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George Frederick Lee Giles

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George Frederick Lee Giles (c1856-1904) of Belfast Harbour

c1856 Born the son of Alfred Giles

1896 Engineer to the Belfast Harbour Commissioners

1905 Obituary [1]

GEORGE FREDERICK LEE GILES, Harbour Engineer of Belfast, died suddenly at his residence, Hilsea, Cultra, County Down, on the 19th December, 1904, in his forty-ninth year.

The fifth son of the late Mr. Alfred Giles, Past-President of the Institution, the subject of this notice was educated at Harrow School, and commenced his engineering career in 1872 under his father, by whom he was employed on the Neath and Brecon and Swansea Vale junction railway, the Cuxhaven harbour works, upon which he acted as Resident Engineer in 1876, and graving dock works at Southampton.

In 1879, he visited and reported upon the harbours of Cape Colony and East Africa, from Cape Town to Zanzibar, for the Union Steamship Company, and whilst in South Africa, he engaged in practice on his own account at Kimberley.

Returning to England in 1882, Mr. Giles was appointed Chief Resident Engineer in charge of important works at the Southampton docks, including the construction of a new dock, the lengthening and repairing of another, and the rebuilding of the north-west wall of the tidal dock. At the same time, he acted as consulting engineer to the Harbour Board in connection with some heavy dredging operations.

In 1880 he designed and erected a large iron bridge over the Itchin at Northam and completed a wharf on the river 300 feet in length.

In 1892 the Belfast Harbour Commissioners appointed Mr. Giles their Chief Engineer, in succession to Mr. T. R. Salmond, and from that time until his death, he was actively engaged upon the many important improvements which have been carried out at the port of Belfast during the last 12 years. Among these works may be mentioned the completion of the Milewater river diversion and extension of the wharf, the extension of the York dock and Alexandra wharf, the construction of the Victoria wharf, and the Alexandra and Bangor boat-jetties, and the extension works carried out in connection with the Musgrave Channel which have resulted in the reclamation of more than 100 acres for manufacturing and commercial purposes.

The last and most important work undertaken by Mr. Giles, but unfinished at the time of his death, was the construction of a new graving-dock adjoining the Alexandra dock on the County Down side of the Harbour. This dock, which is to be 850 feet in length, and 100 feet in width, will be the largest graying-dock in the world.

Mr. Giles at all times actively identified himself with every matter which concerned the welfare of the port of Belfast, and the steady advance which it has made within recent years owes not a little to his conscientious labours and to the foresight and ability which he brought to the execution of every undertaking. His genial disposition made him most popular in social circles and among his professional colleagues.

He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution on the 1st February, 1881, and was transferred to the class of Members on the 8th May, 1888.

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