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John Henry Johns

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John Henry Johns (1857-1932)


1932 Obituary [1]

JOHN HENRY JOHNS was an authority on gold mining engineering and had been responsible for the management of several important mining companies in India and South Africa. His exceptional ability was the means of bringing about one of the great successes of the South African Mining Groups in his capacity of general manager of the Ferreira Gold Mining Company of Johannesburg during 1889-1892.

Mr. Johns came from a mining family at St. Hilary, Cornwall, where he was born in 1857. He commenced his training in 1869 with Messrs. Wheal, Bassett and Grylls in their South Wheal, Crofty, and Dolcoath Mines.

From 1879 to 1881 he also attended the School of Mines, Camborne, and the Royal School of Mines, London.

In 1881 he was appointed general manager of the Nine Reefs Gold Mine, South India, and in 1888 was engaged by Messrs. Wernher, Beit and Company of London to inspect and report upon and subsequently manage several of their mines in South Africa.

In succeeding years Mr. Johns was also consulting engineer and general manager to several other important mining companies, including the Johannesburg Consolidated Investment Company (Barnato Group).

During 1907-1908 he served on a Government Commission on Mines, and was also a member of the Committee on the establishment of a Mines Training School in the Transvaal.

Mr. Johns had been a Member of the Institution since 1907, and he was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

He died on 23rd November 1932.


1933 Obituary [2]

JOHN HENRY JOHNS, who died at Bordighera, Italy, on the 23rd November, 1932, was the second son of James Johns, Mining Engineer, of Camborne, and was born at St. Hilary, Cornwall, on the 5th December, 1857.

He was educated at the Camborne School of Mines and the Royal School of Mines, London, and obtained practical mining experience at the Wheal Bassett and other mines in Cornwall.

In 1881 he went to India as Engineer and Manager of the Nine Reefs gold mine and was engaged in that capacity for 7 years.

In 1889 he went to South Africa, where the remainder of his active engineering career was spent. His first work there (1889-93) was the management of the works of the Ferreira Gold Mining Company, and from 1893 to 1901 he was General Manager of that company, and of the Wemmer Gold Mining Company, as well as Consulting Engineer to the Worcester Gold Mining Company.

In 1901 he was appointed Consulting Engineer to the important group of gold mines controlled by Messrs. Barnato Bros. and the Johannesburg Consolidated Investment Corporation, and he continued to hold that position until 1910.

He was President of the South African Association of Engineers, 1892-1902, and was a member of the Mine Managers Examining Board in South Africa. From 1913 until 1924 he was the representative of The Institution on the Board of Governors of the School of Metalliferous Mining (Cornwall). In 1881 he was awarded the medal of the Miners’ Association of Cornwall and Devon.

Mr. Johns was elected as an Associate Member of The Institution on the 5th December, 1893, and was transferred to the class of Members on the 19th April, 1904. From 1906 to 1908 he served as the Member of Council resident in South Africa.

He married, in 1884, the eldest daughter of Mr. H. Trembath, J.P., of Penzance, who survived him, and by whom be had one son and two daughters.



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