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James Battersby

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James Battersby (1843-1877)

1877 Obituary [1]

MR. JAMES BATTEBSBY, third son of Mr. Richard Battersby of Liverpool, was born at Barnstaple on the 26th of November, 1843.

At the age of fourteen he entered a merchant’s office, but wishing to qualify himself for the Indian Civil Service he studied for twelve months, and on examination passed second class in mathematics and English, and third class in languages.

In the summer of 1861 he went to India, where through the kindness of a friend he at once got employment, under Mr. Stokes, in the Locomotive Department of the East Indian railway, as storekeeper, which office he held till the end of 1862, when he entered the Engineering Department under Mr. Galwey at Jumalpore.

Upon Mr. Galwey leaving he was transferred to Luckee Serai, under Mr. Milne, where for eighteen months he had a good opportunity of studying mechanical engineering. By his ability and perseverance he rose rapidly in position, till in August 1865 he was promoted to the post of Assistant Engineer at Chunar, under Mr. Peddie. While in this capacity he exhibited a bright example of devotion to duty on the occasion of what might have been a terrible disaster. During the rains of 1865 a bridge in the Benares district cracked longitudinally, one half being carried away. Having at the risk of his life examined the foundations of the remaining portion and satisfied himself that it was safe for one line of rails, he selected the heaviest goods engine available and conducted it twice over the bridge, after which the drivers and firemen who had previously refused to cross returned to their posts, and the traffic was partially resumed, the passengers walking over the bridge and rejoining the train on the other side.

Mr. Battersby left India in 1870, rather than be separated from his family, for whom residence in a hot climate was not advisable; and proceeding to Canada became partner and manager in the Ingersoll Foundry. He there worked into practical shape several useful inventions, of which the “cheese ” boiler is one.

He died suddenly at Ingersoll on the 3rd of April, 1877, at the early age of thirty-three, leaving a wife and six children, and a large circle of warm friends to deplore his untimely removal.

Mr. Battersby was elected an Associate of the Institution on the 7th of December, 1869.

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