A Chronology of
Brigadier General Arthur Benison Hubback’s Life
Birth of Arthur Benison Hubback in No. 74, Rodney Street, Liverpool, Lancashire to Joseph Hubback (b.1814–d.1882), merchant and Lord Mayor of the Borough of Liverpool (b.1869-d.1870) and his 3rd wife, Georgina, née Eliott-Lockhart (1)
Baptism ceremony at St Peter’s, the parish church of Liverpool (2)
Birth of brother, Theodore Hubback
Signing of The Pangkor Treaty. Official British involvement in the policies of the Malays and eventually the establishment of the Federated Malay States and later, British Malaya.
Birth of brother, Joseph Guy Hubback
Birth of Sister, Mabel Josephine Hubback
1881 census records family address at Banks Road, West Kirby in Wirral.
Birth of brother, George Clay Hubback.
Family moved to Ravenscar, the Downs, Wimbledon.
Father, Joseph Hubback dies after a long duration of illness at Wimbledon (3)
Henry Franklin Bellamy appointed as Superintendent of Selangor Public Works Department (4)
At boarding school Fettes College, Edinburgh on a scholarship he won (5)
Founded in 1870, Fettes College was an all-boys boarding school up to 1970.
Arthur Charles Alfred Norman signs a five-year contract at $1800 per annum as Chief Draughtsman and Assistant Superintendent to H.F Bellamy at Selangor P.W.D (6)
Articled pupil of Thomas Shelmerdine, City Architect & Surveyor Liverpool (7)
Architectural Articleship - mixing formal studies and working as an understudy to the city architect in Liverpool. This form of Articleship in seeking formal education for Architectural Degree was available then during his era.
Appointment as Junior Assistant to Thomas Shelmerdine, City Architect & Surveyor Liverpool, paid 18 shillings per week (£47 per year). (8)
Appointment as Assistant in City Architect & Surveyor Office, Liverpool.
Described in census as Architect & Surveyor.
Thomas Groves appointed as Chief Draughtsman of Selangor P.W.D
Chief Draughtsman T. Groves reported to be incompetent to prepare designs, assigned as Clerk of Work in Klang instead.
Malacca based J. D. Alwis appointed as Chief Draughtsman on a three-month probation.
Chief Draughtsman, J.D Alwis’s probation ends and is appointed as Clerk of Work in Klang.
Charles Edward Spooner arrives in Selangor as State Engineer at Selangor P.W.D. Former Superintendent H.F Bellamy becomes Deputy State Engineer. A.C.A Norman reduced from Assistant Superintendent to Assistant Superintendent & State Architect of Selangor P.W.D, and put in charge of the drawing office and of the plans drawn. (9)
Regent Alfred John Bidwell signs a three-year agreement with Selangor P.W.D as Chief Draughtsman for a salary of $1500 per annum. (10)
Deputy State Engineer, H.F Bellamy takes a twelve-month leave due to health problems.
Appointment as Surveying Assistant (City Architect & Surveyor Liverpool), paid 40 shillings per week (£104 per year).
Plays cricket for Liverpool in the Liverpool vs. Birkenhead Park match, Aighburth Liverpool.
Deputy State Engineer, H.F Bellamy returns to Kuala Lumpur from England to resume his position in Selangor P.W.D.
R.A.J Bidwell tenders in resignation as Chief Draughtsman of Selangor P.W.D, expressing unhappiness with his pay and additional job scope as Acting Architect. Bidwell cites an offer from a private firm for $275 a month as proof that he was underpaid.
None of the officers in the Colonial Service could be spared to serve as Chief Draughtsman of Selangor. Crown Agents in London were requested by Selangor P.W.D to select a candidate in England with an offer of about $135 a month. (11)
Signs a three-year contract to serve as Chief Draughtsman of Selangor P.W.D, with a salary of $1800 per annum. Contract signing witnessed by Thomas Shelmerdine (19570073435). Hubback’s address in the agreement appears as 134 Upper Parliament Street, Liverpool, in the county of Lancaster.
