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Arthur Montefiore Wire Easten

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Arthur Montefiore Wire Easten (1866-1901)

1901 Obituary [1]

ARTHUR MONTEFIORE WIRE EASTEN, son of Mr. John Easten, of Lee, was born on the 14th July, 1866.

After attending technical classes at the City of London College in 1888-89, he went out to South Africa in the latter year, and joined the Engineering Staff of the Natal Government Railway, under Mr. M. W. Carr, Engineer-in-Chief. Mr. Easten was employed in the Head Drawing Office, and on surveys, construction and open-line maintenance during 1889-92, and in 1893 on the survey of the line from the northern terminus of the Natal Railways at Charlestown to Johannesburg.

His industry and ability soon gained for him the approbation of the officers under whom he was, from time to time, more immediately employed, and he received promotion as opportunities occurred, becoming a First Class Assistant Engineer in 1892.

After the completion of the survey to Johannesburg, and pending a further opening on the railways, he undertook private work, including, among other things, a survey of the Klip River Valley in the neighbourhood of Ladysmith, fur the scheme designed by Mr. H. G. Humby to prevent the flooding of Ladysmith from the overflow of the Klip River.

In 1894 Mr. Easten was appointed an Assistant Engineer on the special staff, organised under Mr. J. W. Shores, Resident Engineer, for the construction of the Charlestown-Johannesburg Railway, on behalf of the Transvaal Government, and was placed in charge of a section of the work.

On the completion of this extension in 1896, he was transferred to the Cape Government Railways, and was engaged on surveys in the Ladybrand district.

Mr. Easten then went to Johannesburg and was Assistant and afterwards Resident Engineer on the Waterworks Surveys.

In 1897 he was employed by the Orange Free State Railway Department in Surveying for a Railway between Wolvehoek and Bethlehem.

In 1898-99, after ten years' experience in South Africa, Mr. Easten returned to England and was employed by Messrs. John Aird and Company on the Birmingham Waterworks, and on the widening of the London and South Western Railway at Basingstoke, Winchfield, Salisbury and Ascot.

In July, 1900, he again went out to the Cape, and was engaged on a survey for supplying additional water to Port Elizabeth, whence he was specially called to proceed on a survey, under Mr. H. H. Elliott, for a line of railway between Malmesbury, Darling and Saldana Bay, and it was while thus engaged that he was attacked with typhoid fever, to which he succumbed at Malmesbury Hospital on the 16th March, 1901, at the early age of 34.

Mr. Easten was greatly esteemed by his colleagues for his kind and obliging disposition, high integrity, and the zeal and ability with which he discharged his duties; he possessed many of the qualities which go towards making a successful Engineer, and his career gave bright promise for the future.

He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution on the 21st May, 1895.

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