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British Industrial History

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Allison Dalrymple Smith

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Allison Dalrymple Smith (1854-1916)

11 Jan 1854, born in Jamaica, son of David Smith a railway builder and sugar estate owner, and Eliza Allison his mother being a native of Edinburgh, Scotland.

1869-71 Studied under Lieut. John Mackie in Edinburgh

1871 Joined the North British Railway under Thomas Wheatley

1871 Scottish census, shows him living at West Newington Terrace 6#; St. Cuthbert, Edinburgh with two elder sisters and 6 younger siblings, living with 40 & 37 yr old Un-married aunts; Catherine & Jessie, three Female Domestic servants - indication of 'well-to-do' family connections.

1874 Supposedly appointed as 'Traffic Manager' Wellington and Masterton Railway, New Zealand. [1]

Spent a short time in the US

1874 December. Joined the Westinghouse Air Brake Co under George Symonds

1875 June. Appointed draughtsman in Constructed Railway office in Wellington, N.Z.

1877 April. Promoted to Locomotive Superintendent of Canterbury Railways

1879 Locomotive Superintendent of Canterbury Railways

1885 Leaves Otago Railways with bad feeling. 'His conduct toward them (the employees) was most cruel, inconsiderate, and unjust'[2] At his appointment with the VR he is stated to be the Locomotive Superintendent of New Zealand and received his training on a large English railway..[3]

July 1885 Victorian Government Gazette; shows his appointment as 'Acting Locomotive Superintendent'

1888 Problems with the drivers on the Victorian Railways and A. D. Smith.[4]

1890-93 CME of Victorian Railways

1893 Appears before a Victorian Commission of Inquiry, into the Locomotive Branch.

1895 Services terminated with Victorian Railways, he goes to Adelaide and later Western Australia, where he marries Christiana Mary Robertson in 1898.

1911 Lodging at 27 Lexham Gardens, Kensington: Allison Dalrymple Smith (age 56 born Jamaica), Consulting Engineer. With his wife Christiana Mary Smith(age 37 born Tasmania.) and their daughter Jessie Angus Smith (age 11 born Western Australia). They have been married 13 years.[5]

3 Oct 1916 Died in Chelsea, London.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. W.G. Lloyd; 'Register of N.Z. Railways Steam Locomotives' 1863 - 1971
  2. Oamaru Mail, Volume IX, Issue 2906, 19 May 1885, Page 3
  3. The Argus. Melbourne. 22 July 1885
  4. Press, Volume XLV, Issue 7039, 17 April 1888, Page 5
  5. 1911 Census