Attends his farewell party thrown by colleagues at Alexandra Hotel, Liverpool.
Departs from England for Selangor. Draws half of his salary from the date of his departure. (12)
R.A.J Bidwell ends his tenure as Chief Draughtsman and Acting Architect to join private practice Messr. Swan and McLaren in Singapore.
With Swan and Mclaren, R.A.J Bidwell designed The Raffles Hotel (1899), Teutonia Club (1900, now Goodwood Park Hotel) and Victoria Memorial Hall (1905, now Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall). R.A.J Bidwell became one of the most important architects in Singapore.
Selangor State Architect, Arthur Charles Alfred Norman’s privilege leave expires.
Arrives in Klang. Three year period of service begins. Performs Architect’s duties in addition to his work as Chief Draughtsman. Selangor P.W.D agreed to pay a salary of $75 per mensem from 30th May to 4th July. Receives a full salary $150 per mensem from 5 July onwards. (13)
Visits Sungei Ujong with H.F. Bellamy (Deputy State Engineer) and Mr. Paxon, (Hydraulic Engineer).
Recommendation by C.E Spooner (State Engineer) for appointment as Acting-Architect in addition to duties as Chief Draughtsman and to draw the half pay of both appointments from 5th July onwards. Norman’s half pay = $1500. Hubback’s half pay = $810. (14)
Receives an allowance of $10 a month for the employment of a Munshi to pursue a course in the Malay Language in accordance with notification of No.195 in Selangor Government Gazette of 13th April 1894.
Brother Theodore, then an employee of Dock Yard, Liverpool, signs a three-year contract as District Engineer of Selangor P.W.D with a salary of $200 per mensem. (15)
Takes leave to take part in an Inter-State Golf Match in Singapore.
Brother, Theodore Rathborne Hubback arrives in Klang/Kuala Lumpur and begins his service as District Engineer in Selangor P.W.D.
Appointment as Acting District Engineer in Ulu Langat.
Returns from Singapore.
Ruptures muscle - goes on medical leave.
Opening of Kuala Lumpur’s Waterworks.
The Ampang Waterworks begun in 1891 and completed in 1896 by Mr. Paxon, Hydraulic Engineer, and J. O’hara his assistant. Contractors were Messrs. Howarth Erskine & Co. (afterwards absorbed by the United Engineers Ltd).
Suffers from Sinus - granted medical leave
Position of State Architect abolished. Former State Architect A.C.A Norman appointed as District Engineer of Kuala Lumpur. (16)
Inauguration of the Federated Malay States.
Kuala Lumpur becomes official capital of F.M.S. Frank Althelstane Swettenham appointed as Resident-General of F.M.S.
Applies for extra pay as Architect.
Makes his first century in cricket.
Wins the medal for Handicap of the Selangor Golf Club.
Applies for permission to leave the State (to play cricket in Perak). Sustain injuries while playing cricket and injures face cannoning against another player.
Returns to position as Chief Draughtsman. Position of District Engineer Ulu Langat taken over by Supernumery Engineer C. Maudsley.
Unanimously elected as Selangor Club’s Cricket Captain by the Selangor Club Committee, replacing Mr. Dougal. A.B Hubback largely helped in obtaining cricketing funds.
Appointment as sub-committee member of Selangor Club for Entertainment with Rev. F.W Haines, Dr. Travers, Captain H.L Talbot, St. L. Parsons, W. Tearle and R.G Watson.
A portion of the parade ground came to be under the control of the Selangor Club. Selects the first pitch at the St. Mary’s end of the Padang.
Plays cricket in a Selangor vs. Singapore match.
Receives an allowance of $25 a month for Architectural work services. (17)
Goes to Kuala Lipis to supervise the construction of the last section of the Selangor-Pahang Trunk Road.
Put in charge to oversee the execution of the Federal Buildings (new Government Offices) in Kuala Lumpur.
Receives Horse Allowance for supervising the construction of Federal Buildings (new Government Offices).
Opening of the new Government Offices on Gombak Road (today Jalan Raja) – later known as the Federal Secretariat Building and today, Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad.
