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Bryce McMaster

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Bryce McMaster (1832-1877)

1878 Obituary [1]

MR. BRYCE McMASTER, the son of Brigadier-General McMaster, was born in the year 1832.

He became a pupil of Mr. T. H. Bertram in 1848, and was employed on railway works for the late Mr. I. K. Brunel, V.-P. Inst. C.E., in 1852 and 1853.

In August of the latter year he entered the service of the Madras Railway Company as an Assistant Engineer, and carried out with great credit, and very cheaply, some extensive cuttings and earthworks, as well as two large stone bridges, on the third district of the first extension, a length of 20 miles.

In August 1856, he was promoted to the grade of Resident Engineer, and was placed in charge of the permanent way of the first division of the line which had been opened in July. In that position he remained till January 1862, when he left the service of the Company.

He then became a member of the staff of Messrs. Brassey and Wythes, and was engaged immediately under Mr. J. A. Longridge, M. Inst. C.E., on the Mauritius railways for about four years.

On his return to England, he submitted competing designs in the spring of 1866 for the new Waverley Station in Edinburgh, for which he was awarded a premium, as successfully dealing with a difficult problem.

He afterwards assisted in connection with the ordering of materials for the Delhi railway, on behalf of the contractors ; and from February 1872 to October 1873 was employed by the Public Works Construction Company as Sub-Agent, and subsequently as Agent, on the East Argentine railway. At the latter date he was obliged to return to England on account of ill-health.

Finally, in March 1877, Mr. McMaster again entered the service of the Madras Railway Company as an Assistant Engineer, but he had not been long in India before he died, on the 7th of October, 1877, at the age of forty-four years.

Mr. McMaster was elected as Associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers on the 7th of April 1857, and was transferred to the class of Members on the 18th of February 1862.

In 1859 a Paper of his, descriptive of the Permanent Way of the Madras Railway,” led to an interesting discussion on the comparative merits of wood and iron sleepers for Indian railways. Four years later he presented a further Paper, "On the Woods used for Sleepers on the Madras Railway.” Both these communications may be taken as evidence that his mind was actively occupied with the details of his charge, while in carrying out the works entrusted to him he proved himself to be intelligent, careful, and persevering.

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