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DOWSETT, Sydney Charles

Born: 1880
Died: 1951 07 05


Was born in London and educated at Leicester House School, Carshalton, Surrey. He was articled to Warner & Shopper in London and came to South Africa, probably after the Anglo-Boer War, with his parents. In 1903 he was employed in the Town Engineer's Department, Municipality of Johannesburg and lectured in Building Construction with PJ HILL at the Transvaal University College in 1911. From 1913 to 1914 Dowsett was President of the Society of Architects, London (South African Branch). At some point (circa 1914) he was in the Cape, but returned to service in Johannesburg. In 1914 he was also Treasurer of the South African Society of Artists. He was on active service during the First World War, recorded as a Staff Sergeant in the Veterinary Corps serving in German East Africa while being able to''have a little swimming in one of the rivers in spite of the dangers from crocodiles'' (Jnl ATA 1916, 1(2):35; 1917, 2(1):12). In 1925 he was elected a Fellow of the RIBA, in 1926 representing the Port Elizabeth Society of Architects at the Federal Council on Architectural Education. After retiring from the Municipality (n.d.) he rejoined it in 1940, presumably because of the outbreak of the Second World War. He retired in 1949 and died two years later in Johannesburg. Dowsett was a sportsman, a member of the Transvaal water polo team from 1907 to 1910 and one of the Trustees of the Olympic Games (South Africa).

FRIBA 1925; ISAA 1927; MCQS. (ISAA mem list; RIBA biog file; Jnl ATA 1916, 1(2):35; Jnl ATA 1917, 2(1):12; RIBA Jnl Nov 1952:39 obit; SAAR Sep 1926:75-80; TAD MHG 3558/51) Publ: Retiring President's Report, Afr Archt Sep 1914

All truncated references not fully cited in 'References' are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

Books citing DOWSETT

ISAA. 1927. Register of Members the Institute of South African Architects. Johannesburg: ISAA (Unpublished Record). pp D8