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British Industrial History

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John Jurd

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John Jurd (1842-1887)

1887 Obituary [1]

JOHN JURD was born at Southampton in the year 1842, and served a regular pupilage to his brother, Mr. William Jurd, surveyor.

At the expiration of his pupilage in 1865, Mr. Jurd went to Brazil as an assistant on the staff of Messrs. Brassey and Ogilvie, contractors for the main drainage works of Rio de Janeiro.

Before the completion of these works he returned to England, and was engaged as chief assistant to Mr. W. Jurd till June 1868, when, having passed the prescribed examination, he became a Civil Assistant in the Director of Works branch of the War Office, and was employed in the erection of an iron pier, and of a hydraulic: swing-bridge over the canal, both at the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, as well as on the designs and construction of large iron targets for testing heavy guns. Here he remained till 1870, when he went into partnership with his brother, and was occupied in carrying out several large works.

In 1873 this partnership was dissolved. He was then appointed, under the late Mr. R. Richardson, surveyor in Her Majesty’s Office of Works, Clerk of Works to superintend the erection of a County and Probate Registry Office at Peterborough, and of a new Post Office at Chester.

On their completion in 1876 he was appointed Clerk of Works for the diversion of the high-level drainage from the low-level sewer at Northam, Southampton, for the Corporation, under Mr. James Lemon, M. Inst. C.E.; and from November 1877 to 1878 he was employed by the Corporation of Winchester under the same engineer in putting in the foundation for the pumping-station ; this was a work of considerable difficulty, owing to the large amount of water that was met with, the pump-wells having to be constructed in iron cylinders in consequence.

Mr. Jurd resigned this position to become a draughtsman in Her Majesty’s Office of Works, obtaining after a little time a permanent appointment as Clerk of Works at St. James’s Palace, whence he was transferred, to suit the convenience of the department, to Kew, where he had under his supervision all works connected with the Royal Gardens, Kew, and Richmond Park.

His energy and intelligence in the execution of a series of somewhat important works of a varied character, and involving the expenditure of considerable sums of public money, were much appreciated, and his competence and straightforward character secured for him the respect of every member of the staff attached to the Royal Gardens. An active and abstemious man, there was nothing to warn his family or friends of the impending malady which in a few hours caused his death on the 11th of May, 1887.

He was elected an Associate of the Institution on the 5th of December, 1871, and was transferred to the class of Associate Member in 1883.

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