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OMAN, William Campbell

Born: 1875
Died: c1930


It is not yet certain where Oman was born but it could have been in India where he trained. In 1893 he studied under J Lockwood Kipling, CJE and Bhi Ram Singh, architect, at the Mayo School of Art, Lahore, India. He passed the intermediate examination for Licenciateship in Civil Engineering at Punjab University, Lahore, 1894. Giving details about his travels in his ARIBA nomination papers (1902) he mentioned that he had travelled in India from Calcutta to Karachi and through Cashmere twice and had also visited Malta. Oman then left for Britain where he attended lectures and studio practice at the Architectural Association, London in 1895. In 1897 he attended the London County Council School of Arts and Crafts under WR Lethaby and G Frampton, RA, studying also under WJ Chambers, architect of Savoy House, in 1896. He worked as a junior assistant under AO Collard, ARIBA, at the London Exhibition, Earls Court. He subsequently worked in the offices of several architects in London. He passed his final RIBA examination in London in July 1902.

On the recommendation of Aston Webb he was appointed assistant architect in the PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT, Transvaal, in 1902, and travelled 'from Table Bay across the Kalahari to Johannesburg', and travelled in Portuguese East Africa, Natal and the Cape Colony. In 1902 he was elected an Associate member of the RIBA, employed as a draughtsman in the PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT in Johannesburg. In 1905 he left the Civil Service and entered private practice with J Lang PEDDIE (cf. OMAN & PEDDIE) in Pretoria where Peddie was working, listed there in 1905. Oman returned to London in 1906 owing to the depression and the subsequent suspension of the building industry. He was then appointed architectural assistant, PWD in the Strait Settlement in 1907 and was employed by the Singapore Municipality in 1910.

Reg prob RIBA 1895; Reg student RIBA 1899; ARIBA Jhb 1902; FRIBA (?). (ARIBA nom papers (1902); CSL 1904; RIBA biog file; RIBA Kal 1903)

All truncated references not fully cited in 'References' are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

Books citing OMAN

Brown, SM. 1969. Architects and others: an annotated list of people of South African interest appearing in the RIBA Journal 1880 1925. Johannesburg: Unpublished dissertation, University of the Witwatersrand. pp