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Thomas Haines Wickes

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Thomas Haines Wickes (1840-1899)

1900 Obituary [1]

THOMAS HAINES WICKES, born on the 22nd February, 1840, was educated at Cheltenham Grammar School, where he distinguished himself in mathematics.

In 1857 he went to India and for two years served under his brother, Mr. Henry Wickes, on the East Indian Railway, being employed during that time on the construction of the Jumna Bridge.

He then entered, in April 1861, the Bengal Public Works Department as an Assistant Engineer, and was engaged on road construction in Behar until January 1864, when he resigned on his own initiative.

After acting for a time as Engineer to the Suburban Municipality of Calcutta, he was re-appointed, in November 1865, to the Bengal Public Works Department, as an Executive Engineer, 4th-grade, and was posted temporarily to the Presidency Division.

In the following January he was transferred to the Chittagong Division, and in April, 1868, to the Berhampore Division, of which he assumed charge in 1872.

He was next engaged for some years in carrying out extensive training works on the Nuddea Rivers which transformed that division into a lucrative source of revenue to the Government.

From May to September, 1874, he was employed on special duty in the famine districts for which he received the thanks of the Government.

In the following year he was again detailed for special duty in connection with the Eastern Bengal Railway, and in April, 1878, he was appointed Officiating Assistant Secretary to the Government of Bengal in the Public Works Department.

Mr. Wickes was confirmed in that appointment in April 1880, and during his tenure of the post reported on the ancient Temple of Budhgaya, advising its restoration by the Government, a work which was subsequently carried out.

In 1881 he was promoted to Superintending Engineer, and in 1888 to Chief Engineer; and in the latter year he was transferred to the North Western Provinces and Oudh Public Works Department to officiate as Chief Engineer and Joint Secretary.

Mr. Wickes finally left India on furlough in 1893, and in February, 1895, he retired from the Public Works Department after thirty-three years’ service. In the following July he went to Greece to report, on behalf of the bondholders, on the Lake Copais drainage scheme, and was subsequently appointed for three years Manager in Greece of the Company’s affairs. Having succeeded in materially improving the prospects of the Company he returned to England only a few months before his death, the result of an operation, on the 8th November, 1899.

Mr. Wickes was elected a Member of the Institution on the 20th May, 1890.

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