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Cyril Hitchcock

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Cyril Hitchcock (1866-1931), Railway engineer.

1931 Obituary [1]

CYRIL HITCHCOCK was a distinguished railway engineer in India, and in 1909 read a paper before the Institution on the standardization of locomotives in India.

He was born in 1866, and in 1888 completed a five years' apprenticeship at Swindon locomotive works.

He was subsequently employed by Messrs. Hawthorn, Leslie and Company in their locomotive drawing office, and later by Messrs. Maudslay, Sons and Field on the erection of engines on battleships at Pembroke, Portsmouth, and Chatham.

In 1889 he was appointed resident engineer at a tin mine in Bohemia to carry out schemes for pumping out flooded workings. In the following year he was appointed assistant locomotive, carriage, and wagon superintendent on the North Western Railway of India. He became captain of the North Western Railway (India) Volunteer Rifles, and during the Indian frontier wars of 1897 was in charge of Rawalpindi locomotive district.

Mr. Hitchcock resigned the Indian service in July 1902 for reasons of health, and was appointed to the inspecting staff of Sir Alexander Rendel and Company, at Glasgow.

In the following year he was engaged as assistant to Messrs. Rendel and Robertson on the design of locomotives and rolling-stock for the Indian railways.

In 1909 Mr. Hitchcock joined Mr. Robert White, consulting engineer to the Great Indian Peninsula Railway Company and the [[South Indian Railway|South Indian Railway Company]], as chief assistant in charge of the office and inspection staff employed upon the Great Indian Peninsula Railway Company's work, and in that capacity was responsible for the specifications, design, and inspection of all railway plant and materials sent from home to the railway, including bridges and structural work, workshop machinery, and electrical plant.

In 1919 he was taken into partnership by Mr. White, and the designation of the firm was subsequently changed to "Robert White and Partners." He retired from the firm at the end of 1930. Mr. Hitchcock served on sub-committees of the British Engineering Standards Association.

He had been a Member of the Institution since 1896 and was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

He died on 24th March 1931.

1931 Obituary[2]


A well-known figure has passed away from railway and locomotive circles in the regretted death, at the age of 64, of Mr. Cyril Hitchcock. From his considerable experience in India, and his subsequent connection with Messrs. Rendel and Robertson and Mr. Robert White, he came into contact with a very large number of engineers of both the older and younger schools, and made among them a very wide circle of friends.

Born in 1866, heTserved his apprenticeship at the Swindon works of the Great Western Railway, under Mr. W. Dean. His five years there extended from 1883 to 1888, when he left to enlarge his experience by serving as a locomotive draughtsman with Messrs. Hawthorne, Leslie and Company, Newcastle-on-Tyne. Subsequently, he obtained experience of marine work under Messrs. Maudslay, Sons and Field on battleships at the Royal Dockyards. In 1889, he was appointed resident engineer at the St. Mauritius Tin Mines, Bohemia, and was responsible for a scheme of un-watering flooded workings, employing a hydro-electric, installation and motor-driven pumps.

In 1890, he commenced the connection with India which was destined to continue until quite recently, when he retired. In the year in question, he was appointed to the North-Western Railway of India as an assistant locomotive, carriage and wagon superintendent, in which grade he continued for over seven years, when he was transferred to that of district locomotive and carriage superintendent. During the five) years or so he spent in the latter, he had charge of, various districts, and also of the workshops at Lahore, &e. His duties also, at one time or another, were concerned with the Indus river steamers, oil; mills, briquetting plant, &e. He acted as deputy chief locomotive superintendent on inspection tours and at headquarters, and during this term had charge of Rawalpindi during Frontier wars, when it served' several military bases. In this particular connection, he was awarded a bonus, and given promotion, besides; being specially thanked by the Government for his; services in connection with mobilisation.

He returned to England for reasons of health, and soon afterwards became attached to Sir A. M. Rendel and Company’s staff, in connection with inspection! work for the Indian railways. After some little time on this, he was, in 1903, called up to the head office in Westminster, and was engaged on inspection work, specifications, &e., for Indian contracts, on which work his experience of that country naturally proved' of great service.

In 1909, Mr. Hitchcock was appointed chief assistant, to Mr. Robert White, consulting engineer to the Great Indian Peninsular and South Indian Railway companies, acting as chief of the inspection staff, and being responsible for specifications for all classes of; materials, including machinery, bridges, electrical plant, and so on. In 1919, he was taken into partnership, the firm being then named Messrs. Robert White and Partners.

Mr. Hitchcock did much useful work as a member of the British Engineering Standards Committees of various kinds connected with railway materials. He was connected in a very special sense with the first steps; taken to introduce locomotives of standard design into India, and, in 1909, read a paper before the Institution of Mechanical Engineers which surveyed this subject up' till the time of the first standard specifications. He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1907, and a full member in 1910. He was also a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and of the Association of Consulting Engineers."

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