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10 March 2014

Remember John By

A modest memorial on a wall close beside the Thames at the southern end of St Thomas' Hospital remembers Lieutenant Colonel John By, a Londoner and British military engineer who was born nearby and was instrumental in the building of the Rideau Canal, during which he founded a settlement called Bytown, a place to which he gave his name that went on to become Canada's capital city, Ottawa.

By was called out of retirement to build the 200km canal, which connects the Ottawa River to Lake Ontario, and it took six years to complete. However, he soon faced accusations of unauthorised expenditure, and though he was exonerated, he died back in Frant in Sussex just four years after its completion, at the age of 56.

For more, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_By

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