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Charles Henry Colson

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Charles Henry Colson C.B.E.(1864-1939)

Retired as Deputy Civil Engr.-in-Chief from Admiralty.


  • 1883 Entered Admiralty Service in Dept. of Civil Engineer-in-Chief. Served in Malta, Singapore, Ceylon, Jamaica, Plymouth, Dover, Portsmouth, etc., in various ranks.
  • Built New Docks at Portsmouth and Malta and completed Dover Breakwater.
  • 1914 Was lent by Admiralty to Greek Government as member of Naval Mission.
  • 1926 Retired as Deputy Civil Engineer-in-Chief.

1939 Obituary [1]

'On Sunday, October 29th, the death took place following a short illness of Mr Charles Henry Colson, who retired in 1926 from the office of Deputy Civil Engineer-in-Chief of the Admiralty. Since his retirement Mr. Colson had lived at this home, Harbour Bar, Old Fort Road, Shoreham-by-Sea, where his death took place at the age of 75 yeas. He came from an engineering family, and his father, the late Mr. Charles Colson, was also in Admiralty service and joined the Admiralty in 1866, returning as Deputy Civil Engineer-in-Chief in 1905. He was the author of a standard work on Dock Construction.

Charles Henry Colson was born in 1864, and received his education privately at Portsmouth. In 1884 he joined the Admiralty Civil Service, and was posted to the Department of the Civil Engineer-in-Chief. He received his practical training at Portsmouth Dockyard, and was subsequently, engaged, under his father's department, in work on Admiralty dock construction and design, and on general civil engineering work in the Royal Dockyards and Admiralty works both at home and abroad. He saw service at Portsmouth, Dover and Plymouth, and abroad at Malta, Jamaica, Ceylon, and Singapore. New docks with which he was intimately associated were those at Portsmouth, Malta, and the completion of the Admiralty breakwater at Dover. In collaboration with his father, he presented a paper on the Malta Harbour works and the Hamilton Graving Dock to the Institution of Civil Engineers during the Session of 1893-1894. In this paper the construction of the dock and the 160-ton hydraulic crane, which was employed for the Malta dock extensions, is fully described, and an account is given of the tests which were carried out on the Portland cement used the performance of the Lobnitz rock cutter which was employed in the work of excavation. In 1914 the services of Mr Colson were lent to the Greek Government for a period of three years as a member of the Naval Mission to Greece, and his work for the Greek Government was recognised by the honour of the Order of Commander of the Order of the Redeemer, Greece.

Mr Colson was elected an associate member of the Institution of Civil Engineers in February 1890, and was transferred to full membership in February 1901. He was also a Fellow of the Royal Sanitary Institute.

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