Obituary | Published:

Sir Basil Mott, Bart., C.B., F.R.S

Nature volume 142, pages 783784 (29 October 1938) | Download Citation



BY the death of Sir Basil Mott on September 7, a pioneer in engineering practice, the Royal Society loses one of the few engineers who have been admitted to its fellowship. He formed a link-one of the very few remaining-with those great figures whose names became almost household words in the latter part of the nineteenth century as the creators of outstanding engineering works-Benjamin Baker, Wolfe Barry, Charles Hawksley, Douglas Fox and others. When a young man he gained experience, as a mining engineer, in work underground, which was invaluable in the pioneering work involved in deep tunnelling with the Greathead shield, the use of which has revolutionized the solution of transport problems in crowded cities. The first use of this method on a large scale was in the construction of the 'City and Southwark Subway', which formed the first part of the 'City and South London Railway' and was taken in hand in October 1886. Basil Mott became assistant to Greathead on this work and, so much was his skill and energy relied on, that he became Greathead's partner. He had the further valuable experience of operating the railway for the first eighteen months after it was opened in December 1890.

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