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Alister Fraser

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Alister Fraser (1829-1869)

1871 Obituary [1]

MR. ALISTER FRASER was a descendant of an old Inverness-shire family, and was born at Culduthel House, in that county, on the 6th of September, 1829.

He was educated, first, at a private school at Elgin, then at the Inverness Royal Academy, and finally at King's College, Aberdeen.

In the year 1846 he entered the office of Mr. J. Abernethy, M. Inst. C.E., who was then engaged in the construction of the Aberdeen harbour works, and on the completion of his apprenticeship, in 1849, obtained the appointment of Assistant-Engineer, under Mr. Abernethy, to the Swansea docks.

In November, 1853, he entered the office of Mr. Abernethy in London, and in July of the following year he took charge of a section of the works of the South-Eastern railway of Switzerland for the contractor, Mr. Edward Pickering. He remained in Switzerland till January, 1857, and in September of the same year he was appointed to the staff of the Madras railway, and took charge of a district containing some difficult and important works, amongst which the chief one was a large bridge over the river Thoota.

He left India on the expiration of his engagement, in July, 1861, the Madras Railway Company at that time declining to renew engagements, owing to a check in the influx of the requisite funds for carrying on works.

In May, 1863, he was engaged by Messrs. William and John Pickering to accompany Mr. Samuel, M. Inst. C.E., the Engineer of the Nicaragua Canal Company, over the proposed line of navigation, with a view to advising them in tendering for the execution of the works. He completed this commission in September of that year.

In May, 1864, he was appointcd by Messrs. Smith, Knight, and Co., to explore the proposed line of railway from Ismid, by Angora, to Sivas, in Asia Minor. He made rough surveys and estimates of the section from Ismid to Angora, but the project was abandoned, and he returned to England after an absence of four months.

In September, 1866, he was appointed Chief Resident Engineer of the Mexican railway - then the Imperial Mexican - of which Mr. Samuel was the Consulting Engineer. This appointment he held till the death of the Emperor Maximilian, in 1867, when he returned to England, passing through the United States and Canada.

In January, 1869, he resumed his appointment in Mexico, but held it for a very short time, returning to England in ill health on the 20th of June, and on the same day in the following year he died at Edinburgh.

Mr. Fraser had been an Associate of the Institution from the 1st of December, 1863.

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