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British Industrial History

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Charles Fairholme

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Captain Charles Fairholme (1829-1891)

1891 Obituary [1]

CAPTAIN CHARLES FAIRHOLME, R.N., was born at Brussels On 5th December 1829, being the son of Mr. G. Fairholme of Greenknowe, Berwickshire.

Entering the royal navy in 1842, he served with distinction throughout the war in the Crimea, first as lieutenant in the "Agamemnon," then as naval aide-de-camp to the general commanding-in-chief during the siege and capture of Sebastopol, and afterwards in the "Medusa," during the final operations in the Sea of Azof.

He commanded the gunboat "Havoc" at the capture of the Peiho forts, and in other operations in China in 1860.

Not long after his retirement from naval service he became interested in the Heberlein self-acting railway brake, which he further improved; and he formed and successfully managed a company for working it in this country and abroad. He was thus led to take up various other inventions connected with railway engineering. He introduced into England and the colonies the Abt system of mountain railways, and succeeded in getting it adopted on a number of lines; and lately he became the representative of the Lindner starting gear for compound locomotives, of which he gave a description to this Institution in January 1890 (Proceedings, pages 84-86).

His death took place at West Kensington on 11th October 1891, at the age of sixty-one.

He became an Associate of this Institution in 1883.

1891 Obituary.[2]

"...Captain Fairholme entered the Royal Navy in the year 1842, and served throughout the war in the Crimea, first as lieutenant in the Agamemnon under Lord Lyons, at the attack on Fort Constantine; then as naval aide-de-camp to the General Commanding-in-Chief during the siege and capture of Sebastopol; and afterwards in the .Medusa., under Commodore Sherard Osborn, during the final operations in the Sea of Azof; and be received for his services the Crimean and Turkish medals, the Sebastopol clasp, besides which he was made a Knight of the Legion of Honour, and received the Fifth Class of the Medjidie from the Sultan. He commanded H.M. gunboat Havoc, at the capture of the Peibo Forts and other operations in China. in 1860, and received the Chinese War medal....More."

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