For the past (nearly) thirty years I have flirted with the idea of doing a biography of George Landmann.
I did a lot of research in 1986 for a booklet, timed for the 150th anniversary of the London to Greenwich Railway - and ever since then I have piled up more and more information. I am also stuck in that I don't feel I could publish, and - more importantly - distribute, a biography of that type - and there is no chance a 'proper' publisher wouldn't even start to look at me. I am also only too well aware that I am likely to make BIG mistakes in the sections about the Peninsula War
So - I will put a bit together now and then - on this blog - and see how we go from there.
Why is he interesting - well.......:
Lt. Col. George Thomas Landmann was born in 1780 in the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich where his German father was a professor
He was brought up in Woolwich and wrote a very lively account of his childhood
As a teenager he went to Canada and had some REAL adventures
As a Royal Engineer he prepared battlefields for famous generals in the Peninsula War
As a linguist (and I guess a spy) he travelled round Portugal and elsewhere
He became head of the Royal Engineers in Ireland, in Durham and in Gravesend
His marriage broke up and he left the army. He then lived in Greenwich.
He travelled round Europe with Congreve negotiating for and building gas works in major cities
He built the - ground breaking - London to Greenwich Railway
He planned other railways
He worked with Peter Hesketh Fleetwood and Decimus Burton to design and build the port of Fleetwood - and he built its railway
He retired and wrote a number of books
- now I think I will see what I can do with that.
- first thing need to try (again) to find out who is father really was, but - we shall see ........