Notes on the Geography of Sri Lanka: Kadugannawa and Balana: Photo 5
Another symbol, in this case commemorating Captain William Dawson, who designed the road. He "had charge of the construction of the original road up the Pass, which for 40 years before the railway was completed was the only means of access to the mountain district from the north and west. The road was constructed in 1822. Prior to that time there were only two roads even in the Maritime Provinces... As to the Central Province, it was altogether inaccessible to any but hill climbers."
Dawson died of dysentery a few years later, in 1829, while surveying the Mannar channel in the north of the island. "The poor fellow died in my arms. The whole Island mourned him... Sir Edward Barnes had, notwithstanding Dawson's junior rank, selected him for the position of C.R.E.[Commanding Royal Engineer] which was a Colonel's command, for Sir Edward knew from his Peninsular experience of him the great merit Dawson possessed as an officer." The monument was erected a few years later. (Quotation from Thomas Skinner, Fifty Years in Ceylon, 1891, p. 93.)
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