Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Civil engineer. Robert Clarke, a son of S.G.B. Clarke, a solicitor of Dromore, Co. Down, was born on 27 or 28 September 1889 and educated at Campbell College, Belfast. From 1907 until 1910 he studied engineering at Queen's University, Belfast, from which he graduated with the BE degree. He served a one-year pupilage with HENRY ALBERT CUTLER HENRY ALBERT CUTLER , Belfast city engineer, from 1910 to 1911 and spent a further three years as an engineering assistant in Cutler's office. He fought in the First World War - at Gallipoli, in Egypt and in France - between 1914 and 1917, when he was invalided out in consequence of wounds. After the war he returned to his former post in Belfast for a year befire joining the staff of W.J. Campbell & Sons, Belfast, to work on Belfast aerodrome. In 1919 he became assistant to KENDRICK EDWARDS  KENDRICK EDWARDS and the following year was appointed draughtsman and assistant technical officer to the Ministry of Labour Industrial training department before returning again to the Belfast city engineer's office in 1922. In 1924 he was appointed town surveyor and water engineer for Lisburn. Complaints against him in this capacity were the subject of a brief notice in the Irish Builder in 1927,(1) despite the fact that he had provided Lisburn with 'one of the purest and most ample' water supplies in the north of Ireland only two years previously.(2)

During the Second World War, from 1941, Clarke served in the Royal Engineers as a design officer and garrison engineer for the Northern Ireland division, his duties as town surveyor being carried out in his absence by ROBERT FERGUSON. ROBERT FERGUSON. (3) In January 1942 the Irish Builder noted that he had been promoted to the rank of captain.(4) He returned to his post at Lisburn after the war but had left it in 1950, when he moved to Wales. He had moved to Lymington by 1957 and to East Barnet, Hertfordshire, by 1982.

ICEI: elected member, 7 Dec 1931.(5)
Inst.CE: elected associate member, 14 December 1915; ceased membership after 1951 and disappears from roll between 1957 and 1959.

Addresses:(6) 95 Malone Avenue, Windsor, Belfast, 1911;  42 Railway Street, Lisburn, <=1933-1938; Knockmore House, Ballinderry Road, Lisburn, 1939->=1943; 5 Park Parade, Lisburn, 1945-1950; 77 Higher West Cross Lane, West Cross, Mumbles, Swansea, 1950-c.1954; 6 Daniell's Walk, Lymington, Hampshire, 1957; 19 West Walk, Barnet, Hertfordshire, c.1982.


All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the records of the Institution of Civil Engineers, kindly supplied by Mrs Carol Morgan and from the records of Campbell College, Belfast, kindly supplied by Keith Haines.

(1) IB 79, ? ? 1937, 566.
(2) IB 77, 1 Jun 1935, 456.
(3) IB 84, 3 Jan 1942, 12.
(4) IB 84, 17 Jan 1942, 33.
(5) ICEI List of Members, June 1942.
(5) TICEI 58 (1931-1932), 42.
(6) From Inst.CE records, TICEI lists of members and Campbell College records unless otherwise stated.
(6) 1911 Census, http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1911/Antrim/Windsor_Ward/Malone_Avenue/169589/ (last visted Mar 2009).