James Archibald Prentice Chile Scotland

Biography of James Archibald Prentice

James Archibald Prentice graduated BSc from the University in 1947. He was born in ConcepciĆ³n, Chile, son of William Smith, a retired merchant, who was a manager for international trading company, Duncan Fox and Partners.

Prentice was sent back to Scotland for his education, firstly at Dalhousie School, then Glenalmond in Perthshire. He enrolled at the University in 1936 for two years, attending classes in Chemistry (for which he was awarded a second class certificate), Applied Physics, Mechanical, Electrical, Heat and Civil Engineering, Applied Mechanics, and Geology. While at University, Prentice proved himself as a capable rugby player, playing for the University and London Scottish. In 1939 he worked as an engineering apprentice with Cowan & Linn, civil engineers, of Glasgow.

The Second World War interrupted Prentice's career and rugby. During this period, he was posted to Dunoon with B Company 1st Battalion the Glasgow Highlanders; in France as commander of the 157 Brigade Anti-Tank Company; and was recruited as an officer for the Special Operations Executive (SOE) in North Africa, on account of his connections with South America and knowledge of Spanish; he then ran an SOE station in Brindisi.

Prentice returned to the University after the War in 1946 to resume his academic career, attending further classes in Engineering, including Aeronautical Engineering. He graduated BSc in 1947, and resumed his work as a civil engineer, as a partner with Leitch and Sharpe, and with Marples Ridgeway, constructing the Allt-na-Lairige dam, and the Kingston Bridge.


Other Online Resources

Archival Materials

  • R8/5/24/6 Matriculation Slip 1903-1904 Men M - Q
  • SEN10/79 University Calendar 1937-38


James Archibald Prentice
Born 30 June 1917.
Died 5 September 2012.
GU Degrees: Science and Engineering, 1936-38; BSc, 1947; Science and Engineering,
University Link: Alumnus, Graduate
Occupation categories: engineers, civil; military
English snippet: Engineering student of the University of Glasgow
Record last updated: 21st May 2013

Country Associations

Chile Chile, ConcepciĆ³n
Place of Birth

Scotland Scotland, No Region
Place of Death

University Connections

University Roles