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Augustus Samuel William Connor

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Major Augustus Samuel William Connor (1844-1888)

1889 Obituary [1]

MAJOR AUGUSTUS SAMUEL WILLIAM CONNOR, Bombay Staff Corps, son of the late William Connor, Honorary Magistrate of Aligurh, in the North-West Provinces of India, was born on the 18th of June, 1844.

He was educated at Mussoori under the Rev. Dr. Luoni, and afterwards at the Thomason Civil Engineering College, Roorkee. From thence he was appointed to the Indian Trignometrical Survey, and did good work in it for some little time.

In 1864, he entered the Public Works Department as an assistant engineer, and was employed on the Agra and Bombay road, and afterwards at Gwalior under Lieutenant (now Lieut.-Colonel) J. B. Sparks, Executive Engineer. Here he had the supervision of the construction of barracks, as also the defences of the fortress of Gwalior. His services were so highly esteemed, that although he had meanwhile been appointed to an ensigncy in the Ceylon rifle regiment, he was retained by the Government of India for eighteen months. He joined his regiment in Ceylon, but soon after exchanged into the 7th Royal Fusiliers, and returned to India. The want of occupation during the peaceful period that now intervened in India proved irksome to his busy mind; he therefore applied for re-employment in the Public Works Department, and was appointed a Second Grade Assistant Engineer on the railway branch, on the 1st of February, 1871, and was promoted to First Grade Assistant Engineer on the 1st of March, 1872.

He was employed on the Indus Valley Railway for some time, but was sent to superintend famine operations on the Northern Bengal Railway, when he officiated as Executive Engineer from January 1874. These duties undermined his health, and he was sent to England on sick leave from March 1876 to September 1877.

On returning he was posted to the Western Rajputana State Railway; but on the Mysore famine breaking out shortly after, his previous similar services pointed to him as a valuable man, and he was sent there as an officiating Executive Engineer.

In May, 1878, he was permanently promoted to executive rank. He returned to the Western Rajputana Railway in December, 1878; but again suffering from exposure during the famine works, he was obliged to proceed to England on eighteen months sick leave in March, 1879. He was promoted to Third Grade Executive Engineer during his absence on leave. He received the thanks of the Government for his services during both these famines. His health was permanently affected by exposure during this trying time, and he never perfectly recovered.

While in England on leave, Captain Connor attended the Royal Engineer extra courses of study at Chatham, in electricity, telegraphy, army signalling, &c.; also musketry at Hythe, and on his return to India in January, 1881, he was posted to Burma, where he remained two years, and while there he organized and commanded a company of Railway Volunteers.

In August, 1883, he was transferred to the Madras Railway Surveys. In January, 1885, he was promoted Second Grade Executive Engineer, and transferred to the Sind Pishin State Railway, where he was employed for over two years. For his services on this frontier line, he was specially commended by the Secretary of State and the Government of India.

On the completion of work here, his services were temporarily lent to the Central India Administration in February, 1888, and during an epidemic of smallpox at Mhow, in May, 1888, he caught the infection, and there died, on the 26th of May.

Major Connor was appointed Ensign in the Ceylon Rifle Regiment on the 13th February, 1867, he exchanged into the 7th Fusiliers in 1869, and was promoted Lieutenant on August 31st, 1870; he then was transferred to the Bombay Staff Corps on April 30th, 1872; promoted to Captain February 13th, 1879, and Major, February 13th, 1887. He was elected an Associate of the Institution on the 7th of December, 1875. Major Connor was a most painstaking and hard-working officer ; and the conscientious performance of his duties under unfavourable climatic influences, was the indirect cause of his regretted death when yet in his prime.

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