John Robert Dewar, CBE

John Robert Dewar, CBE

Male 1883 - 1964  (81 years)  Submit Photo / DocumentSubmit Photo / Document


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  • Gender Male 
    Born 1883  Alexandra, Otago, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Employment 1906-1911  Pahang, Federated Malay States Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Employment 1912-1924  Kedah, Unfederated Malay States Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Employment 1924-1938  Kuala Lumpur, Federated Malay States Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Residence 1939  Callander, Perthshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Residence after 1939  Tasmania, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Occupation Surveyor General Of Federated Malay States And Straits Settlements.  [4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
    Obituary MALAYSIA
    Journal of the British Association of Malaysia
    London: The British Association of Malaysia

    May, 1964: p 41.

    Social and Personal

    DEATHS

    The following deaths are recorded with regret:

    DEWAR. On 12th April, 1964, at Flat 3, Castle Mount, St. Valerie Road, Bournemouth, John Dewar, C.B.E., formerly Surveyor-General, Malaya, beloved husband of Gladys, and dear father of Richard.

    June, 1964: p 36.

    OBITUARIES

    JOHN DEWAR, C.B.E.

    The death of John Dewar occurred in Bournemouth on April 12th, 1964. He was 80 years old. Born in New Zealand in 1883 he became a qualified land surveyor there before going to Malaya in 1906 to join the Survey Department. He spent the first five years of his service in Pahang and then moved to Kedah where he eventually became Superintendent. In 1924 he was transferred to Kuala Lumpur and in 1931 was promoted to Deputy Surveyor-General. In 1933 he was appointed Surveyor-General, Malaya, a post he held until his retirement in 1938. He was made C.B.E. in that year.
    On retirement he and his wife lived in Callander. Immediately after the last war in 1946 he was invited by the Colonial Office to return to Malaya and advise on the rehabilitation of the Survey Department. He went back to Callander for a few years and then moved to Tasmania, subsequently returning to England to live in Bournemouth until his death.
    In his official life he was a believer in efficiency and perfection. In 1930 he undertook a comprehensive review of the whole Department which resulted in a complete re-modelling of its operations. He set a standard for the future which subsequent heads of the department were proud to maintain. But under the skin of apparent sternness lay the gold of sterling friendship and generosity. He was a very sociable man of great humour; he loved life and he loved his friends.
    He was a man of great physique and a well known rugger player in his younger days. But golf was his chief delight; Captain of the Selangor Golf Club in 1927 and its President in 1930, his handicap was in single figures for most of his playing life.
    He served Malaya well and his very many friends mourn his passing and extend their sympathy to his wife, Gladys, and his son, Richard.
    C.N.
    [C.N.: Christopher Noble, a former Surveyor-General of Malaya who retired in 1955.]
    [[Above from Mok in Singapore who provided transcript of this and some other information - Roger 13 January 2005]]  [3
    Died 12 April 1964  Bournemouth, Hampshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 3, 13
    • Reported June 1964 6b 144
    Headstones Submit Headstone Photo Submit Headstone Photo 
    Notes 
    • =============================
      From: www.jupem.gov.my/UploadedFileAnnouncement/sg-527.HTML

      S.G. CIRCULAR NO. 5/27
      :: Return of Completed Job ::

      During my recent inspections I have noticed that there have been many cases where the Asst: Supt. Field has had difficulty in obtaining the return of Field Books from Surveyors after the completion of the Field work.

      The prompt return of Field Books must in every case be insisted on and if necessary at any time the Surveyor must be brought into office immediately his work is overdue, and not allowed to return until the work is handed in.

      During each term in office he will be considered as transferred to office and his commuted allowence will cease for the period. This office should be notified in each case as it becomes necessary and a note will be made in his records.

