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John Evans (1818-1872)

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John Evans (1818-1872)

1874 Obituary [1]

John Evans was born at Cawsherton, near Pembroke, on the 3rd of October, 1818, and was sent, when he was six years old, to Lady Cawdor’s school, where he remained three years and gained the second prize against one hundred and twenty boys.

He next went to school at Pembroke till he was fourteen, and, after a short interval, during which he was engaged at some flour-mills, was apprenticed as a mason to his uncle Thomas, who was employed on the London and Birmingham (now London and North-Western) railway, near Denbigh Hall, and worked on that line, and on the Great Eastern (then Eastern Counties) railway, till the end of his apprenticeship.

He was afterwards occupied as a mason at the Royal Exchange, at the Houses of Parliament, and at Box Tunnel on the Great Western Railway.

In 1844 he joined his father, who was at that time a sub-contractor on the Eastern Union Railway at Manningtree, under A. Ogilvie, Assoc. Inst. C.E.

While serving his apprenticeship Mr. Evans had gained some knowledge of engineering, and this probably influenced his future career, inducing him to abandon his first calling and definitively connect himself with the profession under the auspices of Mr. Ogilvie, with whom he remained until his death, engaged principally as agent on the large railway contracts carried out by that gentleman in association with the late Mr. Brassey, Assoc.Inst. C.E.

In this capacity Mr. Evans was employed in many parts of the kingdom. Beginning with 1846, when he was subagent on the line from Ipswich to Colchester and from Ipswich to Bury St. Edmunds, he successively had charge of contracts on the Richmond and Windsor main and loop lines, with several bridges over the Thames; the North and South-Western Junction; part of the North Devon between Crediton and Barnstaple; the direct line from Godalming to Portsmouth; Stokes Bay railway and pier; the Ringwood and Christchurch; the West London Extension and branches, including a large bridge over the Thames at Battersea, and the Kingston and Twickenham with a bridge over the Thames at Kingston. The foregoing were lines either forming part of the South-Western system, or promoted by that company.

He afterwards, in 1863, took charge as agent of the short line between Aston and Ditton, which included the fine bridge over the Mersey at Runcorn Gap, and materially shortened the London and North-Western route from London to Liverpool.

On the completion of these important works, in 1870, Mr. Evans took charge of the construction of the new line from Kensington to Richmond, including a bridge over the Thames at Kew, and was, with the exception of a short interval, engaged on these works when his death, in his fifty-fifth year, took place on the 14th of December, 1872.

Mr. Evans joined the Institution of Civil Engineers as an Associate on the 9th of January, 1866.

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