Sir William (1) Mather

Sir William Mather


Loris Emerson
Sir William Mather - family tree
Family Tree
Sir William Mather Sir William L. Mather O.B.E., M.C., T.D., D.L.

William Loris Mather - grandson of Sir William Mather and elder son of Loris E. Mather - received his early education at Oundle College, a school famed for its engineering associations.

He spent a year before going to university as an apprentice at Park Works in Manchester. After taking his degree at Cambridge (Trinity College) he returned to Park Works to complete his workshop training. He also spent some months of this training in the U.S.A and France. This was followed by periods at the Paris, London and Calcutta Offices.

When he had been in Calcutta for some 10 months, war was declared in September 1939. He had been a territorial officer in the Cheshire Yeomanry for some years and was called up for service with his regiment.

Major Sir William Mather had a very distinguished war career which is beyond the scope of this history; however, he served under General Bernard Montgomery and a friendship developed which followed into the post-war era.

In commenting on Montgomery, remembering 1942, he said, "Soon after his arrival at the Eighth Army HQ we all started to call him 'Master'. He walked up and down just like Napoleon with his hands behind his back for three days. Then he went into his caravan and wrote out what was really the order of battle for the battle of Alamein on fourteen pages of foolscap note paper. There was very little change thereafter. He expounded exactly how the battle would take place. What amazed all of us was that it was so easy to remember what he said. It was so clear. And it all happened."

After the war, Sir William returned to Park Works and was a member of the commercial staff of the Pumps Department under Mr. T. Y. Sherwell. Shortly after the transfer of the Food Machinery Department to the Radcliffe Works he was placed in charge of this section of the company's business and was responsible for many post-war developments to meet the increasing demands of a growing industry. He was appointed a director of the Company in 1947.

During his career he was also a Director of both The National Provincial and The District Banks and later of the North Regional Division of The National Westminster Bank. He became Chairman of the North-West Regional Economic Planning Council and of the Civic Trust for the North West.

Sir William was a member of the Courts of Manchester University and of Salford University and served on the Councils of the Institute of Science and Technology, Manchester Business School and the Council of Industrial Design. In addition, he was Chairman of the Advisory Council for the Northern Arts and Sciences Foundation, the Manchester Branch of the Institute of Directors and of the Y.M.C.A.

National Provincial Bank cheque - c. 1936He became Vice-President of the Association of British Chambers of Commerce and was (Deputy) Lieutenant and High Sheriff of the County of Cheshire, the county of his birth. In 1968, he was named Manchester's "Man of the Year".

Sir William Mather retired on 17th August 1978 after 31 years service (1947-1978) on the board of Mather & Platt, of which he had been Chairman since 1960. He was also a member of the Wormald International Board (Australia) from 1976 - 1978. (Wormald Journal Volume 1 No. 2, Page 15).

Eric Drewery writes "Bill Mather died almost 2 years ago. In February 2000, a church service celebrating his life was held in the village of Prestbury close to his family home, Whirley Hall. The church was so full that people were standing in the aisles or wherever they could find space. The service was led by one of Bill's sons who is a church minister. Bill's youngest son, Peter, gave a reading and Bill's son-in-law, Simon Murray, gave a memorable address." Simon Murray is also a writer and his recent book, Legionnaire may be found for sale on the Internet.

The Radcliffe Works (Process Machinery Division) was later sold after Wormald International had acquired Mather & Platt in 1978.