      J. DEWAR
      For Surveyor General,
      F.M.S.&S.S.

      Dated: 17th October, 1927
      =============================

      From www.gazettes-online.co.uk

      Was awarded the CBE in the New Year’s Honours List of 1 January 1938 as published in the supplement to the London Gazette on 31 December 1937.
      =============================

      NEW YEAR HONOUR
      EX-TARANAKI SURVEYOR
      MALAY STATES SERVICE

      In a letter received at Patea by Mrs. Horner, her son, Mr. Brian Horner, senior district surveyor and inspector at present stationed at Kulin, Kedah State, Malay State, states that Mr. John Dewar, who recently retired from the position of survey-general of the Federated Malay States, has been honoured by having a C.B.E. conferred on him in the New Year honours list, in recognition of his long and responsible service in control of the survey branch of the Federated Malay States civil service.
      Born at Alexandra, Central Otago,, Mr, Dewar was appointed at the age of 17 to a cadetship in the survey department at New Plymouth, From the office he was placed as a field cadet under Mr. Harry M. Skeet, district surveyor, and in due course was appointed an assistant surveyor on the Taranaki staff, having passed his examinations, practical and theoretical, with distinction.
      In 1905-6 he was appointed an assistant surveyor to the Federated Malay States Government, and his rise from that position to the head of a great department was rapid, reflecting credit on his training both in the office and field in Taranaki as well as on his natural ability. Mr. Skeet, who is living in Auckland, may take pride in the distinction won by his cadet of earlier years.
      Mr. and Mrs. Dewar are living in their retirement on the margin of Lake Lomond, Scotland.
      =============================

      John and Bethia Dewar’s eldest son, John, walked the six miles from Dumbarton to Roxburgh school. A classmate was Sidney Smith (later Sir Sidney) whose investigations into criminal poisonings made his name famous in the medical world. John began work as a pupil teacher, then took a position with the Lands and Survey Department at New Plymouth. He was a cadet in the surveying party which opened up the King Country. A rugby player, he was fly-half in the Taranaki team known as the Bush Whackers XV the year they were North Island champions. As soon as he received his surveyor’s licence he went to the (then) Federated Malay States, where he rose to be Surveyor-General. He retired to Scotland in 1937.

      After World War II, he was sent back to Malaysia by the Imperial Government to an expected problem with land titles it was thought would have been lost. John had worked with Maori trainees during his time at New Plymouth and, in Malaysia, persisted until successful with applications for permission to train Malay clerks in Kuala Lumpur. The wisdom of this was discovered when he found clerks had hidden every land title and none had been lost. For his work in Malaysia, John was awarded the C.B.E. He married Gladys Kathleen Plunkett, a relative of a former Governor-General of New Zealand, and they had one son, John Richard Gresley Dewar, now living in England. [2, 4, 5, 14]
    Person ID I5173  Roger
    Last Modified 27 April 2010 

    Father John Dewar,   b. 4 October 1834, Culross, Perthshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 April 1927, Alexandra, Otago, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 92 years) 
    Mother Bethia Bringans,   b. 30 October 1859, Bothwell, Lanarkshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 September 1937, Balclutha, Otago, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 77 years) 
    Family ID F6  Family Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family/Spouse Gladys Kathleen Plunkett,   b. 6 September 1885, Tasmania, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. after 12 April 1964  (Age > 79 years) 
    Married 19 July 1911  St John’s Church, Goulburn St., Hobart, Tasmania, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [15, 16
    Children 
    +1. John Richard Gresley “Dick” Dewar,   b. 1916,   d. Yes - date unknown
    Family ID F1642  Family Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 1883 - Alexandra, Otago, New Zealand Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsEmployment - 1906-1911 - Pahang, Federated Malay States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsEmployment - 1912-1924 - Kedah, Unfederated Malay States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsEmployment - 1924-1938 - Kuala Lumpur, Federated Malay States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1939 - Callander, Perthshire, Scotland Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - after 1939 - Tasmania, Australia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 12 April 1964 - Bournemouth, Hampshire, England Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend Address Cemetery Farm Town Parish City County/Shire State/Province Country Region Not Set

  • Photos
    John Robert 'Uncle Jack' Dewar
    John Robert "Uncle Jack" Dewar
    Back of photo says: "John Robert Dewar taken at 6 1/2 months"
    Scanned from original held by Bob Moffat.
    John Robert 'Uncle Jack' Dewar
    John Robert "Uncle Jack" Dewar
    Went on to become Surveyor General of Federated Malay States and Straits Settlements, and in 1938 was awarded a CBE for his services.
    John and Bethia Dewar and Family
    John and Bethia Dewar and Family
    Scanned from original photo held by Bob Moffat.
    Left to Right: John (Jack) Dewar, Janet (Nettie) Dewar, John Dewar, Bethia (Bringans) Dewar, Robert (Bert) Dewar
    Jack Dewar CBE
    Jack Dewar CBE
    John Robert "Jack" Dewar was awarded the CBE in the New Year's Honours List of 1 January 1938 for his services as Surveyor General of Federated Malay States and Straits Settlements. The picture was taken in Kensington, London. Scanned from an original held by Bob Moffat

