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Llewellyn William Lewis

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Llewellyn William Lewis (1870-1931)

1931 Obituary[1]


Mr. Llewellyn William Lewis, whose death, we regret to have to record, took place on October 10, had a long record of service in the East, and was for some years Chief Engineer of the Public Works Department of Burma. Mr. Lewis was born on March 9, 1870, and received his education at a preparatory school in Kent, at the College de Genfeve, and at the Realschule, Leipzig. He entered the Royal Indian Engineering College, Cooper’s Hill, in 1888, and, in 1891, passed out tenth on the list and received the diploma of associate-ship of the College. He received his practical training under Mr. Richard Johnson, on the Great Northern Railway, and was engaged on work in connection with the widening of the main line south of Barnet, and the construction of the viaduct over the railway at Harringay. In 1892, he joined the Public Works Department of Burma, being posted to the Amherst Division, and during the succeeding four years was occupied on the construction and maintenance of roads and buildings. In 1896, Mr. Lewis was transferred to the Irrigation Division, and made irrigation surveys in Upper Burma in the Minbu and Mandalay Divisions. He was afterwards placed in charge of the construction of the head works of the Mandalay Canal, the purpose of which was to irrigate 80,000 acres. In 1903, he was attached as executive engineer to the Pegu Division, and was occupied during the next four years in the construction and maintenance of roads and buildings. He also had charge of the Pegu-Sittang and the Sittang-Kyaikto canals, and the flood embankment works of the River Sittang.

In 1907, Mr. Lewis’s services were lent to the Commissioners of the Port of Rangoon, at a time when the Rangoon River training works were being actively carried on. This work was fully described in Engineering at the time. The Chief Engineer of the Rangoon Port Trust, Sir George Buchanan, required large quantities of stone for the works, and Mr. Lewis was given the task of opening and working quarries on Kalagauk Island, in the Gulf of Martaban. A daily output of 1,000 tons of stone was maintained under difficult conditions, as long as was required. Returning to the Public Works Department in 1911, he was first made undersecretary, and soon afterwards executive engineer, of the Mandalay Division. Two years later he became superintending engineer of the Burma Irrigation Circle, and did good work in connection with repairs to the head works of the Mandalay Canal, which had been wrecked by an unprecedented flood. In 1914, he was appointed superintending engineer at New Delhi, and was employed for the succeeding two years on the construction of the roads and buildings of the new capital. In 1916, he was sent by the Indian Government to Mesopotamia, and was placed in charge of the construction of wharves at Basrah, the dredging of a channel through Hamar Lake, and the regulation of effluents from the Tigris. He was given the rank of lieutenant-colonel, and in August, 1918, was awarded the C.I.E. Soon afterwards he was promoted to the rank of brigadier-general, and became director of irrigation at Baghdad, where he did much good work under trying conditions. On returning to civil life, he became superintending engineer of the Irrawaddy Delta Irrigation Circle in 1919, and shortly afterwards Chief Engineer and joint secretary to the Government of Burma Public Works Department. Mr. Lewis’s last appointment was that of resident engineer in charge of the Back Bay Reclamation Scheme, Bombay, which was dealt with in Engineering, vol. cxxiii, on page 82 (1927). He retired in 1925, after 32 years’ service in India. A former student-member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, he was elected to full membership on March 8, 1921."

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