Chief Draughtsman’s job title officially changed to Assistant Architect. Pay increased from $1800 to $2000 per annum, with compensation.
Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, completion of her 60th reign.
Public celebrations in British Empire colonies and its protectorates. Kuala Lumpur showcased among others, a water fete at the Public Gardens, sports, processions, fireworks, flower shows and a parade at the Padang, enjoyed by both the European and native residents of the town.
Assigned as clerk of courses for the Native Sports. Performs on top of the portico of the Government Offices as part of the Diamond Jubilee Minstrels troupe with Messrs. Severn, Maynard, Todd and Thomson. Wins drop kick in the European Sports (for Europeans and Eurasians). Takes part in quarter mile run, but lost. Wins first place for high jump, a tie with H.F Nebronner at 4ft 10in. Injures foot while jumping. Both winners agreed to give the price to a Singh who was only one inch below them.
First Durbar convened among Malay Rulers of Perak, Selangor, Pahang and Negri Sembilan in Kuala Kangsar.
Appointment as Acting Factory Engineer to replace Factory Engineer Thomas Groves who is due for a 15 months leave. Moves out of the government quarters shared with Mr.Whitly on Venning Road (today Jalan Perdana, Jalan Ria & Jalan Tembusu) to the Factory Engineer’s Quarters.
24 Oct–25 Nov
Takes leave to play for the Straits Settlements Cricket Team in a Cricket Festival in Hong Kong.
Thomas Plowman Hangling King arrives for duty as Architectural Assistant at Selangor P.W.D, $2000 per annum.
Plays in the Interport matches 1897/98 Hong Kong vs. Straits Settlements, Hong Kong Cricket Club Ground, Hong Kong.
Plays in the Interport matches 1897/98 Hong Kong & Shanghai vs. Straits Settlements, Hong Kong Cricket Club Ground, Hong Kong.
T. Groves leaves the country for his holiday of 15 months.
Resigns from Selangor Public Works Department. (18)
Architectural Assistant, T.P.H King replaces A.B Hubback as Acting Factory Engineer. (19)
Draughtsman and Surveyor of Selangor P.W.D, B. Ramakristna Row, performed dual duties of Architectural Assistant and Draughtsman while T.P.H King was away.
B. Ramakritsna Row receives an extra pay of $25 for performing dual duties as Architectural Assistant and Draughtsman.
Starts a brick-making company with contractor W. Nicholas on a 3-acre land in Kerling which is rented out for $10 per acre by the Government. (20)
Secures, among others, the contract for the erection of bridges on the Tanjong Malim Railway Extension and to supply bricks to the Railway Department for the Kajang section of the Seremban Railway extension.
Enters a design competition for Singapore’s Town Hall with W. Nicholas, but was however unsuccessful.
T. Groves returns to Selangor and resumes post as Factory Engineer.
Completion of Carcosa, Kuala Lumpur.
Represents F.M.S in a cricket match in Burma.
T.P.H King reported to be incompetent and recommended to be dispensed of by State Engineer, C.E Spooner.
T.P King absent without leave. Advert put up by Spooner for a new Architectural Assistant. (21)
G.W Allsop appointed as Architectural Assistant Selangor P.W.D.
T.P.H King’s contract as Chief Draughtsman ceases.
G.W. Allsop dismissed from his position as Architectural Assistant.
Brother, T.R Hubback transferred to Seremban as District Engineer.
Applies for a 25-acre land on Jalan Reko (Kajang) for brick making.
Death of Queen Victoria
Sir Frank A. Swettenham becomes Governor of the Straits Settlements.
Appointment of C.E Spooner as General Manager of F.M.S Railways (F.M.S.R) (22). District Engineer of Lower Perak (also vice to Charles Spooner), Patrick Blackstock McGlashan became State Engineer of Selangor. (23)
Former State Engineer of Perak, Francis St. George Caufeild, M.I.C.E becomes Director of FMS Public Works Department.
Dissolves brick-making company with W. Nicholas on mutual terms.
