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  #1  
Old 16th December 2017, 18:13
Graham Wallace Graham Wallace is offline  
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GAB King

I have recently received the news George King died late evening December 8th in his Care Come in Gerrards Cross

I never knew George but I think there still many around here who did.

Years ago I was sent a copy of his book,"A love of Ships" which I have enjoyed.

Graham
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  #2  
Old 16th December 2017, 18:36
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Sad News, I met him on a ship I was on, he and his wife did a part trip with us in the 70s. Nice chap. Condolences to his family.
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  #3  
Old 17th December 2017, 12:56
jmirvine jmirvine is offline  
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Never met George personally, but I also have a copy of his book which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Condolences to his family.
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  #4  
Old 17th December 2017, 20:10
hamone hamone is offline  
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Gabby King ,the first mariner to be BP Tankers boss during the companies heyday.
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  #5  
Old 17th December 2017, 20:12
sparks69 sparks69 is offline  
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End of an era ?
He was a good bloke.

Last edited by sparks69; 17th December 2017 at 20:14..
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  #6  
Old 17th December 2017, 22:30
Jon Vincent Jon Vincent is offline  
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Met him once Isle of Grain on the "Esk" hand shake deal as he was with a group visiting, "end of an era", I wonder how many people past their tickets using his book "Tanker Practice" still have two copies, he taught a lot of people with that book. Great man.
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  #7  
Old 17th December 2017, 22:58
david freeman david freeman is offline  
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Interesting time in the 60, and early 70,s, in the fleet, and ashore in the office as a minor cog in the wheel. George was always aware of who you were and what you got up

Last edited by david freeman; 17th December 2017 at 23:02..
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  #8  
Old 18th December 2017, 22:15
sparks69 sparks69 is offline  
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He laid it on the line at a staff conference I attended when he said the time would come when British crews and flag would be too expensive and he was proved to be correct.
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  #9  
Old 19th December 2017, 06:12
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paul0510 paul0510 is offline  
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‚A love of ships‘ still graces my bookshelf along with BP‘s Marine Distance Tables, Norie‘s Nautical Tables, Boatswains‘ Manual, Ship Magnetism, Home Trade Navigation Guide, Rules of the Road, Ship Construction, Ship‘s Compass etc. etc. not to mention the BP Workbooks with my years of celestial observations and position lines. Who remembers including Nunki in his twilight sights??
RIP Gaby
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  #10  
Old 19th December 2017, 17:27
DAVELECKIE DAVELECKIE is offline
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Met him at a staff conference and also at the IOG on a tanker for which the name escapes my failing memory banks. A thoroughly good bloke.
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  #11  
Old 20th December 2017, 15:22
JohnBP JohnBP is offline  
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Never met him but have his book, read it twice so far.. great life...
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  #12  
Old 26th December 2017, 12:16
brooksy brooksy is offline  
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I met him when he visited the Forties Kiwi.The wheelhouse was full of visitors and I withdrew to the chartroom and made myself a cuppa.George King came in the chartroom and sat himself down and we started talking and I made him a Cuppa as wellThe old man Jack Hobbs walked in see us both chattering away and walked out again.He left the chartroom for a further tour of the ship with a handshake.
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  #13  
Old 26th December 2017, 15:33
borderreiver borderreiver is offline  
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His book was the hand book on the Border tankers. I always wounder what he would have thought off the modern tankers double hull submerged pumps. closed loading looking a pc screens stability linked to the loading system. and these very large tanks. i think he would be against that and of course he was the inventor of the ring main system.
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  #14  
Old 10th January 2018, 15:04
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From the Telegraph today, sorry the pictures did not come across.

"That BP was undoubtedly the best run tanker company in the world", got that bit right then.

Captain George King, who has died aged 92, was a midshipman of the Blue Funnel Line when he helped fight a U-boat for two days in late 1942.

King was serving in the Nederlandsche Stoomvart Oceaan’s Polydorus, manned by Dutch and British officers, on passage from Liverpool via the Cape to Egypt, loaded with war stores, and commanded by Dutch Captain Hermanus Brouwer.

Polydorus was steaming unescorted at 15 knots, a fast ship for her era, when she was detected by the German submarine U-176 under command of Kapitšnleutnant Reiner Dierksen. Little did Dierksen know that he had run into one of his most stubborn victims of the war.

