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John Hubert Worthington

(4 July 1886  26 July 1963)


Worthington was born at Chorley, Alderley Edge, the youngest son of the architect Thomas Worthington. He was educated at Sedbergh School from 19001905 and then at the Manchester University school of architecture, before being articled to his half-brother Percy. From 1912 until the outbreak of the First World War, Worthington spent two years working with Edwin Lutyens, whom Worthington found to be inspirational.

Worthington fought with distinction as a captain in the Manchester Regiment, and was severely wounded on 1 July 1916 during the offensive on the Somme, but he survived overnight in a shell hole and was rescued the following day. He rejoined Percy in the family firm in 1919.


In 1929 Worthington was appointed Slade lecturer in architecture at Oxford University, and later designed many buildings for the university and its colleges, as well as the internal restoration of the Radcliffe Camera in 1939 and the Bodleian Library in 1955. Following Percy Worthington's death in 1939 Hubert became the principal of the firm. In 1943 Worthington was appointed by the Imperial War Graves Commission as principal architect for Egypt and north Africa, work that involved the selection of sites and the design and supervision of the various cemeteries and memorials to the missing, among them one at Valletta, Malta, to missing airmen. The cemetery at El Alamein, which contains more than 7,000 graves, was also designed by Worthington. His major rebuilding commission was the inns of court, London, work carried out jointly with Sir Edward Maufe and T. W. Sutcliffe. Of more personal interest to Worthington was his work on repairing the damage caused to Manchester Cathedral during the Manchester Blitz of 1940, a task that was not completed until 1955.


Worthington served as vice-president of the RIBA from 19435 and was a member of the Royal Fine Arts Commission from 19451950. He received a knighthood in 1949, was elected an associate member of the Royal Academy in 1945, and an Academician of the Society in 1955.



El Alamein War Cemetery



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