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Photo of John Guilfoyle Williams

John Guilfoyle Williams

Birthplace Nottinghamshire Nottingham EnglandPlace of Residence at HM Factory Gretna Staff Quarters No. 1


Full name of worker at H.M. Factory Gretna (and any other names they are known by) : John Guilfoyle Williams

Gender: Male

Date and Place of Birth: 19/10/1896 Nottingham

Date and Place of Death: 30/04/1979 Ealing age 82

Nationality: British




Parents: Richard Edward and Ida Charlotte Williams

Parent’s occupations: Water Works Inspector

Schools / universities attended and years of attendance: London University

Occupation: Chemist BSc ACS

Place of residence at Gretna: Staff Quarters No.1, Eastrigg, Dornock

Job title at Gretna: Chemist at Dornock

Marital status: Married Elsie Annie Fisher 1925 Q4

Children: Richard Guilfoyle Williams (b.1926) and Mary Williams (b.1928)

Travels: Montreal, Canada

Awards/recognitions: ACS

Trivia / any other information: 



Books published (Title, year of publication, publisher): 

  • “Textiles on test. A study of the wearing and washing properties of fabrics and garments” (1931)
  • “The wear and care of clothing; a practical guide” (1945)
  • “Home laundering” (1949)
  • Books written about the individual or mentioning the individual (Title, year of publication, publisher): N/K


  • Blogs about the individual: N/K
  • Websites about the individual: N/K

Further links, notes, and comments:John Guilfoyle Williams:


John Guilfoyle Williams was a young chemist working at Dornock during the Great War. 

He went on to get a degree at the University of London and to work for Selfridges and John Lewis as an analyst.

John was born on the 19th October 1896 in Nottingham, the son of Richard Edward and Ida Charlotte Williams. Richard was a Water Works inspector.

Following the outbreak of World War One, John went to work as a chemist at Dornock, where he lived at staff quarters no.1 at Eastriggs. He became a member of the Faraday Society in 1917.

Following the war, he received a B.Sc. from the University of London. It appears that he lived and worked in Canada for a period in the 1920s. He returned to Liverpool from Montreal aboard the “Montcalm” in May 1925. That winter he married Elsie Annie Fisher, and they would have two children, Richard Guilfoyle Williams (b.1926) and 

Mary Williams (b.1928). The family went to live in Ealing in London.(1)

John appears to have worked for Selfridges and John Lewis in their analytical laboratories, quality controlling their fabrics and dyes. He wrote several books on the subject and he became an Associate of the Chemical Society.

During World War Two, John was a volunteer Air Raid Precautions (ARP) gas

identification officer, in his local area. These were usually trained chemists who’s role

was to detect and analyse any poison or chemical munitions used by the enemy against 

the civilian population. (2)

John died on 30th April 1979 aged 82 in Ealing.

  1. Williams family tree on Ancestry
  2. Middlesex County Times 5th April 1941

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