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George Richards (1869-1951)

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George Richards (1869-1951)

1951 Obituary [1]

GEORGE RICHARDS, B.A., F.C.H., who died at his home in Weston-super-Mare on the 13th January 1951, at the age of 82, was born at East Pennard, in Somerset, on the 1st January 1869.

He was educated at Queen’s College, Taunton, and Wycliffe College, Stonehouse; and after taking his Bachelor of Arts degree at London University entered the Royal Indian Engineering College at Cooper’s Hill at the age of nineteen. There he gained distinction and passed out as top man of his year, with the Fellowship of Cooper’s Hill, in 1891.

The next twelve months were spent on the practical course at the Great Western Railway shops at Swindon, and in 1892 he went to India.

On arrival there he was appointed to the Indian State Railways, and worked for a short time under Mr J. R. Bell on survey work; and in 1893 was transferred to Burma, to be employed at first on the maintenance of open lines and in the headquarters office at Rangoon. In the years that followed he gained considerable experience of constructional, survey, and location work on the Mandalay-Kunlong and Bassein-Henjada railways (receiving the thanks of the Government of India for his work on the former); and on the surveys for the Pegu-Moulmein and Sagaing-Alon branches, and the Sagaing bridge over the Irrawaddy.

In 1903 he was appointed Deputy Consulting Engineer and Government Inspector to the Governments of Bombay and Burma, and four years later engineer in charge of State Railway Surveys in Burma.

Other appointments he held were as chief engineer of the Construction Department of the North Western Railway, for seventeen months during which four branch lines were opened for traffic, and over 400 miles of projected railways surveyed in the Punjab and N.W. Frontier Province; also as chief engineer of the Mysore and W. Coast Railways and consulting engineer for railways to the Mysore Darbar.

In 1917 he was selected to succeed Sir Robert Gales as chief engineer to the Railway Board. During his seven years with the Board, Mr Richards acted as a member during leave vacancies, and went to Mesopotamia, during the 1914-18 war, as a member of the Transport Commission. He was editor of the technical section of the Board's Office and chairman of the Indian Railway Bridge Committee, which he inaugurated.

On retiring in 1924 he returned to England, and during the 1939-45 war, as a member of the staff of the City Engineer of Bristol, was concerned with the building of domestic air-raid shelters....[more]

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