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William Michell (1853-1899)

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William Michell (1853-1899)


1900 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM MICHELL was born in Redruth, Cornwall, on the 19th June, 1853.

After the usual course at the Royal Indian Engineering College, Coopers Hill, he was appointed an Assistant Engineer, 2nd-grade, in the railway branch of the Public Works Department of India.

On his arrival at Bombay in October, 1876, he was posted to the Sindia State Railway, where he remained for two years and a half holding sub-divisional charge of construction works.

In April, 1879, he was transferred to the Neemuch State Railway, which was under the direction of Mr. Horace Bell, Engineer-in-Chief, where he held charge of the Tharod and Nimbhera subdivisions till their completion for traffic.

In January, 1881, he was promoted to Assistant Engineer, 1st-grade, and in the following November he was posted to the first division of the Bombay Eastern Deccan Railway, now the Bijapur Branch of the Southern Mahratta Railway.

Towards the end of the year 1882 his services were placed at the disposal of the Government of Madras for employment on the Vizagapatam-Raipur Railway survey; but owing to ill-health he had to take privilege leave for two months and a half before joining the survey, on which he remained till October, 1883.

He was then transferred under the orders of the Director General of Railways to the Indus Valley State Railway, where he held charge of the Jacobabad, Kandahar and Northern divisions from time to time, and was also put in special charge of the Stores Department as Stock Verifier.

He was temporarily promoted to Executive Engineer, 4th-grade in 1883, and permanently promoted to the grade in 1886.

In September, 1887, he went on furlough to England, where he remained for two years to recruit his health.

On his return to duty in July, 1889, he was posted to a Divisional charge on the Villapuram-Guntakal State Railway, where he remained till early in 1891, when his services were lent to the South Indian Railway Company to take executive charge of the Mayaveram-Mutupet Railway.

In December, 1892, Mr. Micholl, at his own request, was retransferred to Government, service and directed to join the North Western Railway. He held charge of the Sukkur Division for a few months and was then sent to the Rawal Pindi Division, where he remained till the autumn of 1891, when he went on short leave.

During the summer of 1893 the abnormal floods in his district did a great deal of damage to the line, and he was commended for his work in completing the temporary bridge over the Haro river during the floods in July.

On his return from leave he was posted on special duty in the Engineer-in-Chief's office, and in May, 1895, proceeded on furlough to Europe, when he made a tour through Turkey, Austria and Germany for the benefit of his health, which was never of a robust nature.

On his return to duty in November, 1896, Mr. Michell was appointed Assistant Engineer-in-Chief on the North Western Railway, which post he held to the time of his death at Lahore, on the 12th January, 1899, from a severe attack of pneumonia.

Mr. Michell was a universal favourite, socially and officially. He was a trustworthy and able officer, and the railway branch has sustained a great loss by his death. He was a, proficient mathematician, a good linguist and an excellent amateur photographer.

Mr. Michell was a Student of the Institution and was elected an Associate Member on the 6th December, 1881.



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Sources of Information

  1. 1900 Institution of Civil Engineers: Obituaries