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British Industrial History

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John Geale Thomson

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John Geale Thomson (c1816-c1859)

c.1816 Born, son of Urquhart Thomson

1834 John Geale Thomson of Southwood Cottage, Highgate, an assistant engineer, became a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.[1]

1847 Married Elizabeth Mary Mosse in St Pancras[2]

1847 Birth of son Thomas in Marylebone; John was a carpenter[3]

c.1859 Died in Russia whilst surveying new lines with Mr. C. E. Austin.

1860 of 72 Ebury St., Pimlico[4]

1861 Obituary [5]

MR. JOHN GEALE THOMSON was born in Dublin about the year 1816, and in the year 1833, he became a pupil of Sir John Macneill, (M. Inst. C. E.,) by whom he was employed on the works of the Great Holyhead Road.

In the year 1838, he was engaged under the late Mr. Brunel, (V.P. Inst. C. E.,) on the Great Western Railway, and he superintended, as Resident Engineer, the construction of the works on that line between Bath and Box, including the Middle Hill Tunnel at the latter place.

He was then employed in the same capacity, on the Oxford, Worcester, and Wolverhampton Railway.

He was subsequently appointed Chief Acting Engineer of the Dundalk and Enniskillen Railway, a great portion of which line he set out and constructed, and was afterwards engaged, under Mr. Hemans, (M. Inst. C. E.,) in laying out the Dungannon and Omagh Railway, in the north of Ireland.

He next proceeded to St. Petersburgh, with Mr. C. E. Austin, (M. Inst. C. E.,) to assist in organizing a system of drainage for that city, and then in selecting and laying out a line of railway in the Crimea. It was while thus occupied, that he was seized with illness, under which he rapidly sank. His remains were interred in the cemetery of Perekop, near those of several of his countrymen who fell during the Crimean war.

Mr. Thomson was a man of good abilities, of great industry, and was deservedly esteemed, for the skill and accuracy with which his works were constructed. He was elected an Associate of the Institution in 1834, was transferred to the new class of Graduates, on its creation in 1838, and became a Member in 1848.

In 1844, he contributed a Paper, containing an account of a land-slip which occurred during the construction of the Box Tunnel, for which he was awarded a Walker Premium of Books.

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