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Harold Southwell Caswell

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Harold Southwell Caswell (c1878-1941)


1942 Obituary [1]

HAROLD SOUTHWELL CASWELL was in the employment of the Government of Ceylon for twenty-two years of his professional career. After serving his apprenticeship from 1896 to 1899 with Messrs. Belliss and Morcom, Ltd., in Birmingham, and with the London and Glasgow Iron Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, Ltd., in Glasgow, from 1899 to 1901, he went to sea for ten years on various steamships, obtaining his First Class Board of Trade Certificate in 1904.

In 1911 he was appointed assistant foreman to Messrs. Rankin and Blackmore, Ltd., at the Eagle Foundry, Greenock, by whom he was engaged on the erection of marine engines, and remained in that capacity until 1914, in which year he travelled to Ceylon to take up the post of engineer at the Government graving dock and slipway at Colombo. He was deputy mechanical superintendent to the Colombo Port Commission from 1916 until 1926, when he was promoted to be superintendent in the Harbour Engineer's Department, a position which he held until his retirement in 1936.

During that period he had executive control of workshops and of the running and maintenance of the graving dock, and of all plant afloat and ashore in the Port of Colombo. His services were retained by the Ceylon Government in this country after his retirement until 1938, for collaboration with naval architects and consulting engineers on the design and construction of a salvage tug and other plant for Colombo Harbour. He was in the service of the Ceylon Government during the war of 1914-18, when he took charge of local minesweeping and of all port ferries.

Mr. Caswell, whose death in his sixty-third year occurred on 7th August 1941, was elected a Member of the Institution in 1928.


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