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John Rumney Nicholson

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Sir John Rumney Nicholson (1866-1939)

1922 Kt., C.M.G. M.Inst.C.E M. I.Mech.E., Late Chairman and Chief Engr., Singapore Harbour Bd. and Penang Harbour Bd. Address: zo, Nevern Mansions, S.W.5.

1939 Obituary [1]

SIR JOHN RUMNEY NICHOLSON, C.M.G., was born at Langwathby, Cumberland, on the 25th March, 1866, and died on the 22nd November, 1939, at his residence at Keswick.

He was educated at St. Bees School, and commenced his career with Messrs. Black, Hawthorn & Company, at Gateshead-on-Tyne.

From 1888 to 1889 he was in charge of the erection of the Pangdon Dene power-station of the Newcastle-on-Tyne Electric Supply Company.

In 1889 he was appointed assistant engineer of the Quebrada Railway and Copper Mines, Venezuela, and in 1891 became chief mechanical engineer of this undertaking, and also of the South Western Railway of Venezuela.

From 1895 to 1899 he was associated with Messrs. P. W. and C. S. Meik, consulting engineers, and during this period he designed the locomotives, rolling stock, and other plant for the Port Talbot Railway and Docks, and was resident engineer of the graving docks at Port Talbot.

From 1899 to 1902 he was chief engineer of the Bridgwater Trust, until his appointment as managing director and chief engineer of the Tanjong Pagar Dock Company, Singapore. When this company’s property was acquired by the government in 1904, he became chairman and chief engineer of the Singapore Harbour Board and of the Penang Harbour Board. After the completion of the King’s dock, Singapore, he was awarded the honour of C.M.G. in 1913, and was created a Knight Bachelor in 1919 upon the completion of the reconstruction of the Singapore dock scheme.

He returned to England in that year to occupy the position of chief engineer for docks of the North Eastern Railway, and when the railways were amalgamated in 1923 he was appointed to a similar position with the London and North Eastern Railway.

He retired in 1927, but at the request of the directors of the railway, acted as consulting engineer for docks for a further 2 years.

Sir John was elected an Associate Member of The Institution in April 1897, and was transferred to the class of Member in February 1903.

In 1902 he married Sybil Helen Croft, O.B.E., daughter of the late Sir Herbert Croft,, Bart., who survives him, and had one son and one daughter.

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