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George Hardinge

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George Hardinge (1831-1879)

1880 Obituary [1]

MR. GEORGE HARDINGE was born in Dublin on the 20th of January, 1831. He was the son of the late Mr. W. H. Hardinge, a well-known Irish barrister, and Deputy Keeper of the Records in Ireland.

He was educated at Mr. Flynn’s school, where at an early age he distinguished himself in mathematical studies. In October 1849 he entered Trinity College, and took his B.A. degree in 1855, and proceeded to M.A. in 1862.

In August 1853, he bound himself for three years as an articled pupil to the late Mr. Sampson Lloyd, of the firm of Lloyd, Foster and Co., of Wednesbury.

He then became a pupil of Captain W. S. Moorsom, M. Inst. C.E., till 1857, under whom he was subsequently employed for a few months on the St. George’s harbour, railway, and pier ; and also had charge of the formation of approaches to river wharves near Chatham.

In the beginning of 1858 he entered the service of the Bombay and Baroda railway company as an assistant engineer. During a three years’ engagement with that company he was employed on surveys and in superintending the construction of portions of the line ; among others, a section of 20 miles, from Meagama to Baroda, and another of 25 miles, from Meagama to Broach. At one time he had upwards of 40 miles under his charge, including large viaducts and other important works, the whole being carried on without contractors. These experiences proved very valuable to him in conducting similar works in other parts of India in later years.

During one of his early surveys near Baroda he was surprised and narrowly escaped capture by Tantia Topee and his army of mutineers, and had to flee for his life.

His health having suffered from the climate, he threw up this appointment in 1861.

On returning to England he became assistant to [Arthur William Forde|Mr. A. W. Forde]], M. Inst. C.E., who had just then retired from the position of Chief Engineer in India for the Bombay and Baroda railway, and was starting a private practice in London, and under whom, in 1861-2, he developed a scheme for tramways in India.

From January to September 1863 he was assistant to Mr. J. G. B. Marshall, M.A., surveyor to the district of West Ham, in the east end of London, and gained experience in all kinds of modern town improvements, such as buildings, roads, bridges, sewers and other sanitary works.

In the autumn of 1863 he went to Madras as resident engineer to the Indian Tramways Company, and proceeded with the laying out and construction of a line 20 miles in length, between Arconum and Conjeveram, near Madras.

He resigned this appointment in July 1864, and in November of that year accepted an engagement with the Madras Railway Company as a second class engineer. He was promoted to first class on the 4th of February, 1869, and remained in the service of the company, holding this rank, till his death.

For a short period in 1871 he acted as deputy chief engineer of the open line. During the whole of his engagement on the Madras railway he reported direct to the Chief Engineer in India. At first he had charge of the Raichore survey, 150 miles in length ; then he vas entrusted with the construction of 10 miles of the north-west line ; next he had charge of the permanent way of the third and fourth divisions of the open portions of the southwest line, 200 miles in length ; and afterwards he had the control of the Cochin survey, from Puttamby to Cochin, 64 miles in length.

From March 1868 to September 1871 he was engaged in the construction of the new central station at Madras, which important work he executed without the intervention of contractors. During the same time he was in charge of the extensive terminal works and buildings at Reyapooram, the large buildings in connection with the goods station at Madras and the locomotive shops at Perambore, and he superintended the carrying out of an important contract by Messrs. Hopkins, Gilkes & Co. for the conversion of old rail chairs into cast-iron bowl sleepers.

He next had charge of the permanent way of a division of the south-west line, and was frequently complimented upon the admirable manner in which the road was kept.

In March 1877 he proceeded to England on sick certificate, and hoped during the extended leave then granted that his health, which had suffered much from the effects of the Indian climate might be completely restored. However, the good results of his furlough were but temporary. He returned to India in November 1878, and was appointed resident et Bangalore, but the following hot season soon told upon him, and he died in Madras of abscess of the liver on the 19th of September, 1879.

Mr. Hardinge was elected an Associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers on the 3rd of December, 1861 ; and was transferred to the class of Member on the 29th of October, 1872. He was highly esteemed for hie professional abilities. His great originality of thought and expression, allied to considerable culture, made him a most amusing companion, and his personal character greatly endeared him to his friends.

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