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George Willes Ommanney

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George Willes Ommanney (1848-1887)

1887 Obituary [1]

GEORGE WILLES OMMANNEY was born at Bedford on the 22nd of January, 1848, being the third son of Henry Mortlock Ommaney, of Chester.

He was educated at Bray Collegiate School, and Rectory Grove School, Clapham, and, after being engaged in 1864 in the repairing-shops of the Vale of Neath Railway, he, in October 1865, became a pupil at the locomotive and marine-engine works of Robert Stephenson and Co, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where he served three years, passing through the shops and drawing-offices.

On the completion of his apprenticeship in 1868, he obtained an appointment as Assistant-Engineer to Charles Hodgson, and rendered valuable aid in introducing the system of Wire-Rope Transport, which is now in successful operation in many parts of the world. He was entrusted with the superintendence of the construction of lines on this system in England, Ireland, Italy, and Trinidad, till July 1872. He then took charge of the machinery of several large sugar estates till June 1874, when he was appointed by H.E. the Governor Acting- Assistant to the Superintending-Engineer of Public Works, and in February 1876 Locomotive-Superintendent of the Trinidad Government Railway, and Engineer of Maintenance of the same line, which posts he held until his death on the 1st of June, 1887.

During the many years he was in Trinidad he rendered valuable service in the development of the railway system of the country, and introduced improvements in his own departments. He was most self-denying in his work, under the strain of which, in an uncongenial climate, his health gave way.

He went to Barbados in the early part of 1887 to recruit, but this visit did him little good, and in the month of April 1887 he was invalided home, but only survived the journey a few weeks.

Mr. Ommanney had numerous friends, and his early death is much felt by many both at home and in Trinidad. His education at Newcastle gave him that determination never to be beaten by any difficulty, which in an engineer commands success, and this quality, coupled with a generous heart and cheery, pleasant manners, endeared him to all with whom he came in contact.

He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution on the 5th of February, 1875.

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