James Hastings Otway

James Hastings Otway 1879-1929

Born: 1879
Died: 1929
Father:James Hastings Otway
Mother:Frances Pollock
Spouse:Mary Elizabeth Ethelreda Boileau
Married: 07 Sep 1911
Children:Terence Brandram Hastings Otway, Maureen Frances Grace Fairbairn
Education:St. Colombia & Trinity College, Dublin
Occupation:Army Officer & Civil Engineer
Updated: 07 Oct 2002


James Hastings was known as Shamus. He was educated at St. Columbia School and Trinity College, Dublin, and then qualified as a Civil Engineer, as had his father, to whom he became personal assistant. (The other PA was Robert McAlpine, later Sir Robert of Robert MacAlpine and Sons). subsequently James went to Egypt as a Civil Engineer with Egyptian State Railways.

On the outbreak of World War I, he joined the Royal Engineers as a Captain in the Ulster Division. As a Major, he commanded a squadron in France where he was severely burned and gassed. This permanently affected his health, being so ill on occasions that he was unable to work.

After the War he was posted to Queenstown (now Cobh) in Eire and lived in Rushbrooke at a house called "Coolgrena" (sunny spot). For a time he was commandant of Spike Island in Cork Harbour where Sinn Fein prisoners were kept. His life was under permanent threat, requiring constant armed guards, but the various attempts failed. Eventually, the family had to leave by Naval Destroyer in the middle of the night.

He left the Army in about 1922 and was involved at a senior level in such projects as the Watford by-pass, Wembley Stadium and the Ford Motor Works at Dagenham. This latter was built on a marsh, necessitating much time in thigh-waders. Latent tuberculosis became 'galloping' tuberculosis. He died, aged fifty, on 2nd September 1929, at Upminster. The tuberculosis was assumed to have been caused by the gassing. He had been an excellent horseman, and a pistol and rifle-shot of Olympic standards.

On 7th September 1911, James married Mary E.E. Boileau, eldest daughter of Brandram Boileau (connected to the Boileau family of Lyons, France). Mary died at Teignmouth, Devon, on 24th July 1943. They leave two children, Terence and Maureen.

ID: 7   Generated by GedTree on 28 Nov 2002

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