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Frederick William Sedgwick

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Professor Frederick William Sedgwick (c1870-1920)

1920 Obituary [1]

REDERICK WILLIAM SEDGWICK died at Roorkee on the 22nd March, 1920, at the comparatively early age of 50.

His death caused a serious loss to the senior ranks of the Indian Educational Service in the United Provinces, India, where for 22 years he had held the post of Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Thomason Civil Engineering College.

He was the only son of the late Lieut.-Colonel W. H. Sedgwick, and was born in Dublin. He received his early school education near Oxford and later at Trinity College, Dublin, and Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he took mathematical honours. Subsequently he served an apprenticeship with a firm of electrical engineers and worked for a time on the staff at Seafield Park.

In 1897 he was selected by the Secretary of State for India to fill the newly-created post of Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Engineering College at Roorkee, which was being re-organized at that time in accordance with the recommendations of the Colvin Committee. The Thomason College was really an Indian forerunner of Cooper's Hill founded about 1847. The great advances in engineering education which took place in England during the 'seventies and 'eighties rendered necessary some modification of the original purpose and scope of the College at Roorkee. Consequently, no light task confronted Professor Sedgwick on his arrival in India, and during the 22 years which he spent at Roorkee his energies were whole-heartedly devoted to the educational interests of the institution whose staff he had joined.

Though not a strong man physically, he never spared himself where the interests of his work were concerned. His advent marked an epoch in the life of the college, at which he strove to lay the foundations of a modern school of engineering.

His work was handicapped by difficulties incident to educational work in India, but that he achieved no small measure of success was clearly shown in an appreciative notice which accompanied the announcement of his untimely death in the United Provinces Government Gazette. He was a man of varied interests and considerable charm of social manner, which will cause his loss to be deeply regretted in a wide circle of acquaintances, pupils and colleagues. To his personal friends the circumstances of his very sudden end appeared especially tragic, since he died after a very brief illness within a few weeks of the date on which he was to have taken furlough to England, where his wife and children were awaiting his arrival.

He was elected an Associate of the Institution in 1894 and a Member in 1911.

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