    Documents
    Newspaper clipping announcing CBE awarded to John Dewar.
    Newspaper clipping announcing CBE awarded to John Dewar.
    Scanned by Roger from a photo copy of the original clipping held by Peter Moffat.
    Page from Supplement to London Gazette showing John Dewar, Esq., listed for award of the CBE
    Page from Supplement to London Gazette showing John Dewar, Esq., listed for award of the CBE
    Published 31 December 1937 dated 1 January 1938 the list of New Year's Honours for 1938, on page 15 shows:
    John Dewar, Esq., Colonial Survey Service, Surveyor-General, Federated Malay States and Straits Settlements.

    Histories
    A letter written by John Dewar to 'The Magazine of the Survey Departments of Malaya' 1 year after his retirement.
    A letter written by John Dewar to "The Magazine of the Survey Departments of Malaya" 1 year after his retirement.
    Information researched and compiled by Ly Mok in Singapore and kindly provided for publication here.
    eMail from Ly Mok in Singapore and kindly provided for publication here.
    eMail from Ly Mok in Singapore and kindly provided for publication here.
    eMail from Ly Mok in Singapore and kindly provided for publication here.
    eMail from Ly Mok in Singapore with further information about John Dewar, and kindly provided for publication here.
    eMail from Ly Mok in Singapore with further information about John Dewar, and kindly provided for publication here.
    eMail from Ly Mok in Singapore and kindly provided for publication here.
    Information about John Dewar's service in the Federated Malay States
    Information about John Dewar's service in the Federated Malay States
    This information researched and compiled by Ly Mok in Singapore and kindly provided for publication here.
    John Dewar — Otago Pioneer: Notes about John Dewar
    John Dewar — Otago Pioneer: Notes about John Dewar
    Written by his daughter, Janet Bethia Dewar, probably in 1973, prior to her death (the third to last paragraph mentions "a grandson (1973)".
    Several reports from the Federated Malay States Survey Department mentioning John Dewar
    Several reports from the Federated Malay States Survey Department mentioning John Dewar
    The information in these reports was researched and compiled by Ly Mok in Singapore and kindly provided for publication here.
    Two letters written by John Dewar to Australian Surveyor Magazine.
    Two letters written by John Dewar to Australian Surveyor Magazine.
    Copies of letters researched and compiled by Ly Mok in Singapore and kindly provided for publication on this site.
    Who Was Who entry for John Dewar
    Who Was Who entry for John Dewar
    Information researched and compiled by Ly Mok in Singapore and kindly provided for publication here.

  • Sources 
    1. [S120] Bringans Family Tree, compiled by someone from the Bringans Family in New Zealand.
    2. [S302] Article from an unknown newspaper, unknown author.
    3. [S470] Obituary, London: The British Association of Malaya.
    4. [S247] Website of The London Gazette, Published by Authority.
    5. [S240] Website of Surveyor General of Malaysia, J. DEWAR For Surveyor General, F.M.S.&S.S.
    6. [S467] eMail message titled “Re: John Dewar”, from Ly Mok in Singapore.
    7. [S468] Written note titled “The Malayan Civil List 1938”, list provided by Ly Mok from Singapore.
    8. [S469] Written note titled “Who was Who Vol. VI”, provided by Ly Mok from Singapore.
    9. [S471] Letter to The Australian Surveyor, written by J M Dewar.
    10. [S472] eMail message titled “Re: John Dewar”, from Ly Mok in Singapore.
    11. [S473] Obituary of John Dewar, Author Unknown.
    12. [S474] Letter to a Surveying Magazine, written by John Dewar.
    13. [S2422] eMail message titled “Re: Dewar”, from Colin Moffat.
    14. [S289] John Dewar - An Otago Pioneer, remembrance by his daughter, Janet Bethia Dewar.
    15. [S120] Bringans Family Tree, compiled by someone from the Bringans Family in New Zealand, gave the year only.
    16. [S2544] Newspaper titled “The Mercury”, published in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, gave full date.


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