professional career; and to mining-engineering education’. It may be noted that Professor and Mrs. Frecheville celebrated their golden wedding on March 25th, 1940. They have five daughters, and nine grand-children, but their only son, an officer in the Royal Engineers, who fought through the Great War, was killed in the later troubles in Russia.

Vol. 50, Trans IMM 1940-41, p.545

 [Brother of R.J. Frecheville] [Supports Percy in letter RSM Re 1920, p.116, p.179. Picture p.172, 175.]

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