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British Industrial History

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Donald Macdonald (1865-1932)

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Donald Macdonald (1865-1932)

1932 Obituary[1]


We note with regret the death of Major Donald Macdonald, which occurred at his home, Auchinvole Castle, Kilsyth, Stirlingshire, on October 3. The seventh and youngest son of the late Mr. Alexander Macdonald, of Lynedale, Isle of Skye, Donald Macdonald was born in Hong Kong on September 5, 1865. He received his general education at Bridge of Allan Academy, Glasgow, and his scientific training at Park School and Edinburgh Collegiate. In 1881, at the age of 16, he entered upon a pupilage of six years with Messrs. A. and K. Macdonald. During this period of training he took part in the construction of Taulie tunnel and pier, and Lybster Harbour, Caithness. In 1887, he was appointed assistant engineer to Messrs. A. and K. Macdonald, and during the succeeding six years was engaged in the building of the Kellin Railway, Arklow Harbour, Co. Wicklow, Ireland, and other works. The years from 1893 to 1895 were spent on the construction of the Tolsta breakwater, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Mr. Macdonald afterwards being appointed, by Messrs. Sandeman and Moncrieff, resident engineer in charge of the construction of the Blyth Dry Dock Company’s No. 3 dry dock at Blyth. Subsequently, he supervised the reconstruction of the No. 2 dry dock, at Yarrow, of the Mercantile Dry Dock Company. In 1898, he joined Messrs. S. Pearson and Son, Limited, as agent in charge of the Western section of the Admiralty Harbour Works, Dover. He continued in this capacity until 1901, when he was appointed engineer-in-chief for the design and construction of a shipyard for Messrs. Butterfield and Gurie at Quarry Bay, Hong Kong. The works consisted of a dry dock, three hauling slips, and the construction of a sea wall 3,200 ft. long. The work involved the reclamation of a large area of land and the removal of a granite hill. Messrs. The Taikoo Dockyard and Engineering Company of Hong Kong, Limited, a company registered in May, 1908, are the proprietors of the shipyard. Mr. Macdonald served in the Army during the war and attained the rank of major. He was living at Springfield, Largs, Ayrshire, until about three years ago, when he took up his abode at Auchinvole Castle, Kilsyth. He was elected a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers on February 7, 1905."

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