George Eric Howorth was born on 13 Apr 1889, the son of Thomas Smith and Helena Howorth and was educated at Leys School, Cambridge and Manchester University. His career in civil engineering began with an appointment as Contractor's Engineer of the Immingham and London Dock. On the outbreak of war, Howorth was commissioned into the Royal Engineers as 2nd Lieutenant on 25 Oct 1914 and was awarded the Military Cross on 4 June 1917 and Mentioned in Despatches four times. After the war he was the Resident Engineer on harbour construction work in the Island of Harris and at Zanzibar, where he was awarded the Brilliant Star of Zanzibar. In 1930 he undertook the site investigation of the Lower Zambesi Bridge and became Contractor's Agent for its construction in 1935. From 1936 to 1942 he was Contractor's Agent for the New Howrah Bridge, Calcutta, the longest span in Asia.
In 1942 he was selected for a senior post at the War Office, and Howorth insisted that he be permitted to take part in the D-Day invasion, which he did, landing in Normandy as Deputy Director of Transportation, 21st Army Group, and responsible for port construction and repair of ports in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. He was awarded the O.B.E. (Military Division) on 29 Mar 1945 and died at Briar Lodge, Cults, Aberdeenshire on 11 Jan 1954.