Basic Biographical Details

Name: Walter J Knight
Bio Notes: Walter J Knight was an English Owen Jones scholar recruited by Sir John Burnet & Partners in London in 1919 but sent to the Glasgow office of Burnet Son & Dick in the Spring of 1921 to prepare the drawings for the cenotaph in George Square, Glasgow for which Burnet had won the competition. This proved a difficult project because the City councillors became unwilling to consider the sunk area five to six feet below the level of the square which was an integral part of Burnet's design and necessary to give the cenotaph itself sufficient height without intruding undesirably far up on the elevation of the City Chambers: the entarsis also caused difficulty and was set out so many times that he complained of Burnet slowly driving him mad.

Although 'a confirmed gothic man', Knight remained in the Glasgow office to undertake the earlier stages of the working drawings for the North British and Mercantile Building at St Vincent Street. This project encountered even more serious difficulty: Knight misinterpreted Burnet's soft-pencil jointing of the granite plinth as channelled joints and six to twelve feet of the facework had to be taken down and recut. It was also found that the design of the steelwork failed to take account of the staircase window resulting in expensive remedial work and a payment of some 10,000 by Burnet So & Dick to the contractor.

Knight left Burnet Son & Dick in or about August 1926 to become the partner of William Henry Bidlake in Wolverhampton, Bidlake going into semi-retirement at that time.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 1Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness   

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 2(Sir) John Burnet & Partners1919Early 1921Assistant 
Item 2 of 2Burnet, Son & DickEarly 19211926(?)Assistant 

Buildings and Designs

This was involved with the following buildings or structures from the date specified (click on an item to view details):
 Date startedBuilding nameTown, district or villageIslandCity or countyCountryNotes
Item 1 of 21921Glasgow Cenotaph  GlasgowScotlandDeveloped Burnet's competition-winning scheme, as assistant
Item 2 of 21925North British and Mercantile Building  GlasgowScotlandAs assistant to Burnet Son & Dick


Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material John Watson's recollections of John Burnet & Son/Burnet Son & Dick, c.1920-25; Albert Cordiner's recollections collected by AG Lochhead, 18 September 1967