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Alfred Pearce

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Alfred Pearce (1865-1930)

1930 Obituary[1]


We regret to note the death, on October 30 last, at his home in Lee-road, Blackheath, London, S.E.3, of Mr. Alfred Pearce, engineer to Messrs. Samuel Williams and Sons, Limited, Dagenham Dock, Essex. A civil engineer of wide experience, Mr. Alfred Pearce was a son of Mr. John Swayne Pearce, and was born on July 17, 1865. He received his education at Charter-house and at King’s College, London, and afterwards went to the Crystal Palace School of Practical Engineering, Sydenham. From 1884 to 1888, he was a pupil of Sir John Wolfe Barry and Mr. I. K. Brunel. Upon the completion of his pupilage he was appointed assistant engineer of the Barry Dock and Railways undertaking, but was soon afterwards given the task of setting out and making contract drawings for the Vale of Glamorgan Railway. In 1890, Mr. Pearoe went to Ireland to take up the position of resident engineer on a section of the Stranorlar and Glenties Light Railway, County Donegal. After his return to this country, in the autumn of 1891, he carried out Parliamentary work at Hull for Sir John Wolfe Barry. A few months later he was appointed engineer to Mr. John Band, contractor for the Grays and Tilbury Sewerage Works, and continued to occupy this position for some three years. In January, 1896, he became resident engineer on the Lisburn Water Works, Ireland. Ten months later, however, he was given charge of the setting out of the Rhymney branch of the Barry Railway by Sir John Wolfe Barry, and continued in this capacity for several years. The line, the construction of which he supervised, is nearly seven miles long, and the operations comprised, in addition to several bridges, a tunnel through rock and a viaduct 500 yards long. The latter work formed the subject of a paper entitled “ The Erection of the Walnut-Tree Viaduct on the Rhymney Branch of the Barry Railway,” read by Mr. Pearce before the Institution of Civil. Engineers in 1902.

Subsequently, Mr. Pearce carried out work in connection with the Whitechapel and Bow Railway. He afterwards acted as resident engineer, under Mr. W. W. Squire, then engineer to the Bristol Docks Committee’, on the construction of the Royal Edward Dock at Avonmouth, Bristol, from the commencement of the undertaking until March, 1907. It is of interest to recall that, as stated in our columns at the time, the first sod was cut on March 5, 1902, and the dock was opened by H.M. King Edward VII on July 9, 1908. Furthermore, important extensions to the dock were carried out some two years ago, illustrated descriptions of which appeared in Engineering. After acting for some time as resident engineer on the Singapore harbour works, Mr. Pearce opened a private practice as consulting engineer in Westminster, and became engaged on work connected with various water, sewerage, and power schemes. In 1915, he was appointed Superintending Inspecting Engineer of the Aldershot and Southern Commands, and continued in this capacity until 1919. Early in the following year he became engineer to Messrs. Samuel Williams and Sons, Limited, Dagenham Dock, Essex, which position he continued to hold until his retirement on May 31 of this year. While in this capacity he was responsible for the maintenance of the dock, sidings, roads, and buildings. During his tenure of office, extensions were made to the wharves of the Company, new offices were built, and the pile foundations for factories for various other firms were put down under Mr. Pearce’s direction. A former student of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Mr. Pearce became an associate member of the Institution on December 2, 1890, and was elected to full membership on February 20, 1900."

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