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British Industrial History

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Lionel Barrington Simeon

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Lionel Barrington Simeon (1852-1896)

1897 Obituary [1]

LIONEL BARRTNGTON SIMEON, son of Captain Charles Simeon, 46th regiment, and a grandson of Sir Richard Godin Simeon, Bart., M.P., of Swainston, Isle of Wight, was born in New Zealand on the 6th November, 1852.

After being educated at Winchester College, he passed first upon the list of cadets into the "Britannia" in 1866, and, after serving in the Royal Navy as midshipman and sub-lieutenant, was retired at his own request upon full pay in 1873, when he joined the Royal Engineering College at Cooper's Hill.

Having passed through the usual course, Mr. Simeon was appointed to the Public Works Department of India as an assistant engineer, being posted to the North-West Provinces and Oudh, where he served continuously. After being at first employed in the districts of Sitapur and Hurdoi, he was transferred to the hill station of Naini Tal and placed in charge of the military cart-road then being constructed between the railway terminus at Khat Godam and Naini Tal, and in 1883 was specially selected to extend the project and to continue the road for a length of 33 miles, so as to complete communication between the railway terminus at Khat Godam at the foot of the Himalaya Mountains and the military station of Banikhet, which lies at an elevation of over 6,000 feet.

This extension, which was successfully completed in 1889, was carried out in a difficult mountainous country, and included the erection, over the River Kosi, at an elevation of 4,000 feet, of a steel lattice-girder bridge of 200 feet single span, on stone abutments of a height of 40 feet; an iron lattice bridge of a single span of 120 feet, at 50 feet above river-bed over the Ramgarh ravine, numerous masonry bridges of various spans, besides culverts, extensive river training, protective works and other masonry structures.

In 1800 Mr. Simeon was selected by Sir Auckland Colvin, the Lieutenant-Governor, to succeed Colonel Pulford, R.E., as Under-Secretary to the Government of the North- West Provinces, in the buildings and roads and railway branches of the Public Works Department, and in 1893 he was re-transferred to the Executive branch of the Department as divisional engineer of Fyzabad.

In 1895 Mr. Simeon’s health, which had received severe trials owing to malarial poisoning and dysentery during his arduous duties in the Himalayas, broke down, and he obtained furlough for eighteen months to England; but the change was unfortunately made too late, and on the 30th August, 1896, he died at Bournemouth, whither he had gone in the vain hope that the mild climate might enable him to combat the ailment which had seized him.

He was a man of indomitable will and courage, an indefatigable worker, with a keen sense of honour and integrity, straightforward and scrupulously conscientious, a firm friend and a kind-hearted, generous, simple-minded man, who placed duty before all other considerations.

He was elected an Associate OD the 4th March, 1879, and was transferred to full Membership on the 8th November, 1892.

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