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Robert Edwin Wright

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Robert Edwin Wright (1841-1887)

1888 Obituary [1]

ROBERT EDWIN WRIGHT, a son of the Rev. Robert John William Wright, M.A., vicar of Selston, Nottinghamshire, was born on the 27th of July, 1841.

At the age of nineteen he was articled to the late Mr. James John Berkley, M.Inst.C.E., Chief Engineer in India for the Great Indian Peninsula Railway Company, and after working for some time in the London office, he was sent to India to gain experience during the construction of the works. Mr. Wright was appointed in 1862 as Assistant Engineer in the service of the Company, and was placed in charge of works on the Bhore Ghat incline under Mr. Tait. In the following year, after carrying out survey work between Hyderabad and Sholapur, he was promoted, and placed on the regular staff of the Company as a Third Class Assistant Engineer.

In 1864 he was put in charge of the construction of a section of the Nagpur branch of the line, where he remained until 1867, when he was transferred to another section between Kulburga and Raichore, then under construction, and in the same year he was again promoted.

Early in 1869 he was compelled by ill-health to visit England on leave, but on his return took over charge of his old section, where he remained until 1871, when, on the completion of the construction of the line, his engagement with the Great Indian Peninsula Railway Company terminated.

Mr. Wright then entered the Railway Branch of the Public Works Department of the Government of India, and was posted in 1872 to the Nizam's State Railway as an Assistant Engineer, first grade. Here he remained for five years, when he was transferred to the Larkhana Division of the Indus Valley State Railway, having meanwhile, in 1875, been promoted to fourth grade Executive Engineer.

Early in 1878 he again found it necessary to take furlough on medical certificate for six months, a period which was afterwards extended to a year. On his return to India in January, 1879, he was placed in charge of the Indore Division of the Holkar and Sindia-Neemuch State Railway, which post he retained till the working of the Ragputana-Malwa Railway was leased, from January 1885, to the Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway Company, when Mr. Wright's services were placed at the disposal of that Company, and his charge was extended to Ajmere, and thus comprised the whole of the Malwa section.

He was promoted to third grade Executive Engineer in 1880, to second grade in 1885, and to first grade about eight months before his death, which took place on the 10th of November, 1887.

Mr. Wright was a man of great intelligence, strong common sense, and untiring zeal for his professional work. Possessing the entire confidence both of his immediate superiors and of the officers of the Government, to whom his abilities were well known, he would, if his life had been spared, have been selected for higher employment. Able to make full use of his unusually varied experience, he was one of the most valuable engineers in the Government service. His taste lay rather in the direction of iron structures, and, among other things, he designed some of the best and most economical combinations of old rails in building construction in India. When seized by his last illness, he was engaged upon the investigation of the discharges of the large rivers of Central India as compared with their drainage areas, the result of which would undoubtedly have been of great value.

Mr. Wright was elected a Member of the Institution on the 7th of December, 1886.

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