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Godfrey Oates Mann

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Godfrey Oates Mann (1829-1903)

1903 Obituary [1]

GODFREY OATES MANN was born at Elland, in Yorkshire, in 1829.

At the age of 12 he went with his parents to live at Rouen, and in the year 1844 he commenced his engineering career in the locomotive, carriage and general railway plant workshops of Messrs. Allcard, Buddicom and Company in that city, in which works he remained for three years.

Leaving France in 1847 he was engaged for a time in the works of Messrs. George Forrester and Company, of Vauxhall Foundry, Liverpool, and in the following year he entered the workshops of the Caledonian Railway, at Greenock, where he remained until 1850. During the latter part of that year he was employed for a few months at Doncaster in the Great Northern Railway Works.

Early in 1851 Mr. Mann was engaged by Messrs. Faviell and Fowler as their Mechanical Engineer and Agent on the construction of the first section of the Great Indian Peninsular Railway, from Bombay to Tanna, on which work he was employed for two years.

Leaving India in 1853 he returned to England,and was principal locomotive draughtsman in the works of Messrs. E. B. Wilson and Company, of Leeds, where he remained until 1855, when he was engaged to take out to the Crimea the locomotive and stationary engines for the Balaklava Railway, which line he worked successfully until the retirement of the British army in 1856.

At the end of 1856 Mr. Mann was appointed Locomotive Superintendent of the Recife and Sao Francisco (Pernambuco) Railway. He proceeded to Pernambuco in February, 1867, and after completing the shipping and landing arrangements and the erection of the rolling stock, he designed and superintended the construction of the Company’s workshops and of the whole of the plant required during the construction of the line. In 1863 he was appointed the Company’s Engineer in Brazil, in addition to holding the post of Locomotive Superintendent, and in October, 1865, he became General Manager of the line. .

On his retirement in 1875, after eighteen years’ service in Brazil, he was elected to a seat on the Board, remaining a Director of the Company until September, 1901, when it went into voluntary liquidation. During his service in Brazil he represented the Company in various difficult and delicate negotiations with the Government of that country and with the provincial administration of Pernambuco, all of which negotiations be brought to a successful issue. His knowledge of French and Portuguese, both of which languages he spoke fluently, was of great use on such occasions.

Since 1875 Mr. Mann lived in retirement, for many years at St. Leonards-on-Sea, where his death took place on the 27th January, 1903.

He was elected a Member of the Institution on the 6th December, 1864. In the previous November he had presented a Paper "On the Decay of Materials in Tropical Climates, and the Methods Employed for Arresting and Preventing it" for which he was awarded a Telford Premium.

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