Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Civil engineer. According to his 1911 census return, Thomas Joseph Biggs was born in Bandon, Co. Cork, in 1855 or 1856.  By his own account he embarked on his engineering career in 1877. He served a three-year pupilage with C.L. Jackson White, sectional engineer of the Buenos Aires main drainage scheme. From 1890-1891 he worked on the Buenos Aires Southern Railway. By 1897 he was England and in 1898 he moved to Scotland, where he was occupied on naval defences. He returned to Ireland in 1901 to work on barrack reconstruction, based at the Curragh Camp. He was later engaged on waterworks at Newbridge, Co. Kildare, Longford and Kilkee, Co. Clare. He was elected town surveyor for Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, in the winter of 1912-1913.(1) He was also engineer to the Dungarvan Board of Guardians and architect of the Dungarvan labourers' cottage scheme. On the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, he became a division officer in the Royal Engineers at the Curragh and in July 1915 he was appointed lieutenant inspector of works in the Royal Engineers, based at Dublin Castle.(2) He planned to resume work at Dungarvan after the war, but if he did so, it was not for long, as he had been replaced John McGrath by 1921. He may have left Ireland circa 1920, when he ceased to be a member of the ICEI.   At the time of the 1911 census he had been married for twenty-five years to his wife, Leonora, and had six children.(3)

ICEI: elected associate, 1905, 3 May 1905;(4) transferred to class of member, 1916; no longer on list of members for 1921.

Addresses: Loughbrown Lodge, Curragh Camp, Co. Kildare, 1905; The Waterworks, Kilkee, Co. Clare, 1911; 14 McDonnell Terrace, Kilkee, 1911; Dungarvan, 1913; R.E. Offices, Dublin Castle, 1916-1918.



All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from ICEI membership applications, III, 216, and IV, 195, and ICEI membership lists.

(1) Building News 104, 10 Jan 1913, 58.
(2) TICEI 44 (1919), 155.
(3) The birthplaces which he gives for the two children who remained at home when the census was taken in 1911, do not tally with the facts of his career.
(4) TICEI 32 (1904-5), 171.

1 work entries listed in chronological order for BIGGS, THOMAS JOSEPH

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Date: 1907
Nature: TJB in charge of extension.
Refs: IB 49, 18 May 1907, 369