Eimer 1206, BHM 1328.
58mm. By W.Wyon.
Obverse with bust of Telford, reverse showing view of the Menai suspension bridge. Edge inscribed 'Telford Premium, 1887, John George Gamble, M.A M.Inst, C.E'.
About as Struck with magnificent toning.
Excerpts from his obituary - JOHN GEORGE GAMBLE, eldest son of Dr. Harpur Gamble, R.N., was born on the 22nd of January, 1842. After private tuition, he went in 1854 to the Royal Naval School, New Cross, where he remained until 1859, when he obtained a Mathematical Demyship at Magdalen College, Oxford. Some years later he obtained the Gold Medal for the Johnson Memorial Prize Essay, the subject being the 'Laws of Wind.' Mr. Gamble remained at Oxford after taking his degree and, amongst other work, for some time took the Mathematical Lectures at Lincoln College. In 1866 he became a pupil of Mr. (afterwards Sir) John Hawkshaw and was soon sent to the works of the New Albert Dock at Hull, of which J.C Hawkshaw was the Resident Engineer.
Mr. Gamble at the end of 1870 was appointed by Mr. Hawkshaw Resident Engineer of the new intercepting and outfall sewers at Brighton, an account of which he presented to the institution. In 1874 Sir John Hawkshaw was requested by the Government of Brazil to advise as to several of the important harbours in that country, and Mr. Gamble, with the late James Graham, an experienced surveyor, went, with two assistants, Mr. Murray and Mr. Hamilton Dobson, to collect the information Sir John Hawkshaw required. The harbours specially to be reported on were Maranhao, Ceara, Recife or Pernambuco, the mouth of the Parahyba River leading to Campos, and Rio Grande do Sul. The staff left England in July, 1874, and went first to Pernambuco. Mr. Graham and the two assistants devoted themselves especially to the land surveys while Mr. Gamble undertook the soundings, borings and the collection of information as to tides and currents and as to the materials to be found. At Ceara Mr. Murray was taken ill of yellow fever and died. Mr. Graham was overcome by the heat and had to return, first to Pernambuco and then to Europe; and while Mr. Gamble and Mr. Hamilton Dobson were on the voyage to Pernambuco Mr. Dobson was taken ill and died. Mr. Gamble was thus left alone to complete the work at the two important southern rivers.
Mr. Gamble returned to England in April, 1875, and was engaged for some little time in bringing together the results of his work. Sir John Hawkshaw’s report was made in July. Immediately after this Mr. Gamble was appointed Hydraulic Engineer to the Government of Cape Colony, where he arrived in October, 1875, studying the Dutch language on the voyage. He at once made an extended tour through the northern districts, embodying the information obtained in a series of valuable reports on which useful legal enactments have since been based. At Port Elizabeth, which he next visited, the Municipality carried out works in accordance with his recommendations, the result being that Port Elizabeth possesses the finest waterworks in South Africa. These formed the subject of a Paper read before the Institution in 1883. Among the various town water supplies, in addition to that of Port Elizabeth already referred to, carried out under Mr. Gamble’s supervision, were those of King William’s Town, East London, Queenstown, Somerset East, Riversdale and Graaff Reinet. These and other works in the Colony were described in a Paper presented to the Institution in 1887.
In 1878 Mr. Gamble married Miss Constance Brounger, daughter of Mr. W. G. Brounger, Engineering Chief for the Cape Government Railways, and had three daughters. On the abolition of his office in 1886 he returned to England. Consequent on the Report of a Royal Commission, consisting of the late Sir James Allport, Mr. Abernethy, Mr. J. Wolfe Barry and Mr, J. T. Pim, on Public Works in Ireland, the Government determined in July, 1887, to appoint a Chief Hydraulic Engineer. Mr. Gamble received the post and at once took up his duties, which consisted in the first place in preparing plans for application to Parliament in regard to the Rivers Barrow, Bann and Shannon. In the autumn of 1889 he was attacked by typhoid fever, which, after an illness of forty-eight days, proved fatal on the 7th of November.
Combining in a rare degree of excellence great mental gifts, diligently trained in the pursuit of truth, with a singular sweetness and modesty of character, Mr. Gamble, at every stage of his career, secured the esteem of those with whom he worked. His death called forth many sincere expressions of sorrow when it became known in South Africa; at home, a memorial from his Irish staff took the appropriate form of a contribution to the capital of the Benevolent Fund of, the Institution.
Mr. Gamble was elected an Associate of the Institution on the 7th of December, 1869, and was transferred to the class of Member on the 28th of November, 1876. For the Papers above referred to he was awarded a Telford Medal and three Telford Premiums.