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Henry Kemp

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Henry Kemp (1839-1895)

1895 Obituary [1]

HENRY KEMP, son of Mr. George Kemp of Cricklewood, was born on the 9th of August, 1839. Both as regards preliminary training and subsequent professional work Mr. Kemp’s career was typical of that of many another English engineer during the transition period, now nearly gone by, between the making of foreign railways by English engineers and contractors, and the execution of those works by native enterprise.

Intended at first, for the naval profession, Mr. Kemp made a voyage or two to South, America, but abandoning the ideal of becoming a sailor, he next served a pupilage of four years to Edmund Smith and Sons, Engineers and Government Contractors, where he acquired practical experience in the carrying out of large works.

He then obtained a position on Sir John Fowler’s engineering staff and was engaged on the construction of the Metropolitan Railway.

Tiring of office work he relinquished this position, and joining the staff of Messrs. Piercy, went out to Sardinia on the surveys of the Royal Sardinian Railway.

On his return to this country he was employed on railway construction works in Wales and subsequently on fortification work for the War Office, after which he again went abroad as engineer for Waring Brothers on the Hungarian Railways.

In 1871 Mr. Kemp rejoined Sir John Fowler’s staff, and was chiefly engaged in Nubia on the surveys of the more remote desert portion of the Soudan Railway.

After short professional expeditions to Spain and Russia, he returned to Egypt on irrigation studies, and then, abandoning for a time a wandering life, he entered as a partner a Continental bridge-building firm.

In 1881, however, he resumed his old work and became engineer-in-chief of the Haida Pacha and of the Smyrna and Cassaba Railway. That position he held until about two years before his death, which took place on the 29th January, 1895, after only a few days’ illness from pneumonia, followed by failure of the heart.

Mr. Kemp’s experience of the world was wide and he was a worthy representative of English engineers. He made many and lost few friends, and his death will be keenly felt by not a few of the less fortunate members of the profession whom he was always ready to befriend, either at home or abroad.

He was elected an Associate Member on the 4th of March, 1879, and was transferred to the class of Member on the 25th of November, 1884.

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