George Thurston

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Sir George Thurston KBE (1869 - 22 January 1950) was a leading British naval architect in the early half of the 20th century.

Life and career

Born Thomas George Owens in 1869, he trained in naval architecture in Liverpool and Newcastle-on-Tyne and worked on mercantile shipbuilding. He later worked under Philip Watts at Elswick shipyard. He became the chief naval architect for Vickers, Limited from around the turn of the 20th century up to the early 1920s. Later he became the firm's naval director. He contributed to the designs of the Imperial Japanese Navy battlecruiser Kongō and the dreadnought battleship Erin. During the First World War he was responsible for the large and diverse volume of construction in the Vickers yard.

He changed his name by deed poll in 1915 to Thomas George Owens Thurston prior to attaining his knighthood.[1] Although he took Owens as his third Christian name, his descendents conjoined his original and new surnames to take the family name of Owens-Thurston.

In 1923, Thurston published a 15-page essay, "The Washington Conference and Naval Design", in Brassey’s Naval & Shipping Annual, regarding the recent Washington Naval Conference and associated Treaty:

In 1901, he married Ada King, who predeceased him in 1946. Together they had seven sons and one daughter, one of whom also predeceased him. Thurston died on 22 January 1950 at Torquay, aged 80.[4]


  1. ^ "Deed Poll Name Change". Public Announcements. The Times. London. 16 April 1915.
  2. ^ Sir George Thurston (1923). "The Washington Conference and Naval Design". Brassey's Naval & Shipping Annual: 96.
  3. ^ Steve Backer. "HMS Norfolk".
  4. ^ "Sir George Thurston". Obituaries. The Times (51598). London. 25 January 1950. col E, p. 7.

External links

  • Portrait by Elliott & Fry
  • Spanish Dreadnought Projects
  • Spanish Battlecruiser Projects

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