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George Hennet Ross

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George Hennet Ross (1843-1888)

1889 Obituary [1]

GEORGE HENNET ROSS, the eldest son of the late Commander C. H. Ross, R.N., was born on the 19th of March, 1843.

At the age of seventeen he was placed with Mr. E. Bagot as a pupil for three years, and was then employed for two years in that gentleman's drawing-office, and on surveys for railways, waterworks, and town sewerage.

In 1863 he entered the service of Mr. (now Sir Alexander) Rendel, and was employed for four years as a draughtsman in his London office, and in making surveys at Llanelly, the Victoria Docks, and elsewhere. Then Mr. Rendel appointed him Resident Engineer on the Workington Harbour improvements, where he had charge for three years of considerable marine surveys, the cutting of a new channel for the River Derwent, the erection of a timber jetty, and the building of a breakwater in Portland cement concrete, besides other minor works.

In March, 1872, Mr. Ross proceeded to Trinidad as Engineer and Surveyor for the Colonial Company, and was occupied in surveying large sugar estates, and in laying out railways. While in that colony he passed the Government examination as a Sworn Surveyor.

He returned to England in December, 1873, and for six months of the following year was again in Mr. Rendel's drawing-office.

In November, 1874, he was appointed, on the nomination of Sir Charles Hutton Gregory, K.C.M.G., an Assistant Engineer on the Cape Government Railway Surveys. Two years later he was placed in charge, under the District Engineer, Mr. G. D. Atherstone, of No. 1 Section of District 2 of the Grahamstown Branch of the Midland and North-Eastern (Cape) Railways. The survey and construction of this section, which included some heavy earthworks, such as cuttings in hard rock, an embankment nearly 70 feet high, and several retaining walls, a short tunnel through very treacherous strata of rock on clay beds, a temporary terminal station, with the necessary sidings and accommodation for goods, all such works as culverts, platelaying, ballasting, and the telegraph, were completed by Mr. Ross, in the most careful and accurate manner.

From September, 1879, to August, 1880, he took charge, for Mr. Faviell, the Contractor, of the construction of 10.5 miles of the Midland System of the Cape Government Railways, which included a tunnel, and some heavy cuttings and embankments about 30 miles south of Cradock.

In August, 1881, Mr. Ross was appointed District Engineer on the Survey Staff, under Mr. William Willcox, and placed in charge of survey camps on the Cradock and Colesberg Extension, and on proposed junction lines between the Midland and Eastern Railway Systems. This appointment Mr. Ross held until September, 1883, when he returned to England.

In August, 1884, he was engaged by Mr. John Brunton and Mr. T. Claxton Fidler, Joint Engineers for the East India Tramways Company, as resident Engineer on the construction of the Karachi Steam Tramways, which work he carried out to their entire satisfaction, performing the duties of his position there with seal, energy and ability.

When the works were completed, and handed over by the contractors to the Company in September, 1885, Mr. Ross returned to England. In the following November he obtained, again on the nomination of Sir Charles Hutton Gregory, the appointment of Colonial Engineer and Surveyor at Lagos. This post he held until his death, which occurred on the 16th of August, 1888, from fever.

Mr. Ross was much regretted. A Member of the Institution, under whom he served on the Cape Government Railways writing after his death, said:- "He was a cheery bright fellow, was, I know, most hospitable and popular, and I am sure was thoroughly straightforward in all respects. His untimely death will be greatly regretted by all the members of the Cape Railways who knew him, and by many others in the Colony, as he had a wide circle of friends, and, to the best of my belief, no enemies."

He was elected an Associate of the Institution on the 9th of April, 18i2, was placed in the group of Associate Members on its creation in December, 1878, and transferred to the class of Members on the 14th of April, 1886.

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