Fonds BC1518 - Lankester Papers

Reference code



Lankester Papers


  • 1882-1964 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

2 archival boxes.

Name of creator


Biographical history

Claude Lankester attended Simon’s Town High School and the South African College, where he obtained his degree in Civil Engineering. In 1913, he joined the South African Railways and Harbours and was employed on railway construction. He served in East Africa in the First World War. After the war, he joined the Durban harbour engineer’s staff and was involved between 1921 and 1925 in the construction of the Prince Edward Graving Dock. There is conflicting information in the collection about his employment after 1925, but it is clear that he worked for some time at African Explosives in Somerset West before being transferred to Modderfontein at the end of 1937. A newspaper article also reports him as having returned to Cape Town from Durban in 1932, as district engineer and being appointed assistant harbour engineer in 1934. In about 1939 he was appointed Harbour Engineer, New Works.

He married Madge Allan in 1923, who had studied as a singer at the Royal Academy. They were both involved in amateur theatricals in the Western Cape. They had two sons.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Scope and content

Papers of CL Lankester, harbour engineer, mostly relating to the development of the harbour in Cape Town. Also a scrapbook of letters and theatre and concert programmes, 1930-1950s, mostly from the Western Cape, of Ms Madge Lankester.


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Conditions governing access

No restrictions apply.

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Language of material

  • English

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Please also see BC606 Lankester Collection.

Purchased from Select Books, September 2013.

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