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Herbert Julyan Donkin

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Herbert Julyan Donkin (c1886-1939)

1939 Obituary [1]

"HERBERT JULYAN DONKIN, M.B.E., came from a long line of eminent engineers. He was educated at St. Paul's School, Kensington, and at the University of London.

In 1908, having completed a two years' apprenticeship with the Simms Manufacturing Co, of Kilburn, he joined Messrs. Humphreys and Glasgow, of Westminster, and was engaged in the drawing office, on the erection of carburetted water gas plant. From 1910 to 1912 he was engineer in charge of contracts carried out by Messrs. Woodall and Duckham, of Westminster, in connection with the installation of vertical retorts for the carbonization of coal. He then went to Ceylon as mechanical engineer to the Public Works Department of Colombo Municipality, but resigned the appointment in 1915 and received a commission in the Royal Engineers, with whom he served for three years in Mesopotamia.

During the Great War he attained the rank of lieutenant-colonel and was later gazetted major, a rank he held until his death. In 1918-19 he was Assistant Director of Works at Kutel-Amara. Subsequently he was transferred to the North-West Frontier Force, becoming Assistant Director of Works at Khyber Pass. Here he carried out important work in installing a series of reservoirs and pumping stations to provide water supply to the Khyber Pass; this removed one of the principal difficulties of military operations in that region.

During 1920-21 Mr. Donkin held an appointment with Messrs. Humphreys and Glasgow, but returned to India in the latter year upon his appointment as superintending engineer (electrical and mechanical) of the Public Works Department, Delhi. He was responsible for all mechanical and electrical work carried out in the Province, and constructed and equipped three new pumping stations for New Delhi. On his retirement from this position in 1934 he accepted the position of general manager of the Delhi Electric Supply and Traction Company, Ltd., which he occupied until his death on 20th July 1939, in his fifty-third year. He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1912 and was transferred to Membership in 1922."

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