He was born in Aldershot, England. He was a merchant marine officer, sailing the world in everything from tramp steamers to troopships. He emigrated to Australia in 1956 and became an Australian citizen. He commanded various ships in the Australian and New Zealand merchant navies, and was the last master of the Australian aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne as the law required that it have an officer on board while it was laid up waiting to be towed to China to be broken up.
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