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John Hopwood Blake

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John Hopwood Blake (1843-1901)

1901 Obituary [1]

JOHN HOPWOOD BLAKE, born in the City of London on the 22nd July, 1843, obtained his preliminary engineering education at King’s College, Strand.

He was apprenticed to Mr. R. P. Brereton, under whom he worked for several years on railways in Cornwall and South Wales. During that period the interest he had taken in geology while at King’s College was increased, and ultimately this led him to join the Geological Survey, of which he was an officer from April, 1868, until his death.

Beginning his geological work in Somerset, Mr. Blake was afterwards employed on the Drift Survey of the area north-west of London, and then spent many years in Suffolk and Norfolk.

In 1884 he went to Reading, to make the re-survey of that district, and afterwards to Oxford, where he died suddenly, of angina pectoris, on the 5th March, 1901.

His engineering training had a marked effect on his survey-work, inducing great precision and excellent draughtsmanship. Naturally too he was led to study the applications of geology to water-supply, &c., and he became an authority on that subject in Berkshire and Oxfordshire. At the time of his death a memoir by him dealing with the underground water-supply of the former county was in the press.

He was President of the Norwich Geological Society in 1880-81, and one of his Addresses was chiefly of an engineering character, being on the Conservancy of Rivers, Prevention of Floods, Drainage and Water-supp1y. His scientific work was done in a methodical, painstaking and conscientious way, and its results were always at the disposal of others. In private life he was kind-hearted and generous, a good father and a true friend.

Mr. Blake was one of the first Students of the Institution. He was elected an Associate on the 2nd March, 1869, and was subsequently placed in the class of Associate Members.

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