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Gifford Frederick Mathews

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Gifford Frederick Mathews (1861-1934)


1934 Obituary [1]

GIFFORD FREDERICK MATHEWS was for nearly forty years consulting and inspecting engineer to the Governments of New South Wales, South Australia, and Western Australia.

He was born at Chatham in 1861, and was educated at the Merchant Taylors' School and at Charterhouse.

In 1879 he entered the Science and Art Department of the South Kensington Polytechnic, and afterwards joined the City and Guilds of London College, where he graduated with honours.

For two years he was a pupil in the Bow works of Messrs. Hunter and English, and then entered the Stratford Works of the Great Eastern Railway, and served a four years' apprenticeship terminating in 1884. He was then appointed assistant manager in the wagon department, and later held a similar position in the locomotive erecting shop. He became inspector of materials in 1887.

In 1895 he went into business as a consulting engineer and inspector of materials, and in that year he commenced his long association with the various Australian federal governments.

Among many other appointments he acted as inspector of materials to the Metropolitan Water Board, Messrs. John Coates and Company, of Westminster, and Leeds Corporation. Subsequently he also held an appointment as consulting engineer to the Government of Tasmania, and was responsible for the introduction of Garratt locomotives both in Tasmania and Western Australia.

During the War he joined the inspecting staff of the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, with responsibility for munitions produced in the Manchester area. In 1918 he resumed his connexion with the Western Australian and South Australian Governments, and later he was also similarly associated with the Government of Queensland.

He continued in this work until his death, which occurred on 4th July 1934.

He had been a Member of the Institution since 1913.


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