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British Industrial History

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Thomas Harold Rawson

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Thomas Harold Rawson (1851-1904)

1904 Obituary [1]

THOMAS HAROLD RAWSON, born in London on the 28th July, 1851, was the third surviving son of the late Mr. T. E. Bawson, M.D., of New Plymouth.

He was educated at Nelson College, New Zealand, and joined the Public Works Department of that colony as an engineer cadet in 1872. During his cadetship he was employed on railway work between Rangitata and Oamaru, being transferred to the Wanganui district on his appointment as an Assistant Engineer in 1876.

Between 1876 and 1887 he carried out surveys for, and supervised the construction of, about 30 miles of railway, under Messrs. J. Rees and J. T. Stewart, and was next engaged for three years, under Mr. G. Cook, on the construction of the Manawatu Gorge railway.

In 18x0, he was given charge of the Greymouth district, with the rank of Resident Engineer, acting also as engineert on the Greymouth Harbour Board. While at Greymouth he completed, in addition to other works, the construction of a line from Grey to Hokitika, and also carried out an extension of the Greymouth breakwater. In the Westport district, to which he was transferred in 18x3, becoming at the same time engineer to the Westport Harbour Board, he carried out extensive river-training works and constructed several lines of railway, His experience at the harbour led him to communicate to the Institution a Note on the wave-basin, which was published in the Proceedings in 1899; and another Paper,a contributed by him two years later in collaboration with Mr. G. H. Broome, describes the erection, to his designs, of a suspension-bridge in the same district.

In 1898 Mr. Rawson left the service of the Government to become Engineer and Secretary to the Otago Harbour Board, an appointment which he held until his death on the 3rd May, 1904. During his tenure of office, Mr. Rawson carried out many improvements in the works under his charge, for which purpose he was allowed a free hand by the Board, who reposed complete confidence, fully justified in the result, in their indefatigable officer.

He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution on the 1st April, 1884, and was transferred to the class of Members on the 29th March, 1897.

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