Joins government service as Govt. Asst. Architect to Director of P.W.D & 3rd Grade Executive Engineer, F.M.S. Involved in all the architectural works for the Government of Federated Malay States under directorship of Francis St. George Caufeild, M.I.C.E.
Marries Margaret Roses Frances (Daisy) Voules at St. Mary’s Church, Kuala Lumpur. Leaves for Honeymoon in Bukit Larut, Taiping by train.
Margaret R.F. Voules is the daughter of Sir Gordon Blennerhassett Voules, a judge in India and Frances Cotton Minchin, also sister of Arthur Blennerhassett Voules, Resident Councilor of Penang.
Performs in a comedy play entitled ‘Breaking the Ice’ with wife at the Selangor Club’s concert.
District Engineer, A.C.A Norman goes on long leave.
Birth of son, Arthur Gordon Voules Hubback.
Formation of Malay State Volunteer Rifles (M.S.V.R) by the F.M.S Government.
Appointment as Captain of M.S.V.R.
Visits Seremban for a few days to discuss new government buildings which were to cost $100,000.
A.C.A Norman retires from post as District Engineer of Kuala Lumpur and returns to England.
Second Durbar convened in Kuala Lumpur.
Sir Frank A. Swettenham retires from Colonial Office while on leave.
Sits on the committee of St. Mary’s Church, Kuala Lumpur.
Completion of the Municipal Office & Town Hall, Kuala Lumpur.
Takes one month leave.
Plays Straits Settlements in Federated Malay States cricket matches, Federated Malay States vs. Straits Settlements at the Padang, Kuala Lumpur.
Submits application to Royal Institute of British Architects (R.I.B.A). Accepted as a R.I.B.A Associate member (A.R.I.B.A).
Appointment as Acting Assistant to Director of P.W.D in addition to exercising duties as P.W.D Assistant Architect in the F.M.S Government.
Completion of F.M.S Railways Central Offices, Kuala Lumpur.
Appointed Divisional Commander of the Selangor M.S.V.R Division
Represents F.M.S at a hockey match, F.M.S vs. Colony
Cricket match, Federated Malay States in Straits Settlements 1906, Straits Settlement vs. Federated Malay States at the Padang, Singapore.
Completion of Selangor Museum, Kuala Lumpur
Completion of Residence for High Commissioner, Kuala Kangsar.
The beginning of ‘Kuala Lumpur Electric Light Scheme’.
Captains the F.M.S team in a cricket match in Burma.
Plays Straits Settlements in Federated Malay States 1906/07 cricket match, Federated Malay States vs. Straits Settlements at the Padang, Kuala Lumpur.
Promoted as Major at M.S.V.R and appointed as Commandant a few days later.
Plays Federated Malay States in Straits Settlements 1907 cricket match, Straits Settlements vs. Federated Malay States at Penang Cricket Club Ground, Penang.
Completion of General Post Office, Kuala Lumpur.
Completion of British Residency, Seremban.
F.M.S Director of Public Works, F. St. G. Caulfeild retires at 55 years old.
Takes charge of the Federated Malay States Volunteer Rifles Force (M.S.V.R).
Submits Type Plans for Shophouses at Old Market Square, Kuala Lumpur.
Returns to Kuala Lumpur from Penang.
Plays for Federated Malay States in Straits Settlements Cricket Match 1908 - Straits Settlements vs. Federated Malay States at the Padang, Singapore
Wedding of brother, Joseph Guy, to Miss Ina Agness Pitt at St. George’s Church, George Town, Penang.
Opening of Anderson Boys’ School, Ipoh.
Goes on a long leave back to United Kingdom for a holiday and to attend military training at Bisley. M.S.V.R throws a farewell party and presents a cheque as an indication of appreciation.
F.M.S Railways General Manager, C.E Spooner dies.
Submits application to be a R.I.B.A Fellow member (F.R.I.B.A).
Wins 2nd prize in Barlow Shooting Competition in Bisley. Strains leg muscle at cricket while in the U.K, unable to play for the rest of the season.
Opening of Malay College, Kuala Kangsar.
