William Arthur's parents were James Fulton Arthur, who was a teacher, and Elizabeth Fulton. He attended Queen's Park Higher School in Glasgow, then entered the University of Glasgow to study mathematics and natural philosophy. He graduated with an M.A. from Glasgow with First Class Honours in 1915. Of course at this time Britain was at war with Germany and Arthur undertook war service, serving in the Welsh Guards from 1915 to 1919. For his bravery he was awarded the Military Cross.
On completion of his war service in 1919, Arthur was appointed as an Assistant Lecturer in Mathematics at the University of Glasgow. He was promoted to Lecturer in 1925, then later promoted to Senior Lecturer. After Arthur retired in 1959 he moved to the United States to spend 30 months as a Teacher of Mathematics at Bethany College, West Virginia from 1960 to 1962.
Arthur was a member of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society, joining in January 1920. He was honoured by being elected President for session 1928-29. He was editor of the Mathematical Notes produced by the Society in January 1930 and October 1930.
The Mitchell Lectureship on Methods of Statistics was founded in 1925 and endowed by the businessman and president of the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce Sir George Arthur Mitchell. Arthur was twice Mitchell Lecturer, first in 1926, then again in 1932.
William Arthur was elected to the Royal Society of Edinburgh on 7 March 1921, his proposers being George Alexander Gibson, Andrew Gray, James Gordon Gray, Robert Alexander Houstoun.
An obituary, written by D Martin, appears in the Royal Society of Edinburgh Year Book 1980, pages 32-33.
We give a version of this obituary at THIS LINK
Article by: J J O'Connor and E F Robertson