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James Ralph Walker (1829-1861)
1862 Obituary 
He was educated at the Grammar School of Falkirk, in Stirlingshire, and at the High School and University of Edinburgh, at all of which institutions he distinguished himself by his application and intelligence.
After being from the year 1847 a pupil of Mr. J. R. McClean (Vice-President Inst., C.E.), he was employed by the late Mr. Rendel, (Past-President Inst., C.E.), on the Calcutta and Delhi Railway, during the years 1852 and 1853.
From the year 1853, he was employed by Messrs. Walker, Burges, and Cooper, in their office, and afterwards as Resident Engineer under them, at the Netherton Canal and Tunnel, Staffordshire, on the subject of which he presented a Paper to the Institution, which was read on the 7th February, 1860; and for which he received a Telford Premium.
From the year 1859, he was employed by Messrs. McClean and Stileman, as Resident Engineer, on the South Staffordshire Railway, and other works, in making the surveys for the proposed embankment on the north side of the Thames, and in the laying-out of works connected with iron mines at Hartington, in Derbyshire, where he died at the age of thirty-two years, after a few days’ illness, on the 6th September, 1861.
He had made good use of his time and of the opportunities afforded him, and by his steady attention to his duties had secured the esteem of his employers and of all with whom he was brought into contact. He joined the Institution as a Member in the year 1859, and took ample advantage of the instruction afforded by the Meetings.