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Ford Irvine Geddes b.17 January 1913 at Woking, Surrey d.2 October 2002 at London
Son of Irvine Campbell Geddes b.9 July 1882 in Scotland d.18 May 1962 at London and Dorothy Jefford Fowler b.December 1888 at Surbiton, Surrey d.1 July 1976 at Poole, Dorset, daughter of Sir George Fowler of Weybridge. More information
Married 8 December 1945 at Sydney, NSW, Australia Barbara Gertrude Vere Parry-Okeden b.28 May 1919 at Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
They had the following children:
F i Doctor Jennian Ford b.1947 at London.
Married 8 August 1974 at Mere, Wiltshire Sir Nicholas Lionel John Montagu b.1944 at Freeland, Oxfordshire. They had the following children:
Clare Barbara b.1976 at London;
Johanna "Jo" Kythé b.1980 at London
(married Nicholas Sargood Mills b.1973, having the following children
Toby Ford Sargood b.2008
Ford Monty Plimmer b.2011).
F ii Merryn Ford b.1948 at London.
Married 1 August 1969 at Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire Michael Christopher Lloyd b.1944 at Inverness, Scotland. They had the following children:
Amanda b.1972 at Stroud, Gloucestershire
(married Charles Frederick Basil Woodd b.1971 at Greenock, Scotland, having a son
Frederick ('Freddy') Michael Basil b.2014);
Matthew b.1976 at Birmingham
(married 8 May 2010 Emily Munro having the following children
Ida Bess Munro b.2011
Oran Caspar Munro b. 2016).
F iii Fiona Ford b.1950 at London.
Married 23 June 1973 at Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire Colin Goodwille b.1946 at Norwich, Norfolk. They had the following children:
Janna Ford b.1977 at London;
Zoë Fiona b.1978 at London;
Campbell Wickham Geddes b.1983 at London.
F iv Ailie Ford b.1956 at Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire.
Married (1) 23 April 1977 at Berwick St.John, Wiltshire Adrian Michael Wilson Levien b.1953.
Married (2) 6 August 1984 at London Adrian John Reginald Collins b.1954 in Sri Lanka. They had the following children:
Seil Charlotte b.1985 at London
with Thomas Douglas Clayton b. 1985, they have the following child:
Maia Collins (Clayton) b. 2019 at London ;
Mark John Ford b.1987 at London.
M v David Ford b.1959 at Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire.
Married (1) 11 September 1982 at Harrow-on-the-Hill, Middlesex Sarah Mellor b.1959 at Harrow, Middlesex. They had one child:
Daisy Camilla b.1987 at London.
Married (2) 2 March 1990 at London Fay Alexis Walker b.1953 at Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia. They had the following children:
Ella Clementine Ford b.1990 at London;
Felix Ford b.1993 at Sydney, NSW, Australia.
Ford Geddes, who died aged 89, was the last of a breed of shipowners who dominated
the British Merchant Navy for most of the 20th century. Educated at the Loretto School and Gonville and
Caius College, Cambridge, he went into the family business of Anderson, Green and Co, which managed the
Orient Line, a thriving fleet of passenger ships that plied between England and Australia.
On the outbreak of war in 1939, Geddes enlisted as a Gunner, and spent most of the time with Field Marshall Gort in Gibraltar, Malta and Palestine, as ADC and then military assistant. He was awarded the MBE for his work at the early age of 30.
After the war he returned to the City, as Company Secretary and then Director of the Orient Line, and when the Orient Line merged with P & O in 1960, Geddes became first Director of the merged company, then Managing Director in 1963. Shortly afterwards he found himself, as Chairman of the Shipping Federation, leading for the employers in the lengthy seamen's strike of 1966. This was not a role he would have chosen, but his diplomatic skills and personal realtionship with Bill Hogarth, who led for the union, did much to ease negotiations over long hours and sandwiches at 10 Downing Street. In 1971 Geddes succeeded his cousin, Donald Anderson, as Chairman of P & O.
Above all, Geddes was a man of scrupulous uprightness and honesty, brought up in and representing a tradition in which business integrity and straight dealing were the norm. This left him unprepared for (and some would say, ill-equipped to deal with) the opposition to his proposed takeover of Bovis by P & O in 1972, and the intrigue and company politics that accompanied it. With the resultant split of the Board of P & O, what was in those days an unprecedented battle was fought between the two factions through the media, ending in the rejection of Geddes' proposals by the shareholders, and his honourable but very public resignation, together with those of the majority of the Board, who had supported him throughout. He was 59, and though he retained other interests - notably as Chairman of Equitable Life of which he was inordiantely proud - he essentially retired to his garden in the country. He was a devoted family man, whose greatest support and joy came from his marriage to Barbara Parry-Okeden in 1945, which produced four daughters and a son.
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Notes on sources
Anderson family tree
Information is largely taken from the book 'The Andersons of Peterhead'. This was based on the records made by John Anderson 1825/1903 [VIII 32], known as 'China John'. This was brought up to date in 1936 by Cecil Ford Anderson [X 17] and Agnes Donald Ferguson [CS 45 X b]. Many photographs were taken and compiled in an album by Olive Edis (daughter of Mary Murray, daughter of Andrew Murray (2) of Aberdeen). Corrections to both Janet Innes Anderson's and Alexander Murray's death dates from Robert Murray Watt and Iain Forrest.
Forrest family tree
Iain Forrest kindly supplied material to update the Forrest family (progeny of William Forrest) details.
Hibbert family tree
The information is largely taken from a tree compiled by F.B. (she knows who she is!) with extra material found by the author.
Murray family tree
The 'Genealogical Table showing various branches of the Murray family', from which this information was taken, was prepared by Alexander Murray of Blackhouse, extended by Andrew Murray - advocate - Aberdeen circa 1880 and further extended by Arthur Murray Watt 1972. The generational notation is the author's.
Pike family tree
Information from family sources as well as 'Burke's Landed Gentry' 1875
Stevenson family tree and many Stevenson and Anderson photos
Deepest thanks for some fantastic pictures and for writing the wonderful book 'Jobs for the Boys' to Hew Stevenson, which you can see on www.dovebooks.co.uk.
And the rest
Thanks also to all who have written in with information, advice, help and, most importantly, corrections.
© John Hibbert 2001-2013
28 February, 2021