Opening of Jamek Mosque, Kuala Lumpur.
Becomes a R.I.B.A Fellow member (F.R.I.B.A)
Completion of F.M.S Railways Office, George Town
Completion of Selangor Club, Kuala Lumpur.
Arrives in Penang from United Kingdom.
Appointment as a Major in M.S.V.R.
Sister, Mabel marries Hugh Bowring Mulleneux
Completion of District Office, Klang.
Appointed as Government Architect of F.M.S.
Resigns as member of Kuala Lumpur Sanitary Board.
Plays in Straits Settlements in Federated Malay States cricket match 1910/11, Federated Malay States vs. Straits Settlements, the Padang Kuala Lumpur.
Completion of F.M.S Survey Offices, Kuala Lumpur
Federal P.W.D Assistant Architect, William Sherrin Huxley appointed as Acting Government Architect of F.M.S to relieve A.B Hubback who was about to return to England to attend the coronation of King George V.
In command of the F.M.S Coronation Contingent. Attends the coronation of King George V together with his contingent (Capt. Redfearn Shaw, Sergt.William Hay, Sergt. Russell Grey and Privates A.Dubois, A.B Cross, E.C Fane, A.B Waller, Thornton and Stamford Raffles). The F.M.S contingent was inspected by the Prince of Wales, Lords Roberts, Kitchener and other generals.
Opening of Kuala Lumpur Railway Station.
Opening of Kuala Lumpur Railway Station Hotel.
Returns to Kuala Lumpur from England.
Opening of Federal Lunatic Asylum, Tanjung Rambutan.
Promoted as Lt. Colonel in the M.S.V.R.
Kuala Lumpur ‘Tauchang Riots’. Leads M.S.V.R detachment in town to maintain safety. The “Tauchang Riots" happened during Chinese New Year. Anti-Manchu elements went on a rampage through Kuala Lumpur streets, seizing individuals and cutting off their queues (tauchang in Chinese). The disturbance went on for several days.
Birth of daughter, Yvonne, at Carcosa, Kuala Lumpur
Arrives in Singapore on F.M.S yatch ‘Sea Belle’ with M.S.V.R contingent for the maneuver.
Elected President of the Selangor Football league.
Serves as President of Selangor Golf Club for one year.
F.M.S Assistant Architect, W.S Huxley sent into residence at Ipoh and was put in charge of the construction for the New Post Office & Town Hall and New District Hospital in Ipoh and the State Mosque in Kuala Kangsar.
Takes position of Honorary Diocesan Architect for the Diocese of Singapore.
Leaves for Kowloon, Hong Kong for the Kowloon Central Railway Station Project.
Completion of Preparatory School, Kuala Kangsar.
Reports on the Malay States Volunteer Riffles for year 1913 as the Commanding Officer.
Assistant Architect W.S Huxley arrives in Kuala Lumpur from Ipoh as Acting Government Architect as A.B Hubback was about to go on a long leave. Acting Assistant Architect Leofric Kesteven sent to Ipoh to take over Huxley’s duties.
Leaves on Nippon Yusen Kaisha ship for England.
L. Kesteven appointed as Assistant Architect P.W.D
Outbreak of World War 1 (officially)
Arrives in England with family.
Military Appointment – Joins the 19th battalion, London (territorial) regiment, as a Major.
Completion of Selangor Museum’s Extension and Renovation, Kuala Lumpur.
Eligible for an increment of $25.
Military Appointment – Lt. Col commanding the 20th London Regiment Teritorial Force – 47th Division B.E.F. Serves in France, The Soanne. Brigadier of 19th & 20th London Battalion.
Completion of Supreme Court, Kuala Lumpur.
Appointment as Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George C.M.G.
Brigadier General, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 1st Division.
Completion of Town Hall & Post Office, Ipoh.
Opening of Kowloon-Canton Railway Terminus, Hong Kong.
Official opening of Railway Station & Hotel, Ipoh.
Completion of Ubudiah Mosque, Kuala Kangsar
Completion of F.M.S Railways Central Offices 1917, Kuala Lumpur
Architect R.A.J Bidwell dies.
