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A Canal is Born

'The Directors are careful to keep themselves supplied with the best information on all points relating to the Canal.' Company Report, 1869

Following his visit to Egypt in 1840, Arthur Anderson wrote a pamphlet in support of a French project to build a ship canal linking the Mediterranean to the Red Sea. To the embarrassment of the P&O Board, Anderson’s enthusiasm for the canal was completely at odds with British intentions to build a railway. The pamphlet remained unpublished until 1843.

British opposition to the canal continued throughout its construction, which began under Ferdinand De Lesseps in 1858. But despite its dissenters the Suez Canal opened to shipping on 17th November 1869.

Like most of his contemporaries on the P&O Board of 1840, Anderson did not live to see the canal completed, nor the profound effect it would have on their Company…