W. T. I. Alagaratnam

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W. T. I. Alagaratnam
Born (1895-03-12)12 March 1895
Died 1977
Ethnicity Ceylon Tamil
Occupation Civil engineer

Winslow Thambiah Ivers Alagaratnam (12 March 1895 – 1977) was a leading Ceylon Tamil civil engineer and Director of Irrigation in Ceylon.

Early life[edit]

Alagaratnam was born on 12 March 1895.[1] He was educated in British Ceylon before going to Madras from where he obtained a degree in civil engineering.

Alagaratnam married Daisy Anketell. They had three daughters - Chandra, Pathmini and Kamalini.[1]


After graduating Alagaratnam returned to Ceylon and joined the Irrigation Department in 1921 as an Assistant Irrigation Engineer.[1] He was the first qualified Ceylonese engineer to join the department. In 1934 he became the first Ceylonese to be appointed Irrigation Engineer.[1] He was promoted to Divisional Engineer in 1943. In 1952 he became the first Ceylonese to be appointed Director of Irrigation.[1] He held the post until his retirement in 1955.[1] Alagaratnam later served as Director of the Water Resources Board.[1]

In the 1954 New Year Honours Alagaratnam was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.[2]

Alagaratnam died in 1977.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Arumugam, S. (1997). Dictionary of Biography of the Tamils of Ceylon. p. 2. 
  2. ^ "Fourth Supplement". The London Gazette (40056): 48. 29 December 1953.