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British Industrial History

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Frederick George Slessor

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Frederick George Slessor (1831-1905)

1907 Obituary [1]

FREDERICK GEORGE SLESSOR, born on the 2nd October, 1831, was educated at Sherborne School and at a private school at Kibworth, and received his practical training under the late Mr. W. M. Peniston, on the Wilts, Somerset and Weymouth Railway.

In 1853 he was appointed Assistant Engineer on the construction of the Somerset Central Railway, and on its completion in the following year he joined the staff of the East Indian Railway, and was engaged until 1858 in supervising hemy construction work, and on extensive surveys for a connecting line between the East Indian and Great Indian Peninsula systems.

He was next employed for 3 years on the surveys for the Ceylon Railway, returning to England in 1861, when he was appointed Engineer to the Somerset Central, afterwards the Somerset and Dorset Railway. Retaining this position until November, 1874, he was responsible for the maintenance of permanent way, and for all parliamentary and construction work in connection with the line, and in addition, he acted for some years as locomotive and carriage superintendent.

In December, 1874, on the nomination of the late Sir Charles Hutton Gregory, Past-President, he received an appointment on the staff of the Cape Government Railways, acting at first as Chief Officer of Surveys and Resident Engineer, and subsequently becoming Chief Resident Engineer of the Eastern system. On the completion of 16 years’ service at the Cape he retired on a pension and returned home.

In 1891, at the request of the Crown Agents for the Colonies, he went out to Johore in the Malay Peninsula, to make surveys and to report on the construction of a railway through the State.

He returned in the following year, having made a complete survey through difficult jungle country and prepared a detailed report and estimates for the work. Although of reserved demeanour, a quiet humour and kindly disposition, allied with unerring judgment and fixity of purpose rendered him a good co-worker and chief, his relations with colleagues and subordinates being always just and kind. Mr. Slessor died on the 15th October, 1905, aged 74.

He was elected an Associate of The Institution on the 3rd December, 1861, and was transferred to the class of Members on the 17th January, 1865.

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