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William Hardcastle Neilson

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William Hardcastle Neilson (1875-1932)


1932 Obituary [1]

WILLIANI HARDCASTLE NEILSON, O.B.E., was born at Dublin on the 21st February, 1875.

He was educated at Mr. Strangway's School and at Trinity College, Dublin, where he graduated in Arts and in Engineering, and was then trained for two years under Mr. T. Scott, the chief agent for a firm of contractors in Dublin.

From 1900 to 1905 he was engaged as an Assistant Engineer under Messrs. Sir John Jackson, Ltd., on the extension works at Keyham Dockyard, and in 1905 he was appointed an Assistant Engineer to the Commissioners for the Port of Calcutta, under Mr. (now Sir) Frederick Palmer, who was then Chief Engineer of that port.

Two years later he was appointed Port Engineer of Chittagong, a position which he held for nine years.

In 1916 he became Chief Engineer to the Karachi Port Trust, and during his tenure of that post he made a personal investigation of the system of grain elevators and storage in the United States and Canada and wrote a report on the possibilities of applying that system to India.

In 1922 he became Chief Engineer of the Port of Bombay, and in the following year he was appointed Chairman of the Port Trust.

He came to England on leave in December, 1931, and, after a brief illness, died in London on the 21st January, 1932.

During the war he was Controller of Munitions in India and a member of the Priority Committee, Indian Munitions Board, Karachi Circle. He commanded the Bombay Battalion of the Indian Auxiliary Force, and was honorary A.D.C. to the Viceroy, Lord Irwin. The O.B.E. was conferred upon him in 1919.

He took an active part in social work as President of the Bombay Young Men's Christian Association, as a trustee of St. Thomas's Cathedral, and in other ways.

He married, in 1903, Ethel Maud, only daughter of the late Mr. Frank Phillips, of Plymouth, who survived him.

Mr. Neilson was elected as an Associate Member on the 4th February, 1902, and transferred to Membership on the 9th December, 1913. From 1928 to 1931 he was a Member of the Council of The Institution, resident in India.


1932 Obituary[2]

"THE LATE MR. W. H. NEILSON.

We regret to record the death, which occurred on January 21, in a nursing home in London, of Mr. William Hardcastle Neilson, Chairman of the Bombay Port Trust. The son of Mr. H. C. Neilson, solicitor, of Dublin, Mr. W. H. Neilson was born on February 21, 1875, and educated at Strangeway’s School, Dublin. In 1893 he entered Trinity College, Dublin, for the purpose of studying engineering, and, graduating with honours in 1897, he received the degrees of M.A. and M.A.I. Subsequently, he received practical training under Mr. T. Scott, chief agent for the executors of Mr. T. H. Falkiner, Contractor, of Dublin. In 1900, the young engineer became an assistant on the staff of Messrs. Sir John Jackson, Limited, on the Keyham Dockyard extension scheme. He was placed in charge of part of the works, including the construction of the sea wall, the closed-basin walls and the deep-water entrance, monolith sinking, permanent piling and also excavation work. Mr. Neilson sailed for India in 1905 to take up the position of assistant engineer to the Commissioners for the Port of Calcutta. He was given the task of designing sheds, jetties, warehouses, dock walls, store buildings, living quarters, and landing stages. Later he was placed in charge of outside construction works, including the erection of jetties and sheds, the building of dock walls and the sinking of wells. He was also responsible for all kinds of repair and upkeep work, including the dredging of channels.

In 1907, Mr. Neilson was appointed Port Engineer in sole charge of the engineering department of the Commissioners for the Port of Chittagong. His duties were of a multifarious nature, and included river surveying and the collecting of data for a hydro-electric scheme, the revetment of river banks, the quarrying of building stone, the erection of office and workshop buildings and living quarters, and the designing of salt golas and jetties. He also became concerned with the blocking of by-'channels in the river, the erection of various protective works and the building of lighthouses. Soon after the outbreak of the European War, Mr. Neilson was appointed Chief Engineer of the Karachi Port Trust. In 1917, he was made Controller of Munitions of the Karachi Circle, and also served as a member of the Priority Committee, Indian Munitions Board, until the conclusion of hostilities. He was mentioned in Dispatches of the Government of India on August 4, 1917, and was subsequently awarded the O.B.E. for his services during the war. Some time after peace was restored, Mr. Neilson was appointed Chief Engineer of the Bombay Port Trust, and about six years ago became Chairman of the Trust, a position he continued to occupy until his death on Thursday of last week at the early age of 56. Mr. Neilson was elected ah associate member of the Institution of Civil Engineers on February 4, 1902, became a full member on December 9, 1913, and, until quite recently, had served on the Council. He became a member of thé Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1919, was for many years a member of the Council of the Institution of Engineers (India), and was a member of the Concrete Institute and of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He served as an officer in the Indian Auxiliary Forces, and was the possessor of the Volunteer Officers’ Decoration."


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