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List of Projects

TONKIN, Wilfred Wiseman

Born: 1875 01 22
Died: ?


Year registered: 1927

LRIBA Johannesburg 1911

Was born in Frome, Somerset, England and educated at Rydal Mount College. He served articles with Silcock & Reay, architects in Bath, becoming their chief assistant architect. He left England for South Africa in 1898, arriving in Durban where he acted as chief assistant architect in turn to FYFE, KENT & PRICE and William LUCAS. In 1902 he joined the PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT in Pretoria, becoming chief draughtsman under T TYRWHITT, ARIBA. In 1907 he was transferred to District Staffs organization as chief draughtsman; he was appointed Assistant Engineer in March 1908 and 2nd grade District Engineer, Cradock, in April 1912, in charge of PWD districts in several parts of the Union from January 1912. He remained in Cradock for some time, retiring from public service in January 1933 and moving to Bloemfontein where he set up independent practice in an office in St Andrew's Street in 1933, principally, it seems, as Gordon LEITH's supervising architect on the Bloemfontein City Hall to which job he was appointed by Leith in 1933. He was awarded the King's Silver Jubilee Medal 1935 and was Vice-President-in-Chief of the Institute of South African Architects 1940 and President-in-Chief in 1941.

(CSL Tvl 1905:98; ISAA mem list; LRIBA nom papers (1911) 1635; PSL 1914:254; SAAR May 1930:27; SAAR May 1935:132; SAB Apr 1934:23; SAB Jul 1940:43; SAWW 1908, 1910; UTD 1915)

All truncated references not fully cited in 'References' are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

List of projects

With photographs
With notes

General Post Office: 1897 : 1905. Johannesburg, Gauteng - Design Architect 1905
National Hospital: 1933. Bloemfontein, Free State - Architect

Books citing TONKIN

Benjamin, Arnold. 1979. Lost Johannesburg. Johannesburg: Macmillan South Africa (Publishers) (Pty) Ltd. pp 68

Brown, SM. 1969. Architects and others: an annotated list of people of South African interest appearing in the RIBA Journal 1880-1925. Johannesburg: Unpublished dissertation, University of the Witwatersrand. pp

Walker, Michael. 2013. The pioneer architects of Johannesburg and their buildings (1886 - 1899) with postcard illustrations. St James: The Kalk Bay Historical Association. pp 20