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Charles George Napier

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Charles George Napier (1829-1882)

1883 Obituary [1]

Charles George Napier, eldest son of the late Captain Henry Edward Napier, R.N., F.R.S., was born at Florence in 1829. He commenced his education for Civil Engineering at King’s College, London, where he attended the lectures during 1848 and 1849. He then became pupil of G. W. Hemans, late Vice- President Inst. C.E., completing his pupilage in 1852.

After being employed on various railway surveys till 1853, he was appointed Resident Engineer on a portion of the Longford branch of the Midland Great Western Railway (Ireland), then in progress. In 1855, these works being finished, he went to the Crimea as Assistant-Superintendent in the third division of the Army Works Corps. Coming home, at the conclusion of the war, hew as engaged in various railway surveys till 1858, when he took charge of the survey and construction of the Athenry and Tuam Railway, as Chief Resident Engineer under Mr. Hemans, till 1860, when that line was opened for traffic. During this period he also conducted the Parliamentary survey of the Athenry and Ennis Junction Railway, and other works.

In 1861 he was engaged on the River Fergus Embankment and Reclamation Survey, and from the end of that year till 1864 was Chief Resident Engineer on the Enniskillen and Bundoran Railway, conducting the survey and superintending the construction of the line, besides other work. From December 1864 till the early part of 1871 he was Engineer (in charge) of the southern division of the Great Southern and Western Railway of Ireland, having care of the permanent way, works, and stations, of over nearly 200 miles of line. Here he was enabled to arrest and quell a serious strike among the navvies, which, commencing at the northern end of the line, was rapidly extending, and which, but for the prompt and firm action taken by him on that occasion, must have proved disastrous.

From 1871 to 1874 he engaged in private practice in Dublin and London. At this latter date he was appointed (on the nomination of Mr. Gregory, Past-President Inst. C.E.) a Residelit Engineer on the Cape Governlnent railways in Suuth Africa, where he carried out surveys and the construction of a very difficult portion of those lines, returning home in 1877 on the completion of his term of agreement. He was engaged in 1879 in preparing plans and estimates for the arterial drainage of an extensive district in the counties of Galway and Roscommon, and in the following year (1880-1) he was employed by the Commissioners of Public Works (Ireland) as an Inspecting Engineer of Baronial Relief Works, and gave much satisfaction for the manner in which he performed that duty.

During a professional career of upwards of thirty years, Mr. Napier made many friends, and was held in great esteem for his high engineering acquirements, tact, judgment, and soundness of views and opinions, as well as for his unswerving probity and rectitude of character.

He was author of a Paper on permanent way (written for the Institution of Civil Engineers of Ireland), and also of a pamphlet advocating the connection of the various railway stations at Cork by a central terminus. He was elected a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers on the 7th of February, 1871, and was also a Member of the Irish Institution, a Fellow of the Geological Society, and a Member of the Athenanm Club. He died on the 2nd of September, 1882.

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