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British Industrial History

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Gerard Philip Torrens

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Gerard Philip Torrens (1852-1905)

1905 Obituary [1]

GERARD PHILIP TORRENS, the youngest son of Mr. Henry Whitelock Torrens of the Bengal Civil Service, was born on the 10th April, 1852, and received his early education in France.

From 1869 to 1872, he served a pupilage to Mr. C. F. de E. Steuart, at the same time pursuing his studies in King’s College, London, and eventually passing third in the examination for admission to Coopers Hill, with a view to enter the Indian Civil Service. To his great disappointment, after qualifying so well in other respects, he was declared to be physically unfit for service in India.

From 1872 to 1875, Mr. Torrens was employed on railway construction work in Sweden, and on the East Argentine and Bolivar Railways in South America, returning to England in 1876.

Three years later he proceeded to Spain as Engineer and Manager of the Carthagena and Herrerias Steam Tramways, an undertaking of which he eventually became Managing Director in London.

After having resided in Spain for some 7 years, Mr. Torrens retired from the active pursuit of his profession, but continued to take the deepest interest in Spanish affairs, and particularly in the development of public works in that country. He was for many years an active director of the Barcelona Tramways, urging its electrification at a period when such installations were still looked upon with doubt. He also served on the Boards of the Great Southern of Spain and the Zafra and Huelva Railway Companies, and as Chairman of the former company for many years, he conducted the affairs of that undertaking with ability and success through the many difficulties which it encountered.

Mr. Torrens acted for several years as Chairman of the Code d’Eu Railway before that enterprise was taken over by the Brazilian Government, and at the time of his death he was also a Director of the Shelton Bar and Iron Company and of the United Railways of Havana.

He died on the 26th May, 1905, aged 53.

Mr. Torrens was elected an Associate of the Institution on the 6th February, 1878, and was subsequently placed in the class of Associate Members.

1905 Obituary [2]

GERARD PHILIP TORRENS died at his residence, Queensberry Place, London, S.W., on May 26, 1905, at the age of fifty-three. He was a director of the Shelton Iron and Steel Company, Limited, of Stoke-on-Trent, and was chairman of the Conde d'Eu Railway Company, Limited, and of the Great Southern of Spain Railway Company, Limited. He was a director of the Hornillo Company, Limited, of the United Railways of the Havana and Regla Warehouses, Ltd., and of the Zafra and Huelva Railway Company, and managing director of the Carthagena and Herrerias Steam Tramway Co., Ltd.

He was elected a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1890.

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