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John Temple

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John Temple (1839-1922) of the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Co.


1922 Obituary [1]

The death recently of Mr. John Temple, of Liverpool, severs a link with the earliest days of submarine telegraphy.

He was born at Colne, Lancashire, in 1839, and after being privately educated became connected with the telegraph service in Leeds, Manchester and London.

In 1856 he joined the Atlantic Telegraph Company on its formation, and worked on the staff of Sir Charles Bright, the engineer-in-chief.

Subsequently he assisted on board the Agamemnon during the laying of the first Atlantic cable. In 1859 he entered the service of Glass, Elliot and Co., afterwards the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company, and for more than four years was stationed at Malta as engineer for the Malta and Alexandra and other Mediterranean cables. During the summers of 1865 and 1866 he served as third engineer-in-charge under Sir Samuel Canning on the SS Great Eastern while that vessel was laying the second Atlantic cable.

He was responsible for picking up the first piece of the lost 1865 cable on board the grappling ship Albany. Thereafter he retired from regular service with the Telegraph Construction Company, but for many years afterwards he continued to act on occasion as engineer and agent to the company. In addition to his telegraph work, he was interested in various other commercial undertakings, particularly in the Warrington Wire Rope Works, of which company be became managing director in 1867. For a period of thirty nine years he acted in close co-operation with the Admiralty in connection with a highly technical and secret product which was extensively used during the late war.


1923 Obituary [2]

JOHN TEMPLE, C.B., who died at Llangammarch, aged 83, assisted in his early years in the laying of both the first and the second Atlantic cables, and he also worked on cable construction in the Mediterranean.

The son of Robert Temple, banker, of Colne, Lancashire, he was educated privately, and in 1852 he entered the telegraph service.

On its formation in 1856, he joined the Atlantic Telegraph Company, and worked on the staff of Sir Charles Bright, Engineer-in-Chief, subsequently obtaining a post on board the "Agamemnon" during the laying of the first cable across the Atlantic.

In 1859, he was engaged by Messrs. Glass, Elliot & Co., afterwards by the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company, and acted as Engineer for the Malta & Alexandria Cable and other Mediterranean Cable Companies.

He returned to England in time for the laying, in the Summers of 1865-66, of the second Atlantic cable, and was Third Engineer-in-Charge in these expeditions in the "Great Eastern," under Sir Samuel Canning. Mr. Temple was also in the grappling ship "Albany," which picked up the first piece of the lost 1865 cable.

On the completion of the two cables across the Atlantic he settled in Liverpool, but, although retiring from the regular service of the Telegraph Construction Company, he acted for them on several occasions as Engineer and Agent, and in 1909 completed a service of 50 years with them and their predecessors.

In January, 1867, Mr. Temple became Managing Director of the Warrington Wire Rope Works, afterwards being appointed Chairman. For some years he was a Director of the West India Pacific Company, and acted as liquidator on its final sale.

Mr. Temple was largely interested in the Pearson & Knowles Coal & Iron Company, and the Partington Steel and Iron Company. He was also a Director of the North Brancepeth Coal Company and the Horden Collieries, and Trustee for the Debenture-holders of the United Alkali Company.

He was created C.B. in January, 1917, in acknowledgment of confidential work which he had done for the Admiralty for a long period.


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