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My Grandfather: Determination & Compassion

by Aug 27, 2019News

I took a trip to Warkworth beach at sundown yesterday evening.

As a child, my Grandfather collected coal with his father on this beach for heating and to sell.

By the age of 13 both of his parents had died of tuberculosis and then my Grandfather contracted tuberculosis and left school for over a year to be treated in hospital, missing all of his exams.

This shaped his determination and developed his compassion for all people.

He narrowly survived following a curious incident when during WW2, a returning enemy German plane offloaded its final bomb to zip back across the North Sea, landing it in the garden of my Grandfather George’s aunties home opposite where he lay asleep in the living room one day. The bomb blew a hole in the garden and roused George from his slumber, awaking to find broken glass from the bay window everywhere!

He became Professor of Mathematics and Naval Architecture at Newcastle University. He designed and built the Ark Royal; was friends with ‘The Big Three’ negotiating on their behalf to open up trade between the West and Communist China, and consequently had to escape on a private jet to avoid becoming a political prisoner.

He was famous for predicting changes in industry 15 years in advance, in particular, how ships are constructed. A method which is continued today around the world.

He spent the last decades of his life helping people, students and his family who he loved. He was sensitive, loving, funny, open minded and smart. He had a big, big heart.

And tell him your birthdate, he would check his watch and tell you how many seconds you had been alive for!

My Grandfather: A man admired by many.