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George Henderson (1783-1855)

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Lieut-Colonel George Henderson (1783-1855)

1837 Lieut-Colonel George Henderson, late of the Royal Engineers and residing at Wandsworth, became a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.[1]

1856 Obituary [2]

LIEUTENANT COLONEL GEORGE HENDERSON, R.E., son of the late Captain Henderson of the 4th Royals, was born on the 4th of June 1783, at Newton, his Father’s property, on the banks of the nee, Aberdeenshire.

At an early age, he obtained his commission at Woolwich, and joined the Corps of Royal Engineers at Portsmouth, as Second Lieutenant, in March 1800. He became First Lieutenant in April 1801, and, two years afterwards, proceeded to Ceylon, where he remained on duty for a period of nine years, and whence he returned in August 1812, with the rank of Captain.

In September, he vas ordered to join the army, then operating in the Peninsula, and signalised himself at the siege and fall of St. Sebastian, on which occasion his services received well-merited and honourable mention in the despatches of the Commander-in-Chief.

He was also present at the battles of the Nive, Nivelle, and Orthes, for which he received a medal with two clasps, having previously obtained a gold medal for his services at St. Sebastian.

At the close of the Peninsular war, he returned in September 1814, to assume a military command in Ireland, where he remained for a year and a half.

On his marriage, he was stationed for three years in Canada, and he finally returned to his native country, in August 1819. He attained the rank of Lieutenant- Colonel, on the 30th of December 1824, and retired from the service, on the 9th of April 1825. He was on intimate terms with most of the past and many of the present officers of his Corps, among whom may be mentioned General Sir John Burgoyne, Lieutenant-Generals Sir Harry Jones, Ellicombe, and Fanshawe, Major-General Sir William Reid, and General Sir C. TV. Pasley, by whom he was introduced to the Institution of Civil Engineers, which he joined as an Associate, in May 1837.

In 1830, he devoted himself to the arduous task of forming the London and South-Western Railway Company and was connected with that line, first, as General Superintendent, and subsequently, as Direct,or, from its commencement until his decease, which took place at Southampton, on the 21st of April 1855, when he had nearly completed his seventy-second year.

For some years prior to his death, he had become Chairman of the London Equitable Gas Company, and also of the Southampton Gas Company.

His loss was lamented by a 1arge circle of friends, as well as by his family, which had long appreciated in him, a fond and affectionate parent. The estimation in which he was held by his fellow-townsmen, may be gathered from the following paragraph. which appeared in one of the Hampshire journals, immediately after his death :-

'Colonel Henderson was long resident in Southampton, and was generally respected by all classes. His conscientious discharge of the various duties connected with several directions, which he was attached to, was well known to all with whom he wa- s connected. Indeed, we believe it will be some time, before Southampton will find a successor, possessing the many qualifications of talent, energy, perseverance, and urbanity of manner, which the deceased gentleman combined in his person. The Colonel was of Conservative politics, but was alike respected by men of all shades of opinion in Southampton.'

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