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British Industrial History

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David Simms

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David Simms (1845-1896)

1896 Obituary [1]

DAVID SIMMS was born on the 5th of May, 1845.

After being educated at a private school at Tottenham and at King’s College, London, he was apprenticed in 1862 to Mr. James Abernethy, Past-President.

From May to October, 1861, he was engaged in Ireland as an Assistant-Engineer on the Banbridge Extension Railway, where he gained experience in laying out and superintending heavy works, particularly in connection with the crossings of the River Bann by the railway.

In July, 1866, he became an Assistant-Engineer on the Belfast Waterworks, which post he held until their completion in October, 1868.

In May of the following year he was appointed an Assistant-Engineer on the Intercolonial Railway of Canada, and had charge of the construction of various sections of that line.

From June, 1873, to September, 1877, he was engaged as a Divisional Engineer on the Coteau and Ottawa Railway, and on the Montreal, Ottawa and Western Railway.

Mr. Simms returned to Ireland early in 1878, in April of which year he became an assistant to Mr. John Lanyon, of Belfast, for whom he acted as Resident Engineer on the Limavady and Dungiven Railway, the Ballymena Sewerage, and various tramways and miscellaneous works.

From June, 1885, to July, 1891, he was employed by the Commissioners of Public Works to superintend the construction of Culdaff Pier, Arklow Harbour, and the Shannon Drainage Works at Killaloe; to hold inquiries and report on drainage and tramway schemes; and to take charge of a section of the Collooney and Claremorris Railway.

He was then engaged for six months on the construction of the Westport and Mulrany Railway, the works on which were of a very heavy nature.

In 1892 Mr. Simms took an office in Belfast and endeavoured to obtain work as a consulting engineer. Meeting, however, with but little success, he accepted, in August, 1894, an offer from Mr. John Lanyon to act as Resident Engineer on the Lisburn Waterworks, which post he held until his death, from an internal chill, on the 20th of January, 1896. Mr. Simms was a man of genial and kindly disposition, whose loss is regretted by many friends.

He was elected a Member on the 29th of May, 1883.

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