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William Herbert Wheeler

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William Herbert Wheeler (1867-1896)

1867 Born the son of William Henry Wheeler

1896 Civil Engineer, Died aged 28 after drowning off Skegness whilst Yachting.[1]


1896 Obituary [2]

WILLIAM HERBERT WHEELER, B.A., elder son of Mr. William Henry Wheeler, Harbour Engineer of Boston, was drowned, with his brother Ralf, off Skegness on the 28th of June, 1896. The brothers were sailing to Hull in their yacht, a vessel of about 4 tons, and having moored her for the night off Skegness were returning from shore when the skiff in which they were rowing was carried out of its course by a strong southerly current. In their endeavour to make fast to a buoy, towards which the current had carried them, the skiff was capsized and its occupants were drowned.

The subject of this notice was born on the 11th of May, 1867, and was educated at Cheltenham College and at Cambridge University, where he attended the engineering course and graduated with honours.

In June, 1887, he was articled to his father, with whom he subsequently remained as an assistant. In that capacity he made surveys for the canal to join the Aire and Calder Navigation with the South Yorkshire Canal, and for the Shipcote Drainage, the works of which he afterwards superintended under his father’s direction. He also made surveys and observations for reports on the improvement of the River Wharfe and of the River Colne from Colchester to the sea; and took tidal and other observations of the Ribble and the Parrett for a similar object.

He successfully directed the raising and removal of the S.S. 'Ethel,' which had been wrecked in the Witham and was seriously impeding navigation; and he designed a new form of dredger called the 'Eroder' dredger, by means of which shoals in the Witham were removed at a very small cost. He assisted in reorganizing the lighting of Boston Deeps and the River Witham by an improved system of leading lights, by which the approach from the sea was much facilitated, and at the time of his death he was employed in superintending the dredging and deepening of the river from Boston Deeps to the sea.

Mr. Wheeler was elected an Associate Member on the 6th of December, 1892.

As a Student he had previously read a Paper on 'The Cleaning and Deepening of Rivers and Canals by means of the Transporting Power of Water,' for which he was awarded a Miller Prize.



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