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Cyril Reginald Sutton Kirkpatrick

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Sir Cyril Reginald Sutton Kirkpatrick (1872–1957) was a British civil engineer.

1872 Born in London.

Kirkpatrick was Chief Engineer for the Port of London

1924 Formed the engineering firm of Kirkpatrick and Partners

1931 He served as president of the Institution of Civil Engineers between November 1931 and November 1932.

Between 1938 and 1942 Kirkpatrick drew up many plans for the Maryport sea wall and harbour.

WWII Kirpatrick's firm was also involved with the construction of concrete caissons for the Mulberry Harbour used following the Normandy landings.

1950 He served as president of the Smeatonian Society of Civil Engineers.

1951 Kirkpatrick's firm merged with Scott and Wilson to form Scott and Wilson, Kirkpatrick and Partners. This firm later became the Scott Wilson Group

1957 Died

1957 Obituary [1]

SIR CYRIL KlRKPATRICK, a past president of the Institution of Civil Engineers, died at his home at Chalfont St. Giles on August 25. He was eighty-four.

Cyril Reginald Sutton Kirkpatrick was born on October 17, 1872, and was educated at Repton and the Crystal Palace School of Engineering. He then became a pupil and later assistant engineer of Mr. E. B. Thornhill the chief engineer of the London and North Western Railway. Further valuable experience was gained by spending ten years with various firms as contractors' engineer, largely on railway work.

In 1906 he was appointed city engineer of Newcastle, where he carried out quay improvement works. He was joint author with Mr. F. W. Davis of a paper describing the constructional work on the King Edward VII bridge, a high-level bridge composed of steel trusses carrying the North Eastern main line across the Tyne at Newcastle. It was designed by Dr. Harrison, the railway company's engineer, and built by the Cleveland Bridge and Engineering Company. The paper was noteworthy for the discussion on compressed air working.

Sir Cyril's career with the Port of London Authority commenced in 1910, when he became chief assistant to Sir Frederick Palmer, the chief engineer of the newly constituted Authority. Expansion to meet the requirements of the port for the next twenty years or more was envisaged at that time. Enlargement of Albert Dock, and the provision of a new entrance lock and a passenger landing stage at Tilbury were amongst the works planned.

Palmer resigned in 1912 and Kirkpatrick became his successor. The most conspicuous work completed during his term of office, which ended with his resignation in 1924, was the King George V Dock at North Woolwich, which was opened in 1921. He received a knighthood in 1922.

It was at this time that he started to practise as a consulting civil engineer. His firm specialised chiefly in heavy foundations, dock and harbour and sea defence works. Among the undertakings for which he was responsible were the foundations for the power house of the Ford works at Dagenham, foundations and the circulating water system for Sir John North Power Station, Swansea, and foundations for gasworks plant at Stoke-on-Trent, Weston-Super-Mare and East Greenwich; at the latter works he was also responsible for an underground pumping station together with intake and discharge works in the Thames.

He carried out dock and harbour works at Galway, Maryport and Bangor, Co. Down, and prepared extensive schemes for the improvement and development of the port of Alexandria for the Government of Egypt. Sir Cyril initiated the design of the civil engineering works for Dekhelia Power Station, Cyprus, the construction of which was completed after his retirement. He was also responsible for the design of power stations in the Sudan.

Perhaps the most important work with which Sir Cyril was associated after leaving the Port of London Authority was in 1943 and 1944, when, as a member of the K.C.D. Group in partnership with Mr. J. D. C. Couper and Mr. Jack Duvivier, he was responsible to the Ministry of Supply for the construction of thirty-three concrete "Phoenix" caissons for the Mulberry Harbour. Most of them were constructed in East India Import Dock and the South Dock of Surrey Commercial Docks, which were dewatered during the period of construction and flooded when the caissons were substantially complete and could be finished afloat, but a number were partially constructed in basins excavated in the banks of the Thames at Barking and Belvedere which were then flooded and the caissons towed upstream for completion in the docks.

During his career Sir Cyril gave expert evidence on many Parliamentary Bills at public inquiries, in courts of law and in arbitration proceedings and acted as arbitrator on several occasions, the most notable being the Rosyth Dockyard arbitration.

He retired in 1951 and the firm which he founded was incorporated in Scott and Wilson Kirkpatrick and Partners.

He was a colonel in the Engineer and Railway Staff Corps, R.E. (T.F.), and a member of the Societe Ingenieurs Civils de France. In 1935-36 he was chairman of the Association of Consulting Engineers. He was also a member of the Smeatonian Society of Civil Engineers. He was from 1926 a representative of the Government for the Permanent International Association of Navigation Congresses and was appointed a member of the Central Rhine Commission by the Government in 1934. He was also for many years a representative of the Foreign Office at the International Technical Consultative Commission of the Suez Canal Company in Paris.

Sir Cyril's presidential address delivered at the Institution in November 1931 dwelt on the history of navigation of the Thames and of the various dock and harbour works built on the river. He went on to outline the contemporary problem of development of the port, as he saw it at the time. His interest in civil engineering history was also apparent from his Vernon Harcourt Lecture, given in 1926, which gave a most fascinating account of the historical development of ports and harbours, ending with notes on the world's principal ports.

1957 Obituary [2]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1957/08/30
  2. 1957 Institution of Civil Engineers: Obituaries