Thomas Upton

Thomas Upton (1889-1956) civil engineer and public servant
A founding associate (1919) and member (1922) of the Institution of Engineers, Australia Thomas Upton worked for many decades for Killara Congregational Church.  Upton was appointed a life deacon. He held offices in the Congregational Union of New South Wales and the World Council of Churches, and was a councillor of Sydney City Mission.

Thomas Upton, civil engineer and public servant, was born on 2 June 1889 at Collingwood, Melbourne, eldest of three children of Victorian-born parents.

When World War I broke out, Upton was granted leave. Enlisting in the British Army in September 1914, he was posted to the Royal Naval Division as a sapper. On 6 December he was appointed temporary lieutenant, Royal Engineers. He served on the Western Front with its 130th Field Company until he was wounded in February 1916 and evacuated to England. Back in action with the 74th Field Company, R.E., from August, he was again wounded, in March 1917, and brought to England to recover. He was attached to the R.E. Bridging School, Aire (later Monchy Cayeux), France, in December as acting captain. From March 1918 he performed staff duties at General Headquarters; his responsibilities, still related to bridging, encompassed the wider field of route selection and the design of special structures. In October 1918 he returned to the Bridging School as chief instructor. He was thrice mentioned in dispatches (1916, 1918 and 1919). Demobilized from the army in April 1919, he was appointed O.B.E. that year.

Having rejoined the Victorian Country Roads Board, Upton completed his assignment, which had been interrupted by the war, by returning to Australia via the U.S.A. From September 1919 to February 1922 he was engaged in work associated with major roads in Victoria. A significant bridge over the Barwon River at Moorabool Street, Geelong, was designed and built under his supervision. In early 1920, with William Calder, chairman of the C.R.B., and Professor Henry Payne, he sat on a committee that judged designs for a bridge over the River Yarra at Church Street, Richmond. On 26 October 1921 he married Jessie Toon Smith (d.1922) with Methodist forms at her home at Kew. While senior lecturer (from 1922) in civil engineering at the university, he undertook a survey of the State’s road-making materials and established a road-materials testing laboratory.

A founding associate (1919) and member (1922) of the Institution of Engineers, Australia, Upton joined its board of examiners in 1932. Representing (1939-54) the Sydney division on the council, he was elected a vice-president in 1944 and president in 1946. He chaired (1948-56) the Standards Association of Australia. Upton was awarded the Kernot and (Sir) Peter Nicol Russell medals, respectively by the University of Melbourne in 1947 and by the I.E.A. in 1949. The University of Western Australia conferred on him an honorary doctorate of engineering in 1949.

For his work over many decades for Killara Congregational Church, Upton was appointed a life deacon. He held offices in the Congregational Union of New South Wales and the World Council of Churches, and was a councillor of Sydney City Mission. Retaining the moustache and bearing that reflected his military experience, he was a warm-hearted man, deeply interested in his fellows and in the team he gathered about him.

Source : http://adbonline.anu.edu.au/biogs/A160520b.htm

refer also Henry Payne https://atributetoaustralianchristians.wordpress.com/2011/01/11/henry-payne/

and William Calder   https://atributetoaustralianchristians.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/william-calder/

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