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William Galwey

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William Galwey (1828-1876)


1877 Obituary [1]

MR. WILLIAM GALWEY, the eldest son of the Rev. Charles Galwey, late Archdeacon of Derry, and his wife Honoria Enox, was born at Londonderry on the 12th of July, 1828.

He was educated by his father until his fourteenth year, when he was sent to Foyle College, where he remained until 1844, and afterwards to the Royal School of Dungannon ; thence he removed to Trinity College, Dublin, taking a good place at the Entrance Examinations.

After passing the three years’ course at the School of Engineering, and obtaining the Diploma of Engineering of the College in November 1849, he served a pupilage of eighteen months (1852-53) under the late Mr. Henry Greene, during which he was employed on the construction of the Londonderry and Enniskillen railway.

In September 1853 he entered the service of the Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway Company, under Colonel J. Pitt Kennedy, M. Inst. C.E., the Consulting Engineer, and was employed in India, at first for two years and a half as an Assistant, and then for two years as a Resident Engineer. In the early part of this time, while the surveys, &c., were sent to England for approval, he spent six months at Mount Abboo with the late Sir Henry Lawrence, who himself afforded Mr. Galwey valuable assistance in the study of the native languages, and took him on a military progress through Rajpootana, giving him some slight employment in field engineering. Mr. Galwey’s house at Surat was almost the last friend’s house in which Sir Henry Lawrence stayed, as a day or two after leaving it he was summoned to take the command in Oude.

On Mr. Galwey’s return home in 1858, he was fox eighteen months, until the close of 1859, Engineer-in-Chief to the Londonderry and Lough Swilly Railway Company, and at the same time Engineer of the Londonderry and Coleraine railway and of the Lough Foyle and Lough Swilly Reclamations ; afterwards he was Contractor’s Agent for the late Mr. Alexander T. Gordon for four years, until the end of 1863, during which time he had charge of the construction of the Dungannon and Omagh railway, and other important undertakings, principally where Mr. G. W. Hemans, M. Inst. C.E., was Engineer-in-Chief.

From this time to the end of 1870 he was in private practice, when he constructed some works of minor importance ; next, from March 1871 to September 1873, he held the appointment of Chief Locomotive Superintendent on the railways in Japan, under the Imperial Japanese Government ; and subsequently, of Resident Engineer in the same service, to March 1875, during which latter appointment the Engineer-in-Chief was Mr. R. V. Boyle, C.S.I., M. Inst. C.E.

On the opening of the first Japanese railway, Mr. Galwey was presented by the Mikado with some valuable gifts, and a testimonial in recognition of his efficiency and the services he had rendered.

Mr. Galwey was obliged to resign this appointment in consequence of failure of health, and returned to Ireland, where he remained during 1875, and early in 1876 sailed with his family for New Zealand, in hopes that the sea voyage and good climate of the colony would restore him to health, and that he would be successful in his profession there ; but his health was too far undermined, and although on landing he rallied, the improvement was but temporary, for after lingering some months he died on the 16th of September, 1876 ; having only been elected a Member of the Institution on the 7th of March previous.


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