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Henry John Pauling

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Henry John Pauling (1821-1892)

1821 Christened in Chatham, son of George and Sarah Pauling

Brother of George Clarke Pauling


1893 Obituary [1]

HENRY JOHN PAULING was born at Rochester on the 10th of March, 1821, and gained his first engineering knowledge and experience in the service of G. C. Pauling and Co, engineers and contractors, of Manchester.

After remaining with that firm for nearly ten years, he was appointed in 1853 an Assistant Engineer on the construction of the Roeskilde and Korsoer Railway in Denmark under W. G. Brounger, the representative of the contractors, Fox, Henderson and Co. He had charge of a district of 25 miles, and on the completion of the work, in 1856, was entrusted by the same firm with the construction of the Portadown and Dungannon Railway in Ireland, upon which he was engaged for two years.

In 1859, the late Sir Charles Fox having accepted the post of Engineer to the Cape Town Railway and Dock Company, Mr. Pauling was appointed District Engineer, under Mr. W. G. Brounger, in charge of the construction of about 25 miles of the Wellington Railway.

In 1864, he became Resident Engineer of the whole of that line under the Company, a post which he continued to hold when the Colonial Government took over the railway in January, 1873. Important extensions having been sanctioned by Parliament, he was entrusted with the control of their construction, with an assistant in immediate charge of the open line as it advanced inland.

In 1881 he was appointed Chief Resident Engineer of the western of the three colonial railway systems, and on several occasions acted as Railway Engineer for the Colony.

Mr. Pauling succeeded in 1885 to the appointment of Engineer-in-Chief of the Cape Government Railways, which he retained until his retirement in 1891.

In the several capacities referred to he had charge of the construction of nearly 1,200 miles of railway in South Africa, while during the last six years of his term of office, he had chief control of the maintenance of the whole of the Government railways in the Colony, extending - at the time of his retirement - over upwards of 2,000 miles.

He died at his residence near Cape Town on the 8th September, 1892, from bronchitis. Mr. Pauling was a good judge of work, was in character cautious, and in manner genial and courteous, but retiring. He was held in high esteem by his superior officers, and looked up to with affection by his subordinates.

He was elected a Member of the Institution on the 4th of May, 1880.


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