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John Hamilton (1889-1948)

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John Hamilton (1889-1948)

1949 Obituary [1]

"Lt.-Colonel JOHN HAMILTON, D.S.O., B.E., was born in London in 1889. After receiving a general education at the Sydney Grammar School he served a five years' apprenticeship at the Locomotives Workshops of the New South Wales Government Railways at Eveleigh, receiving his indentures in 1909.

His first position was with H. I. Clements and Co, where he had experience in making components for, and the repairing of, automobiles. In 1910 he entered the Engineering School at the University of Sydney, where he graduated B.E. in 1914. He then entered the Chief Mechanical Engineer's Office of the New South Wales Government Railways, but at the outbreak of the world war in that year he enlisted and sailed for France with the 1st Divisional Ammunition Park, holding the rank of Captain.

At the conclusion of the war, by which time he held the rank of Major, he returned to Australia as representative for Clayton Shuttleworth, Ltd., but in 1923 he resigned and came to England as manager of the Western Counties Haulage Company of Bath.

Four years later he returned to Sydney and joined the Department of Main Roads as civil engineer. He was put in charge of the Peats Ferry Section of the Pacific Highway, which was then being constructed from Sydney to Newcastle. After this he was transferred to the Main Roads Depot at Rosehill near Sydney, where he became engineer-in-charge. In 1932 he was appointed technical adviser to the Department of Road Transport and Tramways, Sydney, at which time there were no omnibuses owned by the New South Wales Government, but a year later the Department took over 150 feeder 'buses and placed orders for new ones to their own requirements. Mr. Hamilton became Engineer-in-Charge of the Technical Section of the Department of Road Transport, and his duties, in addition to the 'bus section, included control of automatic signals at road intersections, traffic markings on roads, technical matters associated with registration and taxation of motor vehicles and other activities in connection with road transport vehicles. In 1935 he was appointed Engineer for Motor Transport, and Engineer for Omnibuses in 1937.

Immediately on the outbreak of war in 1939, Mr. Hamilton again enlisted and attained the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. Owing to failing health he returned to the Department of Road Transport. By 1948 the fleet of 'buses under his control had grown to 666, with another 745 new 'buses on order.

He was a member of the Institution of Automobile Engineers for thirty-seven years, having joined in 1911 as a Graduate and later transferring to the grade of Associate Membership. In 1938 he became a full member. He, with four other members, inaugurated the Australian Centre of the Institution of Automobile Engineers in February 1935, at Sydney. He was at all times keenly interested in I.A.E. matters, was on the committee for many years, and held office as Chairman in the 1939-40 and 1947-48 sessions. His clear thinking and wise counsel were always appreciated by members of the centre. He was a foundation member of the Institution of Engineers Australia, a member of the Sydney Division Committee, and Chairman of the Aeronautical Engineering Branch in 1935. His interests took him into the sphere of local government and he had been an Alderman of the Kuringai Municipality for eight years and was a member of several committees. His hobbies were his home, his garden, and his workshop. He died at his home at Turramurra, near Sydney, on 21st July 1948."

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