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George Humfress

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George Humfress (1854-1904)

1906 Obituary [1]

GEORGE HUMFRESS, born on the 4th May, 1854, received his professional training at the Thomason Engineering College, Roorkee, and was in due course appointed to the Public Works Department of India.

In October, 1873, he was posted to the railway branch of the service in the Punjab, where he was employed for a short time on the Alexandra Bridge, under Mr. H. Johnson.

Early in the following year he was elected as one of the engineers of the Durbhunga Famine Railway, the construction of which was energetically pushed forward as a measure of relief and for use in the fight against the Behar famine of 1874. For his share in this work, Mr. Humfress received special commendation.

After its completion, he served on the Tirhoot and Patna-Gya State Railways, under Mr. (now Sir) F. L. O’Callaghan, until obliged to take leave on medical certificate in 1884.

Returning to India in 1885, he joined the staff of the North-Western Railway, and held executive charge of 350 miles of open line, including the Lansdowne Bridge at Sukkur, until 1892, when he became personal assistant to Mr. G. H. List, the Chief Engineer.

In 1893, he was transferred to the frontier section of the North- Western system, subsequently acting as Engineer-in-chief of the division. In the discharge of his arduous and exacting duties, Mr. Humfress was exposed in all weathers to the trying climate of Baluchistan and on one occasion, whilst on inspection duty, he met with a severe accident, from the after effects of which, despite the beneficial effect of a voyage to England in 1896, he never completely recovered.

He continued to serve on the North-Western system, rising to the rank of Superintending Engineer first class, and Deputy Chief Engineer of the southern section, until his last illness, which ended in his death on the 28th December, 1904. Mr. Humfress was an energetic and capable officer, and his devotion to duty earned for him on several occasions the thanks of the Government of India.

He was elected a Member of the Institution on the 21st May, 1895.

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