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British Industrial History

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Richard Rice Vesey Jeffreys

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Richard Rice Vesey Jeffreys (1862-1949)

1951 Obituary [1]

"RICHARD RICE VESEY JEFFREYS spent almost the whole of his long professional career in South Africa and Southern Rhodesia and was, in particular, closely associated for many years with the Rhodesian Railways. While working on this system he had the misfortune, quite early in life, to lose his right arm. This serious mishap, however, in no way prevented him from continuing to exercise his professional skill with great vigour and considerable success.

He was born at Plymouth in 1862 and educated at Weston College, Bath, the Devon County School, and King's College School, Wimbledon. His long connection with South Africa dated back to 1887 when he found employment in the Rand mines for some nine years, and successively held positions as underground contractor, shift engineer, and manager.

In 1899 he joined the staff of the Rhodesian Railways as junior draughtsman and was promoted to be first assistant engineer on the survey of the Victoria Falls section. This position he continued to hold whilst engaged on other work for the railway, including the erection of the workshops at Mafeking, until 1908 when he went into practice as a mining engineer on his own account and undertook the erection of plant, some of which was of very considerable magnitude, at several gold mines.

Miscellaneous tasks were next undertaken, including railway and mines surveys and from 1917 to 1920 he was chiefly engaged upon bridge construction for the Rhodesian and Beira-Mashonaland Railway in Mozambique. Prior to this period he had been employed on similar work on the Belgian Congo. From 1925 until his retirement from active life in 1933 he was chiefly occupied with work in connection with various mines in Northern and Southern Rhodesia. Mr. Jeffreys, whose death occurred at Cape Town on 6th August 1949 at the age of eighty-seven, was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1901."

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