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Charles La Lievre

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Charles La Lievre (1848-1903)

1903 Obituary [1]

CHARLES LE LIEVRE, youngest son of the late Mr. James Le Lievre, was born in Guernsey on the 22nd September, 1848, and commenced his professional training as a pupil of the late Sir Charles Fox, with whom he remained from 1865 to 1869.

During that period he was employed on a great deal of important work in London and in the country, amonwg hich may be noted the Victoria and Uattersea Railways, with the Victoria Bridge over the Thames and the network of viaducts between Victoria and Clapham Junction and WandswortRho ad stations ; also surveys for pneumatic railways at Brighton and Manchester.

From 1870 to 1874 Mr. Le Lievre was engaged in Canada, first as an Assistant, and afterwards as District Engineer on the Toronto and Nipissing, and the Toronto, Grey and Bruce Railways, under Mr. Edmund Wragge.

In February, 1875, he was appointed an Assistant Engineer on the Cape Government Railways, and four years later he was promoted to be a District Engineer, which post he held until August, 1884. During that time he was employed on the construction of the Graaff Reinet Railway, the survey of the Grahamstown and Fort Alfred Railway, and the survey and construction of the Craddock-Colesberg Railway and of the Hanover Junction Railway, all of which works mere carried out departmentally.

In June, 1888, Mr. Le Lievre accepted an appointment under the Ceylon Government as District Engineer, 1st class. There he was employed, first on the construction of the Haputale Mountain Railway, 5 feet 6 inches gauge, 26 miles in length, with very heavy work, numerous tunnels and several high viaducts.

He was also engaged on the construction of the Kurunegala Railway, and subsequently on projects for various lines in the island.

He acted for the Chief Resident Engineer, Mr. F. J. Waring, during that officer’s absence in England. Mr. Le Lievre left Ceylon in December, 1885, and in the following March he entered the service of the East Indian Railway Company as a Resident Engineer, He did excellent work on the construction of the Moghalserai-Gya line, for which he was specially commended to the notice of the Board by the Chief Engineer.

He was then placed in charge of the South Behar Railway, and completed the bridge over the Phalgu River at Gya under unusually difficult conditions.

In March, 1902, he was placed in charge of the Delhi District of the East Indian Railway - a length of about 400 miles of open line. He was also entrusted with the re-modelling of Delhi station, a work of considerable difficulty with the ordinary traffic, and when to that the special work in connection with the Coronation Durbar was added, his capabilities were severely taxed. His tact in dealing with officers of other departments, his excellent arrangements for carrying out what had to be done, no less than his energy and great capacity for work, enabled him to accomplish successfully more than most men would have found possible. The continuous strain and anxiety, however, proved too much for his constitution ; but notwithstanding failing health, and in spite of the warnings of his medical attendant, he determined to remain at his post and endeavour to carry the work through.

He died on the 1st January, 1903.

Mr. Le Lievre was elected a Member of the Institution on the 14 April, 1885.

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