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James Ibbs Lawson (1861-1896)
1896 Obituary 
JAMES IBBS LAWSON was born at Ulverston, Lancashire, on 7th February 1861.
His early education was received at the Merchant Taylors' School, Great Crosby, near Liverpool.
In 1872 he went with his parents to New Zealand, where his education was continued at Christ's College, Christchurch.
In 1876 he was articled to [Charles Napier Bell|Mr. Charles Napier Bell]]; and on the expiration of the term in 1881 he entered the service of the government railway department, subsequently becoming assistant engineer of the Southland district in 1886, and resident engineer in 1888.
In April 1889 he went in the latter capacity to the Wellington district, returning to Southland in December of the same year.
In December 1891 he was transferred to the Auckland district, and finally in May 1892 to the Napier-Taranaki district, in which he had charge of 407 miles of railway.
His death occurred on 2nd July 1896, at the age of thirty-five, from the result of an accident. In company with Mr. Lowe, the engineer-in-chief, he was inspecting the permanent line, which had been damaged by floods, and when the train was approaching the long Pohangina Bridge he leaned forward on the platform of the carriage to see the track. Looking backwards he was killed by his head striking an iron girder of the bridge, and he was hurled into the river below. His remains were recovered in January 1897, over six months after the accident.
He became a Graduate of this Institution in 1881; and was also an Associate Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.
1897 Obituary