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George Edward Wilson Cruttwell

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George Edward Wilson Cruttwell (1857-1933), senior partner in the firm of Sir John Wolfe Barry and Partners

1857 December 5th. Born at Frome the son of Wilson Clement Cruttwell, Attorney and Solicitor, and his wife Georgina

1894-97 In charge of the workings of Tower Bridge, London

1911 Living at Bayfield House, Little Bookham, Leatherhead: Edward Cruttwell (age 53 born Frome), Civil Engineer. With his son Patrick Cruttwell (age 11 born Eccleston Square). Four servants. Note: The four female servants 'refuse to give me any information so long as the vote is refused to women'[1]

1933 November 10th. Died

1933 Obituary [2]

GEORGE EDWARD WILSON CRUTTWELL had been senior partner in the firm of Sir John Wolfe Barry and Partners since 1919.

He was born at Frome, Somerset, in 1857, and educated at Clifton College and King's College, London. He then became a pupil of the late Mr. R. P. Brereton and was subsequently appointed assistant resident engineer on Neath Harbour Improvement Works.

In 1879 he entered the service of Mr. (afterwards Sir) John Wolfe Barry, M.I.Mech.E., and Mr. H. M. Brunel, M.I.Mech.E., and acted as resident engineer on St. Paul's station bridge, and was in 1886 appointed resident engineer on the construction of the Tower Bridge.

From 1894 to 1897 he was in charge of the working of the bridge, and remained consulting engineer for that structure until his death.

Mr. Cruttwell in 1897 went into private practice for some years, and held an appointment to the Orange Free State railways until the South African War broke out.

In 1900 he prepared a scheme for widening London Bridge without adding to the weight on the foundations, which was carried out under his supervision without any interference with the traffic.

He joined the firm of Sir John Wolfe Barry and Partners in 1901, and since then he had been intimately connected with many large undertakings. The swing bridge, cranes, caisson gates, and machinery for the docks at Grangemouth, Middlesbrough, and Immingham were all designed and erected under his direction, as well as an ingenious hydraulic drawbridge which he designed and erected in 1912 over the river Hull.

During the War Mr. Cruttwell devoted most of his time to work for the Department of Explosives Supply.

He had been a Member of the Institution since 1898 and served on the Committee of the Benevolent Fund for some time. He was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

His death occurred on 10th November 1933.

1933 Obituary[3]


A veteran civil engineer passed away on November 10 in the person of Mr. George Edward Wilson Cruttwell, who, for the past thirty years, had been a partner in the firm of Messrs. Sir John Wolfe Barry and Partners, 2, Queen Anne’s-gate, London, S.W.l. Mr. Cruttwell was born at Frome, Somerset, on December 5, 1857, and received his general education at Clifton College, afterwards passing on to King’s College (Applied Science Department), London. In October, 1876, he became an articled pupil of the late Mr R. P. Brereton, and after a year in the office was for two years assistant resident engineer on the Neath Harbour Railway and dock works under Mr. W. Bell. In November, 1879, he passed into the service of the late Mr. (afterwards Sir) John Wolfe Barry and Mr. H. M. Brunel, and, in 1883, became resident engineer in sole charge of the construction of the new bridge and station for the London, Chatham and Dover Railway, at St. Paul’s, Blackfriars, London. From 1886 to 1894 he served as resident engineer on the Tower Bridge, and, when that structure was completed, was appointed consulting engineer for the Bridge, which appointment he held until his death. In 1897, Mr. Cruttwell opened a private practice and took an office at Delahay-street, Westminster. Among other appointments, he held that of consulting engineer to the Orange Free State Government Railways and Public Works. He designed and superintended the widening of London Bridge by corbelling out, and in 1900 obtained the premium of 1,0002. from the New South Wales Government for a design, submitted in competition, for Sydney Harbour Bridge.

In 1901, Sir John Wolfe Barry invited Mr. Cruttwell to join his firm, and in his position as partner he had a full share of the responsibility for the design and execution of numerous important dock and harbour works at Barry, Grangemouth, Immingham, Newport (Mon), Grimsby, and elsewhere, as well as works on the Thames and the Wallasey Ferry works on the Mersey. He was also connected with harbour and river-improvement works in India and China, and was frequently consulted in matters concerning problems of river estuaries, more particularly those of the Thames and the Humber, of which he possessed very complete knowledge. Mr. Cruttwell was also connected with railway-bridge and structural-steel engineering in this country and abroad, and, among other works with which he was concerned were the Connel Ferry Bridge near Oban, and bridges on the Bengal-Nagpur Railway. In conjunction with his partner, Mr. K. A. Wolfe Barry, he surveyed and investigated upwards of 600 miles of canals in England and reported thereon to the Royal Commission on Canals and Waterways in 1908 and 1909. These reports are bearing fruit in the works of improvement carried out by the Trent Navigation and the Grand Union Canal Company. During the war he was actively engaged on work for the Department of Explosives Supply and, since 1925, has acted as honorary consulting engineer to the Imperial War Graves Commission. Mr. Crjittwell was elected an associate member of the Institution of Civil Engineers on February 6, 1883, and was transferred to the rank of member on March 13, 1888. For his paper, “ The Foundations of the Two River Piers of the Tower Bridge,” read during the 1892-1893 session, he was awarded a Telford Premium, and for his further contribution, “ The Tower Bridge : Superstructure,” presented during the 1896—1897 session, he was awarded a George Stephenson Medal and a Telford Premium. Mr. Cruttwell became a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1898, and was deputy-chairman of the Benevolent Fund at the time of his death. He was also elected a member of the Engineering Institute of Canada on April 13, 1912."

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