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Alexander Morton Bell

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Alexander Morton Bell (1828-1885)

1885 Obituary [1]

ALEXANDER MORTON BELL was born at Leith in 1828, and served a regular apprenticeship with Messrs. Maxton, mechanical engineers in that port, whose business was afterwards taken over by Messrs. R. and W. Hawthorn, of Newcastle-on-Tyne, under whom his articles were completed.

He then became a pupil of his brother, Mr. William Ball, M. Inst. C.E., at Bristol, and was afterwards engaged for some time as Assistant-Engineer on the Glasgow and South-Western Railway.

He was employed by Messrs. Hutchinson and Ritson as their engineer in Cornwall, and on the widening of the Bristol and Gloucester Railway between Standish and Gloucester.

He went out to India in 1859 for Mr. George Berkley, V.-P. Inst. C.E., as district engineer on the Nagpore branch of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, and was stationed at Oomrawattee, where, although he had a severe attack of fever, he remained for three years.

Returning to England, he was occupied on Parliamentary and other work for some time.

In 1865 he went to Annan as engineer for Messrs. Waring, Brothers, and Eckersley, on the works of the Solway Junction Railway, including the long viaduct across the Solway.

On the completion of this work, he surveyed and improved the arrangement of the tramroads of the Mount Sorrel granite quarries in Leicestershire, to the entire satisfaction of the owner of the quarries.

He acted for Messrs. Barnett and Gale as their agent in the construction of the Isle of Wight Railway, and went to the Cape in 1874, as one of several engineers sent out at that time by Sir Charles Hutton Gregory, E.C.M.G., Past-President Inst. C.E., and was stationed near Port Elizabeth. While there, he had the misfortune, by his horse falling with him, to sustain a severe accident, which necessitated his return to England. He never quite recovered from this accident, and he was more or less of an invalid afterwards. Hoping to derive benefit from its milder climate, in the autumn of 1884 he went to Torquay, where he died on the 2nd of February 1885, after some weeks of intense suffering.

Mr. Bell was elected an Associate of the Institution on the 5th of March 1872. He was a pleasant companion, although at first, rather reserved, and will be long remembered by those who knew him for his uprightness, his remarkably even temper, and his many good qualities.

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