Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

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Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 150,650 pages of information and 235,200 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Arthur John Hobson

From Graces Guide

Arthur John Hobson (1867-1924) worked for the Admiralty and became acting chief constructor at Hong Kong

1924 Died at Hong Kong.

1924 Obituary[1]

"The news of the death of Mr. Arthur John Hobson at Hong Kong on January 12th will be received with great, regret by his many friends in the Admiralty Service and the Navy. Mr. Hobson entered Portsmouth Dockyard as an apprentice in 1882, and although he did not succeed in entering the Royal Naval College, Greenwich , he made good progress, and very quickly rose, through the ranks of draughtsman and foreman, to be an assistant constructor in 1901. After some service in Devonport and Sheerness Dockyards, and as overseer HMS Cobra, he was called to the Admiralty, where he remained until November, 1922. During this period he contributed materially to the development of the modern destroyer and the light cruiser. He had a responsible share in the production of over 300 of these vessels, aggregating at least 450,000 tons displacement and 5,000,000 horse-power. Mr. Hobson was made constructor in 1912 and acting chief constructor in 1917, and accepted an appointment as acting chief contractor at Hong Kong in November 1922.

1924 Obituary[2]


We regret to learn of the death of Mr. Arthur John Hobson, O.B.E., R.C.N.C., Chief Constructor H.M. Dockyard, Hong Kong, at Hong Kong, on the 12th inst. Mr. Hobson served at the Admiralty in various positions from 1901 to 1922, and was engaged chiefly on the production of designs, the supervision of construction and trials, and the scrutiny of the results obtained in various types of destroyers and light cruisers. The success of succeeding types of these craft of great and still greater speeds was due to no small extent to the careful analysis, wide knowledge and exact calculations of Mr. Hobson. During the work he made a great number of friends, not only in the Admiralty and in the Navy, but in that wide circle of shipbuilders and engineers in all parts of the country who were engaged from time to time in building destroyers, scouts, leaders, and light cruisers of the Arethusa, Calliope, Dragon, Emerald, Hawkins, and other classes. He was regarded with affection by all his staff, in whom he took a deep interest, and his colleagues esteemed him highly for his personal as well as his professional qualifications.

He was born in 1867, and entered Portsmouth Dockyard as an apprentice in 1882. The last two years of his apprenticeship (1888-89) were spent at the Admiralty Experiment Works at Haslar; and during this period he gained the Gold Medal of the Education Department at the examination in Honours Stage of Naval Architecture. In 1887 his compeers, Mr. W. T. Davies (since retired) and Mr. John Rogers, O.B.E. (now Constructive Manager at H.M. Dockyard at Devonport), passed to the Royal Naval College, while he was left to pursue a harder course. He made good progress, and by February, 1891, was serving as second class draughtsman as the result of a competitive examination. Another competition placed him in the first class in 1895, and by 1898 he had gained a place as foreman of the yard, although handicapped by low “recommendation” marks because he had served as a draughtsman and not as an inspector. Yet another competitive examination came, the last for the entry of foreman of the yard into the Royal Corps of Naval Constructors. In this he took first place and was followed by Mr. W. L. Roberts (since dead), Messrs. H. J. G. Blandford, C. Lillierap, and J. R. Bond.

He had been transferred to Sheerness in the establishment as foreman of the yard in 1900, and saw some service as an overseer of torpedo-boat destroyers on the Tyne before being called to the Admiralty in 1901 as second-class Assistant Constructor. He became Constructor in 1912, and Acting Chief Constructor (a war-time appointment) in 1917? He reluctantly accepted the appointment of Acting Chief Constructor at Hong Kong Dockyard, vice Mr J. J. King-Salter, in November 1922, as the only means whereby he could hope to become established as a Chief Constructor, but this hope was never fulfilled. He carried out his duties at Kong Kong with success, but was removed to hospital early in the year with an attack of facial paralysis. The position seemed hopeful, until however until Saturday January 12th when the end came suddenly, due to a clot of blood on the brain."

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