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John Avenel Wickham

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John Avenel Wickham (-1930)

1930 Obituary [1]

JOHN AVENEL WICKHAM, C.B.E., was appointed chief engineer for docks, London and North Eastern Railway, on 1st January 1928, on the retirement of Sir John Nicholson, C.M.G.

He died on 22nd April 1930, at the untimely age of 48.

He was educated at Reading School and trained at the City and Guilds Central Technical College.

He joined the staff of Messrs. S. Pearson and Sons at the East London Waterworks, and subsequently was engaged upon the construction of public works in this country and abroad, including the breakwater at Malta, the port works at Para, Brazil, and the port and harbour works at Valparaiso, Chile.

From Chile he returned to England to join the Royal Engineers in the War and served with distinction with the British Expeditionary Force in France. He held the appointments successively of Chief Engineer, Ports Construction B.E.F., France; Deputy Director-General of Transportation; and Director-General of Transportation, British Troops in France and Flanders. He acted as the British technical member on the Inter-allied Commission for the repairs to the Belgian ports, and was demobilized towards the end of 1919 with the rank of Brigadier-General.

After demobilization he became a partner of the firm of Couper and Wickham of Westminster and subsequently visited and reported on several engineering undertakings abroad, notably in Greece, Spain, Portugal, West Africa and the Congo district of Angola.

In 1922 he undertook on behalf of the Government the valuation of the military railways, roads, and cantonments in Palestine, and of the Sinai Military Railway from Kantara to Rafa.

He joined the London and North Eastern Railway in 1924 as assistant to the Chief General Manager, and in 1925 was appointed Assistant-General Manager (Parliamentary). As chief engineer for docks he also acted as engineer for the new fish dock at Grimsby.

He became a Member of the Institution in 1920, and he was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

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