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John Charles Homfray Darby

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John Charles Homfray Darby (1864-1922)

1923 Obituary [1]

JOHN CHARLES HOMFRAY DARBY was born on the 28th July, 1864, and received his early education at Twyford, near Winchester. From there he went to Charterhouse, where he remained until 1881.

He entered the service of the Eastern Extension Australasia and China Telegraph Company, Ltd., in April 1883, as a telegraph operator, in which capacity he served at Cape St. James (Indo-China), Haiphong (Tonquin), Shanghai and Foochow.

Having early shown a marked electrical ability, he was promoted in 1887 to the position of assistant electrician on the staff of the company's cable-repairing steamers stationed at Singapore, later becoming electrician in charge of a cable steamer.

In July 1909 he became assistant manager of the company's cable factory at Singapore, to the managership of which he was appointed two years later. He held this position until he retired from the service in June 1921.

To his energy, resource, fitness and conscientious work are largely due the very successful results obtained at the factory, at which the supply of cable necessary for repairs of the company's system was steadily maintained throughout the war.

With the late Mr. H. K. C. Fisher he edited a very valuable book entitled "Students' Guide to Submarine Cable Testing," which has proved a very great help to telegraphists all over the world, and which has been adopted as one of the textbooks in the syllabus for staff examinations of many cable companies. He was also an artist and many of his paintings of scenes and life in the Far East have been shown at art exhibitions in Australia and Singapore. His pleasing personality and his readiness to help others endeared him to all his colleagues, by whom his departure from active service in the East was much regretted, and his decease, so soon after his retirement, on the 21st August, 1922, was deeply lamented.

He was elected an Associate of the Institution in 1883 and a Member in 1913

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