Contractor Towkay Ang Seng dies.
Brig, Gen Co. of the 63rd Infantry Brigade, 37th Division BEF.
End of World War 1(officially)
Receives the Distinguished Service Order Companion (D.S.O) award.
Appointment as Adjutant, volunteers – Colonel, T.F (1919)
Attends the Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace, London with wife.
Director of a Rubber Company Gordon (Malaya) Rubber Estates Ltd.
Decides to remain home. Accepts appointment as Deputy Agent, Malayan States Agency.
20 Nov/30 Dec
Official retirement from position as Deputy Agent, Malayan States Agency.
Serves as Colonel commanding the 5th London Infantry Brigade of the Territorial Army
Brother, Theodore’s home, dubbed as Sunlaws in Bukit Betong near Kuala Lipis completed.
Singapore Society of Architects formed.
Attends funeral of father-in-law, Sir Gordon Blennerhassett Voules at Bournemouth.
R.W Sinclaire appointed as Government Architect, F.M.S.
Retires as Colonel of 5th London Infantry Brigade of the Territorial Army.
The Great Flood of 1926.
A large number of Hubback’s buildings in Kuala Lumpur were all half submerged in water.
Walter Frederick Hedges appointed as Chief Architect, F.M.S
W.F Frederick Hedges is the architect of the new Gap Rest House and the Sultan of Perak’s Istana in Kuala Kangsar.
Wedding of son, A.G.V Hubback to Elizabeth Jane Pearson Rogers in St.Marks. North Audley Street, London. Home address listed as 20, Lancaster Road, Wimbledon.
Beginning of global economic depression
Singapore Society of Architects reincorporated as Institute of Architects of Malaya. W.F Hedges becomes first president of its Kuala Lumpur branch.
Attends Gordon (Malaya) Rubber Estates 9th Annual General Meeting at the Abercorn Rooms, Great Eastern Hotel, Bishopsgate, London.
Sir Cecil Clementi introduces devolution scheme.
Effect of Clementi’s scheme - twenty-three Executive Engineers and Assistant Engineers, Chief Architect (W.F Hedges), three Assistant Architects, and 116 Technical & Waterworks Subordinates and Apprentice of the Federal P.W.D were retrenched.
Takes salute at the Wimbledon War memorial on Armistice Day.
Death of Thomas Groves in Germany
Works as Senior Admin at the Sailors, Soldiers and Air Force Association (S.S.A.F.A), Hertfordshire.
End of global economic recession
D. Cuthbertson appointed as Government Architect
Japanese invasion in Kota Bharu marking the beginning of Japanese Occupation in Malaya.
Koi Corps, the first Imperial Nippon Army unit to enter Kuala Lumpur arrived.
Death of Brother, Theodore Rathborne Hubback.
Death of A.C.A Norman.
Surrender of the Japanese. End of World War II.
Establishment of the Malayan Union consisting of nine Malay states and Straits Settlements of Penang and Malacca with Sir Edward Gent as Governor.
Sir Frank A. Swettenham dies in London
Founding of Federation of Malaya. Malayan Union dissolved.
Dies at his home, 4 The Hollies, Broxbourne, Hertfordshire of heart failure.
(01) U.K National Census Records for 1871, (accessed 25 Oct 2013)
(09) ANM Acc. No 1957/0060498
(10) PWD 1235-95
(11) ANM Acc. No 1957/0055424
(12) ANM Acc. No 1957/0057979
(13) ANM Acc. No 1957/0060292
(14) ANM Acc. No 1957/0060498
(15) ANM Acc. No 1957/0094799
(16) ANM Acc. No 1957/0060498
(17) ANM Acc. No 1957/0069034
(18) ANM Acc. No 1957/0080965
(19) ANM Acc. No 1957/0073435
(20) ANM Acc. No 1957/0075929
(21) ANM Acc. No 1957/0089522
(22) ANM Acc. No 1957/0098185
(23) ANM Acc. No 1957/0098172