Lawrence Ennis

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Lawrence Ennis CMG[1] OBE[1] (31 August 1871 – 5 May 1938)[1] was a Scottish-born engineer.

He was best known as the managing director of Dorman Long and the main supervisor of the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.[2]


Ennis was born in West Calder, Scotland.[2] He was descended from a family of engineers on his maternal line.[3] He went to work in a shale pit from the age of twelve.[4] When he was 15 he emigrated with his family to the United States.[4]

Ennis managed one of the American Bridge Company's largest sites by 1900.[2] Ennis joined Dorman Long in 1903 as superintendent in charge of bridge and constructional works.[5] In 1905 he was made works manager.[5] Ennis became general manager of the company in 1915 and a company director in 1924.[6]

Ennis was appointed OBE in 1918, in reignition of his conversion of the Dorman Long works into a munitions manufacturing site during World War One.[7]

From 1924 to 1932 Ennis was resident in Australia to manage the construction of Sydney Harbour Bridge.[8][9]

Upon his return to Britain in 1932, Ennis was appointed managing director of Dorman Long.[10] Under his tenure the firm built a large steelworks at Warrenby, Redcar.[11]

He died in 1938.[12]


  • Brearley, Joan McDonald; Ennis, Lawrence (1982), The bridge opened : official opening, 19th March, 1932, Pylon Press, ISBN 978-0-9593592-0-6
  • As joint author – in Minutes of Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Vol. 238 – Session 1933-1934, Pt. 2. London: 1935. 2) Sydney Harbour Bridge: Manufacture of the Structural Steelwork and Erection of the Bridge, by R. Freeman and L. Ennis;[13]


  1. ^ a b c Obituaries – from the Tablet Archive
  2. ^ a b c 07 May 1938 – BRIDGE BUILDER DEAD. Mr. Lawrence Ennis. A BOYHO
  3. ^ "Men Who Built the Bridge". Sydney Morning Herald. 19 March 1932. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Noted Scots Engineer". The Scotsman. Johnston Press. 7 May 1938.
  5. ^ a b The Times, 7 May 1938
  6. ^ "City News in Brief." Times [London, England] 17 May 1924: 18. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 16 Nov. 2014.
  7. ^ "Order Of The British Empire." Times [London, England] 10 June 1918: 2+. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 16 Nov. 2014.
  8. ^ Sydney Harbour Bridge Archived 19 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "CLOSING OF MAIN ARCH SPAN". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 11 September 1930. p. 12. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  10. ^ "Dorman, Long & Co." Times [London, England] 21 Dec. 1932: 18. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 16 Nov. 2014.
  11. ^ Dundee Evening Telegraph - Friday 6 May 1938
  12. ^ "Mr. Lawrence Ennis' Sudden Death". The Advocate. Burnie, Tas.: National Library of Australia. 7 May 1938. p. 2. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  13. ^ Freeman, Ralph; Bradfield, J. J. C. (John Job Crew), 1867–1943; Pain, John Freeman; Roberts, Gilbert; Ennis, Lawrence (1935), [Sydney Harbour Bridge] : by Ralph Freeman [and others], Institution of Civil Engineers, retrieved 5 May 2012CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)