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Obituary - Ivan Greeves 1913-2005

ICE news

Former Mowlem director and ICE fellow Ivan Greeves died last month aged 92.

Greeves spent 41 years with Mowlem as well as 31 years as an ICE professional review examiner, carrying out over 1,500 interviews during his career.

His career in civil engineering began at the age of 19 as an assistant for contractor AE Farr, building a new sewerage system at Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire.

The experience led him to study civil engineering at Battersea Polytechnic, now Surrey University.

He enrolled in 1935 and promptly became a student member of the ICE.

Two years later he began working with Mowlem on the Bow Road to Leyton Central Line extension on the London Underground.

Since the tunnels ran below the River Lea, they worked with compressed air to avoid water ingress during construction. The outbreak of the Second World War forced him to live on site in case the tunnel was struck during German bombing raids.

During this time Greeves qualified as an associate member of the ICE.

Greeves' experience on the Tube made him invaluable when sites were attacked during the war. In 1940 he moved across to Sloane Square Station and then to Tower Hill to manage bomb repairs.

A proud moment came in 1942 when he co-ordinated placing 10,000m 3 of concrete in one week for a new airfield at RAF Leiston in Suffolk - a wartime record. He then went on to build structures in London's docklands before joining the site investigation specialist arm of Mowlem in 1945.

From 1948 until retirement, Greeves was responsible for repairing, maintaining and upgrading the London Docks for the Port of London Authority.

This included increasing the labour force from 700 to 1,500 in just one year to keep up with the workload.

Projects cluded rebuilding parts of Victoria and St Katherine's Docks, reconfiguring quays and warehouses to accommodate modern mechanical equipment and inspecting and repairing lock gates.

Ivan Greeves is survived by his wife and two children.

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