Louis Gustave Mouchel
The death of Mouchel
Mouchel had built his career on energy and a passion for work. According to his right-hand man, the engineer C. Roch, when Mouchel was not travelling he worked until 11pm or midnight. He was unmarried, and lived alone in a flat in Caxton Street in London, close to the office and a short walk from St James' Park.
Although it is not known precisely when Mouchel was diagnosed with stomach cancer, it is known that he underwent two operations in Auteuil, a district of Paris, before returning to his birth town of Cherbourg. He died there, in the house of his brother-in-law, on 27th May 1908 at the age of 56.
As soon as Mouchel became aware of his illness, he turned his business into a company, L G Mouchel & Partners Limited, the first directors of which were Mouchel, T.J. Gueritte and J.S. de Vesian, the brother of his solicitor. In his will, Mouchel directed that his holdings in the new company be offered to his staff. His holdings in three other companies Colonial Ferro-Concrete Syndicate Limited, Liverpool Hennebique Ferro-Concrete Contracting Company Limited, and Yorkshire Ferro-Concrete Contracting Company Limited were offered to stakeholders at market value.
Mouchel left the balance of his estate, £80,000, to be shared equally between Dr Barnardo's Homes, the Salvation Army and La Société de Secours des Naufragés de France, specialists in sea rescue. He also left money to three establishments in his birth town of Cherbourg.
In just 11 years, Mouchel had made a major impact on the face of UK construction.
portait and other images courtesy Mouchel