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The Late Ken Hewitt

Shipmates it has just come up on my Facebook feed that Ex Personnel Manager Ken Hewitt has crossed the bar. I'm sure we all remember him from our time with the company. I know Colin Wright used to contact him every Christmas time and he was well into his 90's. RIP Uncle Ken.

Where are you from: Bournemouth UK but lived on the Northern Beaches of Sydney for the last 43 years.

Re: The Late Ken Hewitt





That's very sad news Keith. I only met the man once and that was the day I walked down the gangplank of Oriana for the very last time. He had "assumed" I was staying for the 2 week refit in Soton and then leaving and was not very happy when I told him that Jen had flown all the way from Perth and was waiting on the quay and I was off to start the rest of my life on that day 16th May 1976.

R.I.P. Ken, I guess it's too late now to put in all my expense forms that I never got around to sending him for my entire (short) stint at sea.

Re: The Late Ken Hewitt

Yes, sad news indeed.
He was the man who gave most of us the opportunity to begin our great adventure, sailing the seven seas.
We from the 1960's and 70's era certainly had a great time thanks to that opportunity.
Let's hope he is not going to sending telegrams anytime soon to be joining his current fleet. lol.

Where are you from: Sheffield

Re: The Late Ken Hewitt

I think I only met Ken once, He offered me promotion to 4th engineer if I returned to do the scrap run on the Oronsay and to my eternal regret and shame I told him where to stick the offer. I guess the end of my career with P&O started on that day.
IanB

Where are you from: Land of Jock

Re: The Late Ken Hewitt

RIP Uncle Ken ...

I have fond memories of our verbal exchanges.
When it came down to a hard decision on career
change you did push me in the right direction. I’ll
always be grateful ...

Where are you from: Indianapolis

Re: The Late Ken Hewitt

I remember Ken Hewitt very clearly. A consumate juggler and a man who did a difficult job very well. Who of us would have swapped places with him? He had many abilities amongst them to ask the difficult requests with a straight face. Can't say I always agreed with him but I had the utmost respect for the demands of his position and (with all modesty) his ability to recognise talent. RIP KEN

Where are you from: Gosport originally now Campbelltown N.S.W

Re: The Late Ken Hewitt

graham stephens
I remember Ken Hewitt very clearly. A consumate juggler and a man who did a difficult job very well. Who of us would have swapped places with him? He had many abilities amongst them to ask the difficult requests with a straight face. Can't say I always agreed with him but I had the utmost respect for the demands of his position and (with all modesty) his ability to recognise talent. RIP KEN
Further to my recent post, lots more info re Ken Hewitt from the Neil Warmington site. Ken Hewitt was at sea during the war and captured when his ship was sunk. The officers and crew were captured and he spent 4 years as a prisoner of war in Germany. Apparently he was at sea with Hain line(?)Puts all of us in perspective.

Where are you from: Gosport originally now Campbelltown N.S.W

Re: The Late Ken Hewitt

I have cut and pasted this from a Facebook page Details from Derek Warmington I understand. Puts things into perspective as Geoff Horan has said.


Ken joined Hain Line, part of the P&O Group, as a Deck Cadet in 1939. Two years later in 1941, when he was serving aboard the cargo ship ‘Trelawney’, the ship encountered the German battleships ‘Scharnhorst’ and ‘Gneisenau’ off the Seychelles and after the Officers and Crew had been taken prisoner, the ship was sunk by shellfire. Ken spent the following four years in a prisoner of war camp in Germany.

When he returned to London in 1945, he found that there was no position for him with Hain Line, so he initially joined the office of the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen in Cardiff before joining P&O in 1947 in Pursers Cash (later Pay Department) working in the London Docks. In the 1960’s he moved to the Officers’ Department (later Fleet Personnel Department) and became the Senior Fleet Personnel Officer responsible for the appointment of all Engineer and Electrical Officers until his retirement in 1984.

Funeral details have not yet been announced.

Derek Warmington

Where are you from: Bournemouth UK but lived on the Northern Beaches of Sydney for the last 43 years.

Re: The Late Ken Hewitt

How little we knew.

