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Charles Herbert Hopkinson

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Charles Herbert Hopkinson (1858-1892)


1893 Obituary [1]

CHARLES HERBERT HOPKINSON, second son of Mr. James Hopkinson, of Bury, Lancashire, was born on the 15th of July, 1858.

After serving articles to Alfred Hopkinson of the same town, he joined in January, 1879, the staff of the late Ralph Firbank, the contractor, with whom he remained for over four years. The first work upon which he was engaged was the widening of the London and North Western Railway from Manchester to Barton Moss, the embankment for which extends over a portion of Chat Moss.

On the completion of that work he was occupied from Nay, 1880, to April, 1883, on the Lincoln and Sleaford extension of the Great Northern and Great Eastern Railways, which involved some heavy excavation and the construction of several large iron bridges. On the death of Mr. Firbank, at the end of 1882, he took charge of the Completion of this contract and made the final measurements.

In May, 1883, Mr. Hopkinson proceeded to the Cape, where he was employed on the completion of the Grahanzstown and Port Alfred Railway, a line 43 miles in length involving some heavy work and an expenditure of £300,000. He designed and erected all the temporary bridges and had charge of the locomotive and rolling-stock. From September, 1884, to November, 1885, he was engaged on the construction of the Queenstown and Aliwal North Railway, 90 miles in length.

Mr. Hopkinson left South Africa at the end of 1885, and early in the following year proceeded to the Argentine Republic to take up an appointment as District Engineer on the Buenos Ayres Great Southern Railway. His ability, energy, and success in the management of men were soon recognized and he was placed in charge of the most important section of the line. The services of contractors were dispensed with and the Company itself carried out the construction of new branches and extensions. Mr. Hopkinson had completed the branch from Canuelas to Lobos and was proceeding with other extensions, when he died suddenly at Buenos Ayres on the 27th of September, 1892, from aneurism of the heart.

Mr. Hopkinson owed his position to a combination of indomitable perseverance and great self-reliance; and there can be little doubt that his early death cut short a career of much promise.

He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution on the 18th of May, 1886.


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