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Robert Wood Everett Green

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Robert Wood Everett Green (1847-1876)

1877 Obituary [1]

MR. OBERT WOOD EVERETT GREEN was born on the 29th of January, 1847.

He was educated first at a private school, and afterwards at King’s College, London, taking at both places a position in advance of his age. After a year spent with a private tutor, in 1863 he entered the Science Department of King’s College, devoting himself especially to engineering.

In 1864 he was articled to Mr. F. W. Sheilds, M.Inst.C.E., with whom he remained two years. He then entered the ironworks of the Teviotdale Company, near Dudley, and after some months, was commissioned to superintend the erection of iron gates in the dock constructed for the Messrs. Brogden, at Porthcawl, South Wales.

His professional studies were completed in 1867, and he became a candidate for a position in the Public Works Department of the Government of India, and after preliminary study, under Mr. C. P. Shelley, Assoc. Inst. C.E., he passed first in the examination of December of that year.

On the 4th of February, 1868, he sailed for Calcutta; and having selected the Punjab as his field of action, was stationed at Pind Dadan Khan, to take the post of an absent senior, and, proving himself adequate to the position, was retained in it. Whilst there, he had charge of a considerable district, including the important salt-mines of Kheora, from which Government derived a large revenue, and where he drove several new drifts.

On one occasion of sudden flood, the water broke down a wall, threatening to make its way into the mine, and endangering its safety, the pillars being all of salt. Mr. Green, then young on the station, telegraphed to head-quarters for orders. The reply was: "You are on the spot: you must do what you think best. You may press men." Several hundred men were pressed, and worked in gangs night and day, he himself never leaving the mine. A protecting wall was built only just in time. A tempest came on violently a few hours afterwards, but the wall stood, except a small portion where the mortar was still wet, and the mine was saved.

His other chief works there were the construction of a bridge of boats across the Jhelum, the sinking of wells, repairing roads, church, and cemetery, and building a hospital at Talagung, &c.

Early in 1870, he was transferred to the irrigation works, and was stationed on the Baree Doab canal, his head-quarters being at Punjgriani, 8 miles from Umritsur. Here he had 50 miles of canal to survey, and at first the work went on prosperously, but it became tedious in time, from the difficulty of obtaining the necessary government orders for the masonry required.

After six months’ furlough, in September 1873 he was sent to take temporary charge of famine relief works, first on stations south of the Ganges, in the Patna and Dinapore districts, and later, north of the Ganges, at Bettiah, near Moteharee. His assiduous labours elicited special notice in the Indian press, and procured for him the thanks of Government.

But his health gave way, and in April 1875 he came home on furlough for nine months. He improved considerably while in England, and returned to his duties in December 1875.

He was then stationed on the Sirhind canal, at Bool, near Loodianah, having about 30 miles of the canal under his care.

In April 1876 he had an attack of dysentery, which shook him a good deal, and left his health in a delicate state, from which he never recovered.

He died on the 12th of September, 1876. A few days later, his promotion to the rank of Executive Engineer would have been gazetted.

He was a young man of warm domestic affections and generous impulses, with a high sense of honour, and of considerable abi1it.y and cultivated taste. He was noticed in India as one of the few men who carried the amenities of civilised life into the jungle. He contributed occasionally to periodical literature, both in England and in India, but not on scientific subjects.

Mr. Everett Green was elected an Associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers on the 7th of March, 1876.

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