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British Industrial History

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James Dredge (1848-1876)

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James Dredge (1848-1876)


1877 Obituary [1]

MR. JAMES DREDGE was born in London on the 17th of September, 1848, and was educated at Morden Hall, Surrey. At sixteen years of age he was articled to his father, and remained with him first as a pupil and afterwards as an assistant - partly practising on his own account-until December 1872.

In 1868 his competitive design was selected by the Camberwell Vestry for the construction of a bridge, with the approach roads, across the Surrey Canal at Peckham, known as Taylor‘s Bridge, and which he carried into execution in the following year. Subsequently, in 1872, the Vestry intrusted him with the design and execution of the Globe Bridge and approach roads across the Rosemary branch of the same canal.

In 1871 he was engaged in the construction of bridges on the Bardonnechia and Susa section of the Mont Cenis railway. One, the Comba Abscure, is a lattice girder bridge, 184 feet long, spanning a chasm nearly 400 feet deep between the spurs of the Alps. The Direction of this line complimented him in a letter with reference to this bridge, remarking: 'Though the difficulties which surrounded the erection of such important works on the flanks of the highest mountains in Europe were great and manifold, we have much pleasure in being able to state that from the commencement to the finish there was neither accident nor mishap of any kind, nor the slightest injury one to any workman engaged.'

In January 1873 Mr. Dredge was appointed an assistant engineer on the Great Southern of India railway; and for several years was in charge of important sections of the line.

In November 1875, whilst on the Madura section, Colonel Shaw Stewart., R.E., Assoc. Inst. C.E., inspected the unopened part of the Southern extension on behalf of the Government, which led the Governor in Council to express satisfaction with the laudable exertions of the officers of the company.

In December 1875 Mr. Dredge went, in perfect health, on a short shooting excursion on the Pulney Hills. The extreme cold as contrasted with the heat of the plains brought on a severe attack of inflammation of the liver, from which he recovered sufficiently to return to England.

The severity of the spring of that year, however, caused on his arrival a relapse, from which he never rallied, but gradually sank, and died on the 11th of May, 1876.

He was elected an Associate of the Institution on the 4th of May, 1875.



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