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PAULING, George Craig Saunders

Born: 1854 09 06
Died: 1919 02 10


Civil engineer and railway promoter.

Born in Walworth, Surrey, the eldest child of Richard Clark PAULING (1833–1894), civil engineer, and his wife, Jane Sanders Bone (1834–1915). His father, grandfather, and great-uncle were all railway contractors. In 1870 he was taken on as a pupil by Joseph Firbank, a major railway contractor. In 1874 his father was appointed engineer to the CAPE GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS, and by 1875 his younger brother, Harold, and then George joined their father on the railway.

Soon became a contractor on his own account, forming FIRBANK, PAULING and Co. They won the contract for a tunnel on the Grahamstown line. In 1878 Pauling married Annie Ayton; they had two sons.

In 1879 he moved back to England but was forced to return to South Africa in haste on learning that his investments in Grahamstown were at risk.

In the 1880s FIRBANK, PAULING and Co. undertook a number of major railway projects. By 1884 the line between Port Alfred and Grahamstown was completed.

The firm was also responsible for the Kimberley Railway.

1885 Pauling's wife died, and Pauling sent his two sons to England to be cared for by his mother.

Later examined the prospects for railways in Turkey, and built lines in Greece and Puerto Rico. He constructed the line from Haifa to Damascus and undertook a number of other major civil engineering works, including the Tata and Shirawata dams in India.

In 1887 Pauling re-married to Edith Kate Halliwell in the UK; they had one daughter.

1889 Pauling and James Butler secured the contract for the NZASM line. Additional lines were later laid from Johannesburg to Krugersdorp and from Boksburg to Springs. Pauling and Butler also constructed part of the Delagoa Bay Railway at Krokodilpoort and many other lines.

At the same time he also undertook civil engineering projects in England, as one of the partners of Pauling and Elliott, until the partnership was dissolved in 1894. The contracting work was then undertaken by Pauling and Co.

In 1895 he was appointed commissioner of public works to the first legislative assembly in Rhodesia [Zimbabwe].

In 1903 established the Transvaal Engineering and Contracting Company in the then Transvaal Colony, which built further railways in Natal and elsewhere.

Pauling built several hundred miles of railway in Rhodesia, and was responsible for part of the Benguela Railway across Angola, as well as the railway from Port Herald to Blantyre in Nyasaland [Malawi].

1906 Pauling married Dolores (Lola) Guibara (born Richmond c.1883); they had one daughter, Dolores.

He died at his home in Effingham, UK.

(Compiled from Grace's Guide)

Books citing PAULING

Potgieter, DJ (Editor-in-chief). 1973. Standard Encyclopaedia of South Africa [SESA] Volume 8 Mus-Pop. Cape Town: Nasou. pp 478