Dr. Herbert Lapworth (1875-1933)
"THE LATE DR. HERBERT LAPWORTH.
Dr. Herbert Lapworth, who, we regret to state, died on September 18, at the early age of 58, had been in practice in Westminster for many years as a consulting water and geological engineer. The younger son of Professor Charles Lapworth, F.R.S., he was born on June 6, 1875, and received his general educational at Five Ways Grammar School, Birmingham, passing on to Birmingham University to study engineering. After gaining the B.Sc. degree, he became a pupil of the late Mr. James Mansergh, F.R.S., in 1894. Three years later he was appointed assistant resident engineer on contract No. 3 of the Birmingham Elan Valley water-supply scheme, involving the construction of an aqueduct 13 miles long. In 1900, the young engineer was placed in charge of the works in connection with the building of the Neuadd Dam of the Merthyr Tydfil waterworks, hut some twelve months later returned to the Midlands to conduct surveys for a main aqueduct, dam sites, filter beds, and a service reservoir, for the Derwent Valley Water Board. During the succeeding five or six years, he personally carried out or supervised a large number of designs and contract schedules, and, in 1906, was appointed resident engineer on a contract comprising 8 miles of aqueduct, 6 acres of filters, and a reservoir.
In 1910, Mr. Lapworth opened a private practice in Westminster as a civil and geological engineer. He' undertook to advise local authorities on water-supply questions, both from the engineering and the geological aspects, and designed and completed many water schemes and also carried through a good deal of Parliamentary work in connection with Water Bills. During the war he advised and reported upon the water supply to various military camps, and also served for a time at the Ministry of Munitions. A former student of the Institution of Civil Engineers, he became an associate member on April 8, 1902, and ten years later, on January 9, 1912, during which time he had gained the D.Sc. degree of Birmingham University, he became a full member of the Institution. As a student member 'he read a paper dealing with the “ Construction of the Elan Aqueduct,” on March 10, 1899, for which he was awarded the James Forrest Medal and a Miller Prize. During the 1907—8 session, he delivered two lectures, on “ The Principles of Engineering Geology,” before the students of the Institution, and for this work he received a Telford Gold Medal. Dr. Lapworth was for many years a member of the Association of Consulting Engineers, a fellow of the Geological Society, and a member of the Institution of Water Engineers. He served as president of the latter body during the years 1927—1928, and was also a past secretary and member of council of the Geological Society."
* 1933 Obituary 
Civil engineers and geologists alike will learn with regret of the death of Dr. Herbert Lapworth, which took place recently at his home at Sutton at the age of fifty-eight. Herbert Lapworth received his education at King Edward VI School, at Birmingham, and at the University of Birmingham, and was a pupil of the late James Mansergh, with whom he was engaged on the Elan Valley water supply scheme. During this period he carried out t h e field work, which he later embodied in an important paper on "The Silurian Sequence of Rhayader," published by the Geological Society of London.
After spending some years as resident engineer to various water supply schemes, Dr. Lapworth came to London in 1910, and soon came to be recognised as an outstanding authority on geology as applied to civil engineering. His 1907-8 lectures to the students of the Institution of Civil Engineers on "The Principles of Engineering Geology," will be remembered as models of lucidity and for the knowledge they embodied. Dr. Lapworth was called upon to report upon design and supervise many water supply undertakings, and he also served on several technical committees. He was a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, a Past-president of the Institution of Water Engineers, a member of the Association of Consulting Engineers, and a Past-secretary of the Geological Society. He had a charm of character which endeared him to a wide circle of friends, who will keenly feel his loss.
Sources of Information
- Engineering 1933/09/29
- The Engineer 1933/09/29