King first became aware of the presence of a U-boat when he saw two torpedoes explode prematurely some distance away. Brouwer called his ship’s company to action stations and commenced a wide zigzag, but no further attack developed during the day until that evening, when under cover of darkness U-176 crept close and opened fire with her guns. Polydorus returned fire with her single 4 in gun and fled into the night.

Next morning, at first light, Dierksen tried again, but Brouwer saw the torpedo track and altered course sharply away; he opened fire, forcing Dierksen to withdraw, and dropped smoke floats to create a concealing bank of fog.

When Dierksen drew to upwind of the smoke, long-range gunfire between the steamer and the U-boat began. Brouwer manoeuvred Polydorus like a warship, presenting as small target as possible to Dierksen and heading into rain squalls whenever possible.
George King
George King

All day, young King carried ammunition to the gun, took turns as gunlayer, checked for damage, and kept watches in the crow’s-nest. By nightfall Brouwer hoped that he had shaken off his pursuer, but by three in the morning of the second day, November 27, Dierksen, who had at last drawn ahead, fired a salvo of torpedoes and with the seventh and eighth struck his target.

King recalled that watching Polydorus sink quietly sternfirst “was the most dramatic if not the most profound experience of my life”. He took charge of one of the lifeboats, and the survivors were picked up by a Spanish merchantman.

They landed on December 5 at Las Palmas in the Canaries. For his conduct during the lengthy pursuit and for his subsequent comportment in the lifeboat, King was awarded the Netherlands Bronze Cross.

George Alfred Brown King, known as “Jock”, or “Gabby” from his initials, was born on April 27 1925 in the Argentine, to a Scottish bank clerk and an English mother who was daughter of a marine engineer resident in Buenos Aires. Young George was educated at Ayr Academy, Newton Park Higher Grade School and the Dumfries Academy.

His love of the sea was stimulated by school-holidays jaunts in the LMS ferry Duchess of Hamilton on the Firth of Clyde, before being apprenticed to Alfred Holt in 1941.

In 1952, after acquiring his master’s certificate, he was seconded for a year to the Merchant Navy training school HMS Conway, and was on-board when the former 19th-century “wooden wall”, under tow for a refit in Birkenhead, grounded and broke her back in Menai Strait. King was not responsible for the navigation, but assisted in the recovery operations.

King returned to the British Tanker Company (a forerunner of BP), and, still a chief officer, wrote Tanker Practice: The Construction, Operation and Maintenance of Tankers (1956) for the world’s rapidly expanding fleets of tankers.

Written in an easy conversational style, Tanker Practice covered construction, arrangement of tanks, pipelines and valves which enable the simultaneous carriage of different grades of refined products, ballasting, tank cleaning and maintenance.

Though much of the contents was common knowledge, it had never before been codified. King’s book was not out of publication for 30 years and it became the model for several successor handbooks.


Every BP ship and each officer held a copy, and if its precepts were followed, the ship would be efficiently run. That BP was undoubtedly the best run tanker company in the world was largely due to King and his book, which was accepted throughout the industry as the “tanker bible”.

King progressed to command in the rapidly expanding British Tanker Company, the shipping arm of British Petroleum, became a marine superintendent in 1960, and was managing director of BTC from 1975 to 1981, at a time when the Red Ensign was ubiquitous and the company controlled more than 300 ships, one of the largest tankers fleets in the world.

In 1967 King was the tanker expert who boarded the stricken Torrey Canyon, which had run aground off the Isles of Scilly, and who subsequently advised the Navy and the government on the disposal of the wreck.

At the Fleet Review for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee at Spithead in 1977, King had a heated exchange with Admiral Sir Henry Leach, then Commander-in Chief Fleet and later First Sea Lord, regarding the appearance of the tanker British Respect.

Leach thought the BP ship did not measure up to his standards. King reminded Leach that since his vessel was far longer than any Royal Navy present, his small ship’s company would look ridiculous spread out 30 ft apart.

The incident is remembered differently in the two men’s autobiographies.

Among other innovations King took a leading role in the introduction of a traffic routing system in the Dover Straits, which became a pattern for other areas of shipping congestion, the installation of an inert gas fire prevention system in tankers, and the general purpose crew system, in which deck and engine-room personnel were interchangeable.

