William Bloomfield Douglas (1822-1906) Douglas was a naval officer and public servant, born on 25 September 1822 in Aberystwyth, Wales, son of Richard William Clode Douglas and his wife Mary, née Johnson. In January 1842 he entered the navy and became a captain’s steward on H.M.S. Wolverene before resigning in September at Hong Kong. He then won distinction fighting pirates with Brooke in Sarawak in 1843-44. On 25 April 1848 at Embleton, Northumberland, he married Ellen, daughter of Christopher Atkinson, yeoman. To provide for his growing family he returned to the sea in September 1852. In 1854 in command of the General Screw Steam Shipping Co.’s Bosphorus, a coastal mail vessel, Douglas successfully applied in Adelaide for the post of naval officer and harbour master. He assumed duty in December and in July 1858 became collector of customs as well. He also served as master of Trinity House and chairman of the Harbor Trust until these authorities and the post of naval officer were replaced in 1860 by a Marine Board with Douglas as its first president.
He contributed as a commissioner or witness to official inquiries into South Australian lighthouses in 1855, harbours in 1855 and 1865 and defences in 1858, and surveyed Kangaroo Island and the Backstairs Passage in 1858, the Murray River mouth in 1859 and the west coast in 1867.
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