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Joseph Henry Stanhope

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Joseph Henry Stanhope (c1865-1941) of the Post Office

1942 Obituary [1]

JOSEPH HENRY STANHOPE passed away at Harrogate on the 21st December, 1941, at the age of 76.

He entered the Post Office as a telegraphist at Leeds in 1880 and, after technical study at evening classes, was promoted to the rank of sub-engineer, Engineering Department, on 1st August, 1896, being one of a number of promising officers selected to supervise the re-arrangement and extension of the telephone trunk system which had been acquired from the National Telephone Co. in April of that year: in this connection he was engaged for nearly two years in Scotland and the North of England.

Promotion to an engineership followed in 1898 and, after service at Bradford, he was again promoted when the late Sir John Gavey, C.B., brought together a specially qualified staff to undertake the engineering work involved by the establishment of the Post Office London Telephone System. He was entrusted with the charge of the new Central Exchange in the Carter Lane building taken over from the Savings Bank Department, and during the years that followed he was responsible for the supervision of many important developments arising out of the rapid expansion of the telephone service in Central London, which involved much intricate transfer work, including that connected with the opening of the City Exchange, for the successful completion of which he was thanked by the Postmaster General. Advancement to the rank of Assistant Superintending Engineer in the London Engineering District followed in 1916, and in this capacity he rendered eminently good service until his retirement at the age of 60 in 1925.

A life of leisure, however, offered no appeal to him and he immediately accepted the post of Engineer-Manager of the States of Jersey Telephone System which had become vacant by the death of an old colleague, Mr. A. T. Kinsey. He held this position for 15 years, during which time he made many improvements in the service. He stuck to his post until it was clear that the island would fall to the Germans and, accompanied by his housekeeper, he was fortunate in finding room on the last boat to leave before the island was seized. Like many others, he lost heavily by the forced evacuation and, although he retained his native sturdiness of outlook and keen sense of humour, it was soon evident that the shock had seriously impaired his health, so that the last year of his life, spent at Harrogate, was one of more or less continuous indisposition.

He was elected a Member of The Institution in 1926.

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