King’s second book, his autobiography, A Love of Ships (1991), is a classic of the sea, told with an eye for detail, sparkling with pen-pictures of the characters he met around the world, and with incident and anecdote from his life at sea.

In his foreword, Admiral of the Fleet Lord Lewin recognised that King’s association with the sea was more vocation than career, and that King’s love of the sea and ships ran through every page. Not only did King write well, but his books were illustrated with his own beautiful drawings.

He was a member of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners, a liveryman of the Worship Company of Shipwrights and a Younger Brother of Trinity House. He was appointed CBE in 1979.

George King married Catherine Irvine in 1946; she predeceased him in 2015, and he is survived by their son.

Captain George King, born April 27 1925, died December 8 2017
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Last edited by twogrumpy; 10th January 2018 at 15:08..
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  #15  
Old 10th January 2018, 15:15
brummiechris brummiechris is offline  
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There is an obituary in today's DT for Gabby King. From what I knew of him it seems to sum him up well.

I only met him once, late 1973, when he was, I think, Chief Marine Supt and I was a lowly cadet. I was on the Faith, laid up alongside in Falmouth on the bridge keeping a VHF watch. I heard the agents call and ran into the chartroom (remember them?) to answer the call. Gabby was heading in the other direction and I knocked him A over T. The old man, Jasper Cliffe, was not amused, Gabby took in in good part. Shortly after that I was transferred to the Light. Read into that what you will.
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  #16  
Old 10th January 2018, 15:21
brummiechris brummiechris is offline  
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Hi twogrumpy, you must have posted while I was typing.

He did a lot the Company and indeed for shipping as a whole. Is it significant that the Fleet declined when the accountants took over?
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  #17  
Old 10th January 2018, 15:31
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twogrumpy twogrumpy is offline  
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Yes Chris, crossed lines.

It is available here.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/obituarie...king-obituary/

Possibly not readable by non subscribers.
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  #18  
Old 10th January 2018, 17:46
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George.GM George.GM is offline
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His book "A Love of Ships" is on sale at Amazon for £108 !!
Anyone know where I can obtain a cheaper copy ?
Ryde Library don't hold it.
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  #19  
Old 13th January 2018, 17:14
Andrew147 Andrew147 is offline  
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Don't give up, I bought one, used, for £4.36 again on Amazon.
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  #20  
Old 13th January 2018, 22:43
sparks69 sparks69 is offline  
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Re the photo in the Telegraph's Obit. Anyone explain the braid, it's not BP Master's braid.
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  #21  
Old 14th January 2018, 10:46
david freeman david freeman is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparks69 View Post
Re the photo in the Telegraph's Obit. Anyone explain the braid, it's not BP Master's braid.
just looked at above email web obituary, scrammbled egg on cap. ??? Is that the problem.?? Was gab king commador bp fleet before shore side appointments.
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  #22  
Old 14th January 2018, 11:08
david freeman david freeman is offline  
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When was the new house flag, emblazioned on the cap badge?? The cap is standard mn fouled anchor -RN-??, WITH SCRABBLED EGG!!
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  #23  
Old 14th January 2018, 16:45
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James_C James_C is offline   SN Supporter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david freeman View Post
When was the new house flag, emblazioned on the cap badge?? The cap is standard mn fouled anchor -RN-??, WITH SCRABBLED EGG!!
BPTC/BTC used the house flag on the cap badge from pre WW2 and this changed as the house flag changed (which it did, three times).
GAB King was Master in BPTC before taking up a post ashore, he was not fleet Commodore.
Scrambled egg on the peak of the cap is standard for a British MN Master's uniform and the cap badge itself is the "Bombay" version of the standard badge.
I'd imagine he was wearing that badge and standard MN diamonds to perhaps stay true to his roots - he started off life in Blue Flue after all, not BTC.
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  #24  
Old 15th January 2018, 19:21
JohnBP JohnBP is offline  
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George.gm. I can sell you mine if you want $20.00 cdn plus postage depending where you live...
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  #25  
Old 15th January 2018, 21:46
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George.GM George.GM is offline
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Thanks John. Will give it thought until my local; library decide if they are going to buy it.
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