Sir Maurice Fitzmaurice 1861-1924, obituary

HF:  Our article, 1924 Report on the Commerial Development of the Port of Hong Kong, begins by mentioning the visit of Sir Maurice Fitzmaurice to Hong Kong in 1920.

Fitzmaurice, as a partner in a firm of Consulting Engineers, had been invited to offer advice on general improvements to Hong Kong’s harbour and also specific areas within that subject.

The following obituary appeared in the proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 1912, and can be found in Gracesguides linked below:

SIR MAURICE FITZMAURICE, C.M.G., F.R.S., was born at Tralee on 11th May 1861, and was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, obtaining degrees both in Arts and Engineering.

Articled in 1883 to the late Sir Benjamin Baker, under whom and Sir John Fowler he was employed, between 1885 and 1888 in construction work on the Forth Bridge, and from 1888 to 1891 in charge of work on the Chignecto Ship Railway in Canada, he was on his return to England engaged, still under Sir Benjamin Baker, on designs and estimates for replacing cast-iron bridges on the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway by steel structures.

In May 1892 he became resident engineer, under Mr. (afterwards Sir Alexander) R. Binnie, on the construction of the Blackwall Tunnel; and in 1898 he was appointed Resident Engineer to the Egyptian Government on the construction of the Assouan Dam, Sir Benjamin Baker being the consulting engineer and Messrs. John Aird and Co., Ltd., the contractors.

Four years later, 1902, following on the retirement of Sir Alexander Bionic, he was appointed Engineer-in-Chief to the London County Council, and during the ten years wherein he held this important post, he was identified with numerous notable achievements in engineering of which modern London now reaps the benefit. The following summary – by no means exhaustive – illustrates both the indefatigable spirit of the subject of this memoir and the wide range of his engineering activities;— the duplication of the main drainage system of London; the London County Council tramways and the subway from the Embankment under Kingsway which connects the northern and southern sections of the London tramway systems; the tunnel under the Thames at Rotherhithe and the footways under the river at Greenwich and Woolwich; the Woolwich Ferries jetties; the L.C.C. coal wharf at Greenwich for the tramway power-station; the new Vauxhall Bridge; the prolongation of the Thames Embankment upstream from the Houses of Parliament, and the Embankment for the New County Hall at the southern end of Westminster Bridge.

In 1912, Sir Maurice joined the firm of Messrs. Coode, Son and Matthews, afterwards changed, on the retirement of Sir William Matthews, to Messrs. Coode, Fitzmaurice, Wilson, and Mitchell, and was a partner in the firm at the time of his death. During this period he was associated with important harbour works in all parts of the world—in connexion with which he visited Australia in 1913 and Hong Kong in 1920 — and with the Gezira Irrigation Scheme, which includes the building of the Sennar Dam on the Blue Nile.

From 1912 until 1919 he was Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the Admiralty on Naval works, and during the War served on various important War Office Committees and twice visited the British front on the Continent to secure direct information relative to special engineering matters, besides being Colonel Commandant of the Engineer and Railway Staff Corps.

Amongst many other activities he was, too, a Member of the Advisory Council on Scientific Research and of the International Technical Commission on the Suez Canal, besides being for some time Chairman of the Canal Control Committee of the Board of Trade.

Sir Maurice Fitzmaurice died in the sixty-fourth year of his age, on 17th November 1924, after a short illness, at his residence in London.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1902 and was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, of which body he was President for the Session 1916-17. He was, too, a Member of the Canadian Society of Engineers, an Honorary Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and of the Royal Engineers Institution.


  1. Gracesguides – Maurice Fitzmaurice


  1. Gracesguides – Coode, Son and Matthews
  2. gracesguides Home Page Grace’s Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 107,736 pages of information and 149,663 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
  3. wikipedia – Maurice Fitzmaurice

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. Sir Maurice Fitzmaurice – HK harbour works, 1920 visit
  2. 1924 Report on the Commercial Development of the Port of Hong Kong
  3. Sir Alexander Binnie, Binnie & Partners

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