Watt, David Alexander Fraser
David Alexander Fraser Watt

1. Personal Papers
2. Photographic Material
3. Museum Objects
4. Newspapers
5. Miscellanea
6. Printed material
Reference code: GB-0033-SAD
Title: Watt, David Alexander Fraser
Dates of creation: 1900-1960
Extent: 1 box
Held by: Durham University Library, Archives and Special Collections
Created by: Watt, David Alexander Fraser
Language: English

David Alexander Fraser Watt


c.1900-1939Engineer at Aswan Low Dam, Assiut and the Delta Barrages, Ministry of Public Works, Egypt
1913Director of Works, Aswan Low Dam
1922Resident Engineer, Aswan Reservoir


1. Personal Papers
2. Photographs
3. Objects
4. Newspapers
5. Miscellanea
6. Printed material

Accession details

Presented by Paula Gibson, Alida England, Marianne Nicoll, 22 October 2019.

1. Personal Papers
Personal correspondence to D.A.F. Watt relating to his service, and to his family concerning his Egyptian state pension.
20 December 1924
Letter to Watt from Herbert Henry Asquith (1852-1928) at the Cataract Hotel, Aswan, offering thanks after visit; with envelope.
28 March 1928
Envelope to Catherine Watt (née Fraser), wife of D.A.F. Watt, stamped by the High Commissioner and bearing royal seal.
9 and 11 February 1929
Two letters from Aga Khan [III] at the Semiramis Hotel, Cairo, to Watt, the first offering thanks after visit, the second introducing Lord and Lady Ednam (William Ward Viscount Ednam (1894-1969) and Rosemary née Sutherland-Leveson-Gower (1893–1930)), in advance of their visit to the Aswan Dam; with envelopes.
22 April 1930
Letter from J.R. Aird, equerry to the Prince of Wales, at Cairo, to Watt, offering thanks following royal visit; with envelope, postmarked High Commission.
3 March 1936
Letter from Arthur Douglas Butcher (1884-1944), Director-General Southern Nile, Ministry of Public Works, at Cairo, to Watt, wiriting “at the request of the few remaining Englishmen” on Watt's retirement from the service, presenting a commemorative grandfather clock, and recalling Watt's service and hospitality at Aswan and later at the Delta Barrage.
Correspondence from Egyptian Government ministries and probate solicitors Frederick A. Black & Imrie to Louisa Macintosh and Mrs L.M. Brittain, concerning Egyptian state pension.
SAD.1048/8/16-19 (outsize), 20-28
Grants (Arabic), British royal warrants, and correspondence relating to the conferments of the Order of the Medjidieh, 4th class (1913) and the Order of the Nile, 3rd class (1922), on D.A.F. Watt.
Outsize SAD.1048/1/16-18 filed at SAD/PF 28/5. See section 3. Museum objects for Order of the Nile 4th class medal, ribbon and rosette.
2. Photographic Material
“Photographes de S.H. le Sultan”: royal ceremonial event at the Aswan Low Dam. Album by by Aziz & Dorès of Rue de l'Hopital Grec 3, Alexandria.
Size: album 33 x 25.5 cm; prints 171 x 110 mm, and panorama 591 x 103 mm
Album (33 photographic prints)
23 December 1914
[?Holiday] in Egypt, compiled and captioned by C.J.V.: Residency [at Aswan]; “El Bosta” [Post Office at Aswan]; golfing [at Aswan]; Aswan Low Dam, and sluices, locks, quays; Philae and Elephantine.
Size: album 26 x 22 cm; 102 x 78 mm to 81 x 57 mm prints
Album (28 photographic prints)
Peggy Watt (later Brittain) and [Tom] Brittain at Aswan, Luxor (February 1937), Philae, Gezira, Nile Delta Barrage Dam, Giza, including: Aswan Low Dam, Suez railway, Aswan [?former Watt] residence, [Nile Delta] Barrage gardens and [Watt] residence, aerial photographs of Delta Barrage residence and Giza pyramids (December 1936, from north east). Captioned. Aerial photographs taken by [Tom] Brittain from his Hawker Audax. Colour photocopy.
Size: album 35 x 22 cm; 88 x 60 mm and (aerial) 133 x 130 mm prints
Album (50 photographs)
[1900 x 1920]
Qasr el Nil bridge, Cairo, with horse-drawn carriage.
SAD.1051/3/2-22; SAD.1045/4/1-14
Photographs of the Aswan Low Dam, Cataract Hotel, offices and staff quarters including the Watt residence, and the Assiut Barrage (SAD.1051/3/6 only). Includes: 2 aerial photographs of the dam; Mr Johnston, Chief Mechanic.
35 photographic prints
[1912 x 1930]
Staff quarters [at Aswan Low Dam], one with the location of Watt's office marked.
[1912 x 1930]
Aswan Low Dam, aerial (oblique) view from north, the location of Watt's office marked.
[1912 x 1930]
Cataracts below the Aswan Low Dam.
[1903 x 1930]
Assiut barrage reservoir, south side. Captioned: “the reservoir at old Assuan Dam full south side”.
[1912 x 1930]
Foundations across Division Cut, looking west.
[1912 x 1930]
Cataract Hotel, Aswan.
[1912 x 1930]
[Watt] residence.
[1912 x 1930]
Garden and vine walk, Aswan.
[1912 x 1930]
Garden, [Aswan].
[1912 x 1930]
Elephant Rocks at Awsan.
[1912 x 1930]
Mr Johnston, Chief Mechanic.
[1912 x 1930]
[Watt] fishing below the Aswan Low Dam.
[1912 x 1930]
Cataract below the Aswan Low Dam.
[1912 x 1930]
Office buildings at Aswan Low Dam.
