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British Industrial History

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Henry Adair Govett Orr

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Henry Adair Govett Orr (1856-1899)

1899 Obituary [1]

Mr. Henry A. Orr, of Pemberly, Victoria, where he was born on the 28th June, 1856. Coming to England, he was educated at the Bedford Grammar School, and served an apprenticeship at the locomotive works of the London and North-Western Railway Company at Crewe, where he was subsequently employed.

In 1881 he went to Australia. Soon after his arrival in Melbourne he was engaged by the Queensland Government to take two steam-ploughing engines and tackle some 700 miles up country to be employed for making reservoirs for conserving the water in dry districts. The heavy work of getting these engines over rough country, through loose sand and muddy creeks, served to bring out the qualities of ready resource and indomitable will which characterized Mr. Orr throughout his life.

Returning to Melbourne in 1884, he joined in partnership with Messrs. Hodgson and Bernard-Smith. Together they carried out several engineering works for the Victorian Government among which may be mentioned the design and erection of a large water-tower at Numurkah on the Murray River for the supply of several neighbouring towns.

In 1890 Nr. Orr was called to England on account of family matters, and finding that these entailed the abandonment of his Australian career, he settled at Bedford. His worth of character was recognized among others by Lord Ebury, of Moor Park, Hertfordshire, who recently offered to him the agency of his estate, and Mr. Orr had taken up these new duties with marked promise of success.

Unfortunately a neglected attack of influenza developed into a serious illness, which ended fatally at his home, Pemberly Cottage, Bedford, on the 22nd February, 1899.

Though never demonstrative, Mr. Orr was greatly loved by those who were privileged to be his friends, as well as by the members of his family circle. A man every inch of him and excelling in all manly sports, he lived a blameless life. No unkind word of others passed his lips. Insincerity in any form was a stranger to him. Reserved as to his religious convictions, it was only his most intimate friends who knew that his strength was drawn from the true source.

He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution on the 3rd December, 1589.

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