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Robert Blake Worsley Holmes

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Robert Blake Worsley Holmes (1878-1931)

1931 Obituary [1]

ROBERT BLAKE WORSLEY HOLMES, O.B.E., who was general manager and chief engineer of the Palestine Railways, was born in 1878 and educated at Aberdeen Grammar School and Aberdeen University.

He served his apprenticeship with Messrs. Clyne Mitchell and Company of Aberdeen.

He subsequently had an extremely varied career and carried out important work under the Colonial and Home Governments. He received his first appointment in 1900 as assistant engineer in connexion with the construction of the Lagos Railway, Nigeria.

He later went to Mexico for Messrs. S. Pearson and Son, who were engaged on the construction of the Salina Cruz Harbour and the Tehuantepec Railway.

In 1905 he returned to Nigeria and took up the position of assistant locomotive superintendent of the Government Railways. He was successively appointed works manager, district locomotive superintendent, and deputy chief mechanical engineer of the Nigerian Eastern Railway.

In 1916 he returned to England and was instructed by the War Office to form mechanical and shipyard formations of the Inland Waterways and Docks Branch of the Royal Engineers at Richborough.

In 1919 he proceeded to Damascus as assistant director of railway traffic in charge of the Hedjaz Railway and was responsible for the evacuation of troops by rail from Syria.

In 1919 he was appointed Director of Railway Traffic, Egyptian Expeditionary Force, and in March 1920 he was gazetted Colonel (grade T) and appointed general manager, Palestine Military Railways. Later he was taken over by the Civil Government as general manager.

He became an Associate Member of the Institution in 1908 and was transferred to membership in 1912. He was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

His death occurred on 29th October 1931.

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