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James Augustus Caley

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James Augustus Caley (1825-1885)

1885 Obituary [1]

JAMES AUGUSTUS CALEY was the youngest son of Mr. Philip Caley, a member of an old family that had settled in the Isle of Man for many generations, and an officer in the old Manx Fencibles, in the reign of George III.

He was born at Castletown on the 25th of November, 1824, and received his education at the Old Grammar School in that town. In 1840 he went to Ipswich to study under his brother, Mr. Edward Caley, who was assistant-engineer in sole charge of the construction of the wet dock at that port, under Mr. Henry Robinson Palmer, the chief engineer.

In 1845 Mr. Caley repaired to Ceylon to join his brother, who, after the completion of the dock, had gone there as a Government engineer, and on his arrival in June of that year, he at once received an appointment in the same department in the Central Province. On the death of his brother in 1846, he succeeded to the acting appointment of Assistant Commissioner of Roads, in which he was confirmed in 1847 by Earl Grey, upon the very favourable recommendation of the Colonial Government.

In 1848, during the rebellion in Ceylon, he called up a division of pioneers, who took possession and defended the main approach to the Kandyan capital. For this service, he received the thanks of Colonel Drought, the Commandant of Kandy, who sent an officer and some men to relieve the pioneers. Mr. Caley in 1851 took charge of the Civil Engineer's department in the Central Province, and was employed in the construction of roads, buildings, bridges, drainage of towns, irrigation works, sluices, wells, &c.

In 1860 the fine lattice-girder bridge which spans the Mahavile Ganga river, was completed under his superintendence, and for this work, he received official recognition from the late Duke of Newcastle, then Secretary of State, and also, the marked approval of one of the most energetic and able governors of Ceylon,-the late Sir Henry Ward-for the very efficient manner in which the work was carried out. In 1863 he removed to Colombo, where he held the appointment of executive assistant, and was actively employed in various works. In 1866 he retired from the service and received a pension from the Government.

From 1873 to 1882 he held the office of sanitary inspector to the board of guardians in the district of Bedminster near Bristol, when failing health necessitated his giving up the appointment. His long and active services have been duly recognised, not only by Major Skinner, the Chief Commissioner of Public Works, but also by the Government agents and other prominent officials in Ceylon. His engineering skill, great personal activity, and indefatigable attention to his duties, together with his spotless integrity and honourable conduct, earned for him the highest respect of all who had the pleasure of knowing him.

Mr. Caley was elected a Member on the 5th of December, 1865.

He died on the 4th of February, 1885.

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