OBITUARY : Captain Sir George Barnard

George Barnard was for 11 years, from 1961 to 1972, Deputy Master of the Corporation of Trinity House, the body responsible for the coastal waters of England and Wales.

He was born in Finchley, north London, in 1907. By the age of 15 he was apprenticed to Messrs Watts, Watts & Co, and went to sea in their ship SS Hounslow. When he first qualified as a navigating officer he transferred to the employ of the Bank Line and spent some years trading in the West Indies and Venezuela.

In 1935 Barnard gained his Master's certificate and joined Blue Star Line, in which he served through all the ranks. It was when he was Chief Officer of Andalucia Star in October 1942 that she was torpedoed and sank 190 miles off Freetown, Sierra Leone. Although the ship sank in 35 minutes all but one of the 160 passengers were saved, and only three crew members perished. Barnard was picked up from his lifeboat by the corvette Petunia and landed in Freetown from where he was repatriated with 1,500 other survivors of sinkings, and achieved his first command with the Blue Star Line in 1945.

Barnard was elected a Younger Brother of Trinity House in 1949 and an active Elder Brother in 1958, which meant an end of his active seagoing career; in 1961 he was elected Deputy Master (Chairman). Trinity House was first granted a Royal Charter in 1514 by Henry VIII and is the general lighthouse authority for England, Wales, the Channel Islands and Gibraltar, providing such aids to general navigation as lighthouses, light vessels, buoys and beacons. It is also a charitable organisation for the relief of mariners and their dependants who are in financial distress. Until recently it was also the principal pilotage authority but this responsibility has been devolved to the ports, and Trinity House now issues licences only for deep-sea pilots.

Barnard led Trinity House through an era of change in the field of aids to navigation and pilotage; the automation of lighthouses; formulation of an international buoyage system; and the use of fast launches in pilotage were all initiated in his time.

In retirement Barnard was a keen gardener and croquet player.

Malcolm Edge

Few people have had such a profound influence on maritime affairs as George Barnard, writes C. J. Parker. By undertaking to become chairman of the trustees and, later, elected as the first President of the Nautical Institute, he introduced a new concept of professionalism into the Merchant Navy and built a permanent bridge between all sea users in a way which had never before been possible.

As founder President it was not easy to introduce a new outlook in such a conservative profession, particularly as there were well-established relationships between unions, owners and government whose leaders saw no need for change.

Barnard had the foresight to see the limitations and insularity of the shipping industry and against considerable opposition led the profession forward. The Nautical Institute is now one of the world's premier maritime professional organisations with over 6,000 members in 70 countries. All its members mourn the death of "Captain Sir George".

George Edward Barnard, mariner: born London 11 August 1907; Elder Brother of Trinity House 1958-95, Deputy Master 1961-72; Treasurer, International Association of Lighthouse Authorities 1961-72; Honorary Secretary, King George's Fund for Sailors 1967-75; Kt 1968; Chairman, Nautical Institute 1972-73, President 1973-75, Fellow 1975-95; married 1940 Barbara Hughes (died 1976; one son); died Watford, Hertfordshire 14 April 1995.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, - 1 Year contract

£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Human Resource Officer and Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Recruitment Genius: Project Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This privately-owned company designs and manuf...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence