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John Wallis Shores

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John Wallis Shores (1851-1935)

1935 Obituary [1]

JOHN WALLIS SHORES, C.M.G., the eldest son of John Wallis Shores, of Worthing, was born on the 18th February, 1851, and died at Pietermaritzburg, Natal, on the 5th January, 1935. He was educated at Lancing College and at Holbrooke House School, Richmond, Surrey.

He served a 3 years’ pupilage with Mr. William Parsey of Westminster, and then entered the service of the Ashbury Carriage and Iron Company, Openshaw, Manchester.

From 1872 to 1874 he was in the office of Messrs. T. & C. Hawksley, of Westminster, which was followed by service with Mr. G. W. Willcocks, M. Inst. C.E., on the construction of the Mitcheldean and Forest of Dean Railway.

His next post was that of assistant engineer to the Diamond Rock Boring Company, upon the commencement of a contract for the construction of a section of the Llynvi and Ogmore Railways in Glamorganshire.

In 1876 Mr. Shores was appointed assistant engineer on the Natal Government Railways, and six years later was promoted to the grade of District Engineer, in charge of the construction of 20 miles from Mooi River to Estcourt, and, upon its completion, had charge of the maintenance of a further section of the line. In 1889 he was promoted to the new office of Superintending Engineer of Construction and Survey.

The railways of Natal had by this time made good progress, and soon afterwards negotiations were opened with the Transvaal railways undertaking for the extension of the line from Charlestown to Johannesburg. An agreement having been reached, the construction of this section was put in hand by Sir David Hunter, the General Manager, Mr. Shores acting as Superintending Engineer. The opening of the line took place in December, 1895, thus placing Natal in an advantageous position in relation to the Transvaal Rand goldfields.

Two years later he became Engineer-in-Chief of the Natal Railways, in whose service he remained until his retirement in 1910. He was mentioned in dispatches by General Sir Redvers Buller, V.C., for services rendered in reconstruction of railways in Natal and Transvaal during the Boer War of 1899-1901.

He was elected an Associate Member of The Institution on the 4th December, 1877, and transferred to the class of Members on the 18th March, 1890. He was the Member of Council resident in South Africa from 1910 to 1912.

He married in 1874 Katherine Florence Emily, second daughter of Mr. George Goslett, by whom he had two sons and two daughters, and who predeceased him by 6 years.

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