Allard, William

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William Allard - d.1976


Mr WILLIAM ALLARD, who died in May 1976, had for many years been active in the affairs of IAHS. He will be greatly missed by his large number of friends and colleagues throughout the world who at one or other symposium, meeting, congress or assembly benefited from his kindly, unobtrusive and always wise help and advice.

He was educated at Clifton College and at King's College (University of London) and in 1910 joined the Egyptian irrigation service. After serving in the 1914-1918 War, he returned to irrigation engineering in Egypt and the Sudan and, from 1927 until 1934, was Director of Irrigation in Iraq. There, he led efforts to modernize the ancient water resource system and, in particular, the river-gauging work and the design of water control structures. Evidence of his high status in Iraq came in 1956 when King Faisal invited Mr Allard to be a guest of honour at the inaugural ceremonies for two great barrages.

In 1935, the then Ministry of Health established the Inland Water Survey (later Surface Water Survey) and Mr Allard took charge of this small, but important, seminal organization. As a somewhat unconventional civil servant, he made a deep impression on the scientific and water-engineering community and, by his modest, deeply knowledgeable and kindly advice, helped the chief engineers of the Catchment Boards, River Boards and Waterworks to lay the foundations of the official British hydrometric network on the substratum of unofficial gauging work started so imaginatively by Capt W.N. McClean, Professor S. Dixon and other pioneers. After 1945 War he served on various committees of the IASH of the Institutions of Civil Engineers and of Water Engineers.

There cannot have been a kinder man in the hydrological fraternity, and his loss leaves all of us the poorer.

Hydrological Achievements[edit]

He was one of the founder members of the British National Committee of the International Commission for Irrigation and Drainage, and the longest serving member of the Royal Society's Hydrology Sub-Committee. When he was a Vice-President of IASH he declined, with characteristic modesty, repeated invitations to accept the office of President of IASH.

After a group of East African hydrologists had proposed to the University of London that the first postgraduate course in hydrology be established at Imperial College, Mr Allard devoted much time and effort to his continuous support of generations of postgraduate students.

He was Chairman of a British Standards Institution committee on flow measurement in open channels, whose report was subsequently incorporated in the recommendations of the International Standards Organizations.

Reference Material[edit]

P. O. Wolf (1976) OBITUARY, Hydrological Sciences Bulletin, 21:4, 647-647, DOI: 10.1080/02626667609491680

Major Publications[edit]