Where are you from: Gosport originally now Campbelltown N.S.W

Re: The Late Ken Hewitt

I returned to the UK from working in Antigua and applied to P&O. I met his assistant who gave me crap for attending the office wearing a blazer, as I left the West Indies under very sad circumstances and most of my belongings were in transit on a ship to the uk I was about to tell this bloke where to put his ships , flag and sword. Just then KH came into the office dismissed this idiot and made an apology as he was aware that my first wife had been killed in a car crash in the Indies. He also asked if he could help by getting me to a tailor if I needed cloths. I was and always will be impressed by this. He then said to me what are you doing at the weekend?
I thought he meant was I going to a football match, he said would you mind joining the Oronsay in Southampton and doing a two week cruise then join Iberia. I was taken to Olivers in Leadenhall Street measured for uniforms reported to the office early two days later on a Saturday picked up my uniforms into a cab to Waterloo and I was at sea 12hrs later. I met KH a lot during my sea time and when Jim Brady, Jim Tailor and myself were given a bad report by a certain C/E I had a big argument with him over it, he said to me your not employed by P&O as an International Play Boy !!!. He did investigate the report and did cancel it, I always found him to be fair.
Years later when I was VO the same CE tried to do the same to my Jnr 1st which I would not accept.
He sent me on a life boat course in which I broke a couple of bones in my right foot, I rang to tell him and KH was not happy, he made me go to the office to see the plaster and when he saw me he had a good laugh.
Some months later when the plaster came off I had the quickest medical by P&O, STAND ON YOUR TOES, said the medic he then rang Kh and said he is fit for sea service?? KH wanted me to fly to Vancouver three days later join Arcadia for a three week cruise then dry dock and fly home great thought I. He then rang me up on the Thursday and asked if I would mind going to Sydney instead on Himalaya I agreed and he asked me to go into the office on the Friday lunch time and he took me out for a drink in the Pando club in the basement of Beaufort House he got me rather drunk (not that easy). As I was sailing the next day down the Solent mentioned about my drink with KH to the boys they said what did he say about the trip. I said he mentioned 6 weeks out to Sydney a few cruises and home. They all laughed and the told me it was a seven month trip KH never mentioned any seven months. Seven moths later Himalaya was on its final run from Sydney to Hong Kong where it was then going for scrap I got a signal from KH telling I was promoted from Jnr 1st to VO and join the Oronsay In Hong Kong I was on there for about another five months then flew back to the Uk I was home a few weeks he then asked me to join the Sun Princess in LA as my girl friend was on the west coast I did (we did get married in LA and still are 43 yrs later) 4monts later returned to uk and was asked to do three cruises on Canberra which I did. So KH had me at sea a long time without much leave. I resigned from P&O and KH contacted me at the company I was working at and said to me I have just heard certain people gave you a hard time on Canberra would you like to come into the ofice and talk about it, I considered it but as I had picked up my career where I had left it when I joined P&O
I thought let sleeping dogs lie
I hope that KH was appreciated by the company as he did a bloody good job for them. Rest Well Mr Ken Hewitt
Since coming ashore I have worked in West Africa, Middle East and for the last 20 years I have been based at home in London and have been Operations, Engineering Director of several International Companies and have had two papers published although retired I am still asked to do free lance project work in fact I have done three projects this year

Where are you from: Walton-on-Thames

Re: The Late Ken Hewitt

Yes uncle Ken was right enough.
When l used to phone the office he would all ways say "who is it" and after a reply he would say "WHO" immediately making one feel under valued......or was that just me ?
Still he did give me the best job I ever had.
Good on yer Ken RIP.

Where are you from: Barrow

Re: The Late Ken Hewitt

If I could add a final word. He will never know that so many held him in high regard.

Where are you from: Gosport originally now Campbelltown N.S.W

Re: The Late Ken Hewitt

DATELINE: London, June 1971

I was 23 and had just been dumped by a very attractive nurse. I decided that like many a broken-hearted, lovelorn fool before me I would run away to sea.

Thankfully, Ken Hewitt was instrumental in acheiving this.

I had been given his address a year earlier by an Electrical Officer I met while I was travelling as a passenger on Oronsay and fancied being one of those officers myself. The contact name and address came with some words of advice; always refer to Ken as "Mr Hewitt" and NEVER tell him you want to join P&O to see the world unless you want to hear: "The ticket sales office is one floor down. Goodbye."

I wrote to Mr Hewitt leaving out the broken-hearted bit but I included the electrician bit. A reply came a couple of days later to report immediately for an interrview at Leadenhall Street.

I remember the interview well. I sat in front of him at his desk as he explained what some of the job entailed but I found myself drifting off into carnal thoughts of my ex-girlfriend.
"So how do you think you'll go then?" snapped me out of my R-rated daydream and I realised he was offering me a job, starting immediately.

After a few weeks of dock staff in Southampton he assigned me to a ship. SS Oronsay. The same ship I travelled on as a passenger. And yes, my fellow engineers would have you believe that for the next three years I was ALWAYS a passenger!

It was a hell of a ride.

Thankyou and RIP Mr Hewitt.

Where are you from: Sydney, Australia

Re: The Late Ken Hewitt

DATELINE: London, June 1971

I was 23 and had just been dumped by a very attractive nurse. I decided that like many a broken-hearted, lovelorn fool before me I would run away to sea.

Thankfully, Ken Hewitt was instrumental in acheiving this.

I had been given his address a year earlier by an Electrical Officer I met while I was travelling as a passenger on Oronsay and fancied being one of those officers myself. The contact name and address came with some words of advice; always refer to Ken as "Mr Hewitt" and NEVER tell him you want to join P&O to see the world unless you want to hear: "The ticket sales office is one floor down. Goodbye."

I wrote to Mr Hewitt leaving out the broken-hearted bit but I included the electrician bit. A reply came a couple of days later to report immediately for an interrview at Leadenhall Street.

I remember the interview well. I sat in front of him at his desk as he explained what some of the job entailed but I found myself drifting off into carnal thoughts of my ex-girlfriend.
"So how do you think you'll go then?" snapped me out of my R-rated daydream and I realised he was offering me a job, starting immediately.

After a few weeks of dock staff in Southampton he assigned me to a ship. SS Oronsay. The same ship I travelled on as a passenger. And yes, my fellow engineers would have you believe that for the next three years I was ALWAYS a passenger!

It was a hell of a ride.

Thankyou and RIP Mr Hewitt.

Where are you from: Sydney, Australia

Re: The Late Ken Hewitt

It would seem that to many of us, Uncle Ken was;

"The Jewel in the Crown"

Where are you from: Indianapolis

Re: The Late Ken Hewitt

Sorry to hear about Ken, this bloke changed my life, I went for the interview in London. Ken said you're colour blind I said yes is this a problem he took me to the office window and said what colour is that red bus I said red lol he said sign here.

Re: The Late Ken Hewitt

It is great to see all the tributes here to Ken Hewitt.

As I started off life at sea as a Radio Officer before morphing into an ETO, I never had any direct contact with Mr. Hewitt. However, I do remember many of the Engineers and Electricians moaning like fury about him (that's a polite way of putting it!), so it is very gratifying to see so many positive tributes to him now.

Where are you from: Ringwood, England