[1912 x 1930]
Local water craft at Aswan Low Dam.
[1912 x 1930]
Views of Aswan Low Dam.
[1912 x 1930]
Cataract Hotel, Aswan.
30 March 1903
No. 288. South side of [Aswan Low] dam from east bank. Photographer: Donald S. George (1861-1944).
Size: 282 x 227 mm
South side of the [Aswan Low] dam. Photographer: F. Fiorillo.
Size: 298 x 100 mm
Assuan [Aswan town] general view. Photographer: F. Fiorillo.
Size: 298 x 100 mm
Cataract Hotel, [Aswan]. Photographer: F. Fiorillo.
Size: 298 x 100 mm
View from the Cataract Hotel, [Aswan]. Photographer: F. Fiorillo.
Size: 298 x 100 mm
10 October 1906
No. 357. R.L.92.00. Rollerless gate with new auxiliary. Photographer: F. Fiorillo.
Size: 227 x 282 mm
15 August 1907
Rest House, Aswan. Photographer: D.S.G. [Donald S. George (1861-1944)].
Size: 289 x 238 mm
19 May 1908
No. 419. Aswan Dam heightening. Set 2 & 3. Photographer: Donald S. George (1861-1944).
Size: 290 x 228 mm
7 January 1909
No. 443. Aswan Dam heightening. Masonry. Set. 1... Photographer: Donald S. George (1861-1944).
Size: 291 x 242 mm
[Aswan Dam heightening.] [Photographer: Donald S. George (1861-1944).]
The figure of David Watt is identified in the photograph in black biro.
Size: 291 x 241 mm
25 March 1909
No. 472. Aswan Dam heightening, Masonry set 11A. Looking west. Photographer: Donald S. George (1861-1944).
Size: 290 x 242 mm
5 May 1909
No. 492. Aswan Reservoir houses. Photographer: Donald S. George (1861-1944).
Size: 290 x 240 mm
[December 1912]
Ceremonial opening of the Aswan Dam.
The figure of David Watt is identified in the photograph in black biro.
Size: 290 x 240 mm
28 March 1928
Aswan Low Dam, reservoir full (113.15). Aerial (vertical) photograph
Size: 276 x 215 mm
Photographs of public ceremonies at locations including the Aswan Low Dam, including: Lord Kitchener (December 1912) (SAD.1051/4/1-2), Sir John Aird (SAD.1051/4/4), Earl Allenby [1919 x 1925] (SAD.1051/4/8-9), Crown Prince of Italy [Umberto, Prince of Piedmont] [February 1928] (SAD.1051/4/22-27), Lord George Lloyd on S.S. “Ibis” at Aswan returning from the inauguration of the Makwar Dam [1925] (SAD.1051/4/30-32).
The photographs are sorted into 4 rough groups: SAD.1051/4/1-11; 12-22; 23-28; 29-32.
38 photographic prints
Photographs of Nile Delta barrage and barrage gardens, and the Watt residence, including 2 aerial (oblique) photographs (SAD.1051/5/1-2).
20 photographic prints
SAD.1051/6/1-8; SAD.1045/4/15
Photographs of ancient Egyptian archaeological sites, including: Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III at Luxor (SAD.1051/6/1), Philae (before and after inundation) (SAD.1051/6/2-6; SAD.1045/4/15), Great Temple at Abu Simbel (SAD.1051/6/7-8)
9 photographic prints
24 May 1900
No. 104. Philae from east. Photographer: Donald S. George (1861-1944).
Size: 283 x 228 mm
1 photographic print
c. 1900-[1930s]
Photographs of members of the Watt family at Aswan, Nile Delta Barrage residence, and Edinburgh, including: David Alexander Fraser Watt (c.1877-1942), including in 18th-century costume (SAD.1051/7/1) and his wife Louisa Mackintosh Watt (née Maclennan) (c.1877-1959); their three children Louisa Margaret (Peggy) (1910-1995), James Alexander Fyfe, and Marjorie Helen (SAD.1051/7/7-11, 13-16); Miss E. Bakewell (SAD.1051/7/5).
16 photographic prints (including 2 colour photocopies)
3. Museum Objects
23 December 1912
Metal statuette of Hapi the ancient Egyptian god of the Nile, with commemorative inscription: “Assouan Dam Heightening opened by H.H. the Khedive December 23rd 1912”, and “D. Watt Esq.”. Manufactured by Ransomes & Rapier Ltd, Ipswich.
Presentation box, one part now detached.
Medal of the Institut International de Statistique XVII Session le Caire 1927, with ribbon and clasp.
1939 [A.H. 1357]
2 commemorative medallions, engraved with scenes of Assiut Barrage (SAD.1051/8) and Aswan Reservoir (SAD.1051/9), and each with Arabic inscriptions.
[early 20th century]
4th Order of the Nile medal, with sash and rosette.
4. Newspapers
28 December 1912
The Sphinx magazine, (?lacking covers): includes illustrated reports from the ceremony marking the opening of the heightened and thickened Aswan Low Dam on 24 December 1912, pp. 3, 13-18, annotated by Louise Watt (née Mackintosh), wife of David Watt.
23 March 1921
Daily Sketch newspaper, including illustrated article “The Sultan of Egypt sees the native sights” (p.16), with a photograph of David Watt, chief engineer of the Aswan Low Dam, wearing a tarboosh.
5. Miscellanea
Menu [memorialising] a celebratory “Heightening Dinner” upon the completion of the heightening of the Aswan Low Dam, 24 December 1912 at the Cataract Hotel, Aswan; humourous, with comic vignettes. Signed by the artist in bottom right corner (illegible). Photocopy.
6. Printed material
Printed material deposited with collection; now integrated into library and catalogued on Discover