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Edouard Suenson

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Edouard Suenson (1842-1921)

1922 Obituary [1]

COMMODORE EDOUARD SUENSON was born in 1842 and died at Copenhagen on the 21st September, 1921.

Belonging to an old family of sailors - his father being Vice-Admiral Suenson who won the engagement off Heligoland in 1864 - it was natural that he should enter the Danish Navy, where he attained the rank of Lieutenant. He made his first acquaintance with the Far East when, in 1865-68, he served in the French Navy and was wounded in Korea.

In 1870 he joined the Great Northern China and Japan Extension Telegraph Company - later amalgamated with the Great Northern Telegraph Company, Ltd. for the purpose of proceeding to the Far East, where the first cable was landed on the coast of China under his personal supervision and where he organized the pioneer work of the company.

After his return to Denmark he became, in 1874, general manager and in 1890 managing director of the company, a position which he held until 1908. In 1898 he was elected chairman of the Board of Directors, and in this position he remained until the end of 1915 when illness compelled him to resign, the Board conferring upon him the dignity of its honorary chairman. Nature had endowed Commodore Suenson with exceptional diplomatic gifts and with a distinguished and prepossessing personality. It was due to those qualities more than to anything else that the Danish concern made its way in spite of many adversities, extended its sphere of action and gradually won its present standing.

In his many important negotiations with Governments and telegraph companies, as well as at the International Telegraph Conferences, his intellect and quickness of thought stood him in good stead, and at the same time his rectitude and his farsighted views won him the confidence and esteem of his contemporaries. He enjoyed a high authority in the telegraph world and was frequently consulted by telegraph officials in different countries. In former years he often visited London, where he had many friends in the General Post Office and in the telegraph companies.

The Commodore's name is indelibly inscribed in the annals of the Great Northern Telegraph Company. In a big nation a personality such as his would make itself prominent in the history of his time. He belonged to a small nation and, furthermore, the aim of his unselfish mind was not personal distinction. The object of his life was the honour and success of his company and, through its progress and activity, to benefit his country. His lifelong, strenuous work to this end did not allow him to rest and only ceased when, in spite of his strong constitution, he had positively worn himself out.

He was elected a Foreign Member of the Institution in 1875, and a Member in 1911.

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