Sir Thomas Lane Devitt, Bart.

Artist: Sir James Jebusa Shannon, RA

In office from: 1909 - 1920

Background: Shipbroker and shipowner

Sir Thomas Lane Devitt, the son of one of the founders of Devitt and Moore, a London shipbroking and shipowning concern that ran passenger cargo ships to Australia. He was a charismatic man who was loved as much by the dock workers and ship crews as he was by his staff in the City. He was made a Baronet in 1916 for his services to shipping. Lane Devitt was an initiator in training cadets in ocean-going sailing ships, founding the Ocean Training Scheme in 1890. Cadets learnt seamanship and navigation during four return voyages to Australia in preparation for becoming junior naval officers.

In 1917 he founded the Nautical College at Pangbourne, which trained cadets for the Merchant Navy, Royal Naval Reserve or Royal Naval College. During Lane Devitt's term of office as Chairman 1909-1920, the Society made great progress and he contributed his great ability, ripe judgement and wide experience to many new undertakings. He died in 1923.

Related links:

Devitt & Moore

Pangbourne Naval College Wikipedia

City of Adelaide

Devitt & Moore's fleet included the LR-classed clipper ship City of Adelaide. Built in 1864, she holds the record for being the oldest surviving clipper ship in the world.