Main Basic John Kelsey, director of Army Survey – obituary

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main-basic-john-kelsey,-director-of-army-survey-– obituary

Main Basic John Kelsey, who has died aged 95, was director of Army Survey from 1972 to 1977.

The son of a grasp baker, he was born at Faversham on November 1 1920 and educated on the Royal Masonic Faculty for Boys, the place he was deputy head boy and captained the cricket, hockey and rugby groups.

In 1939 he went up as a scholar to Emmanuel Faculty, Cambridge, to learn Arithmetic. He performed rugby for the second XV and was awarded a half-Blue.

In 1940, having taken Half I of his diploma, he was referred to as up for coaching in Army Survey at Fort Widley, Portsmouth, and was commissioned into the Royal Engineers. His unit was posted to Algeria and Tunisia with the First Military in 1942. He commanded No 1 Topographic Part, consisting of some 30 employees.

The next yr, he took his males south in direction of Tebessa, Algeria, the place he offered survey help to an American artillery unit which had misplaced their surveyors in battle on the Kassarine Move. He obtained a commendation from the American Corps Commander.

In April 1943, in the course of the battle at Medjez el Bab, Tunisia, Kelsey was severely wounded throughout an air raid. He was evacuated to an American hospital at Oran and subsequently through hospital ship to Britain.

Whereas recuperating, he helped to arrange the mapping for the D-Day landings. After reporting match, he needed to depart his younger spouse to the VI and V2 rockets as he and a few 20 surveyors have been despatched to Barbados and Dominica to hold out surveys.

On his return in November 1945, he took a Common Fee, went to the Army Faculty of Science, Shrivenham, and accomplished a First Class exterior diploma in Engineering at London College.

He commanded a squadron of 32 Assault Engineer Regiment RE from 1953 to 1954. He was subsequently posted to survey items in Germany and Cyprus and most of his profession alternated between appointments with Army Survey and excursions on the skilled employees of Ordnance Survey.

All through the remainder of his profession, Kelsey performed an lively half within the advances that have been occurring within the sciences of surveying, cartography and photogrammetry with the innovations of digital distance measurement, digitisation of mapping and the transformation of geodesy by satellites.

He was a member of the Worldwide Affiliation of Geodesy from 1966 to 1975 and secretary and, later, president of the Western European Fee on Satellite tv for pc Geodesy. He was additionally a member of the Nationwide Committees for Geodesy and Geophysics, Photogrammetry and Satellite tv for pc Geodesy of the Royal Society and was lively within the Royal Establishment of Chartered Surveyors and the Photogrammetric Society. He retired from the Military in 1977.

Instantly post-war, Kelsey performed rugby for Richmond and for the county XVs of Kent, Dorset and Wiltshire. He was secretary of the Military and Mixed Providers Rugby Golf equipment from 1962 to 1967 and was one of many Military representatives on the committee of the Rugby Soccer Union from 1966 to 1967. In 1968 he was appointed CBE for his companies to Military and Mixed Providers Rugby.

From 1978 to 1987, he served as a non-executive director of Wild Heerbrugg, a Swiss firm making surveying devices, and later with Ernst Leitz Wetzlar of West Germany.

An enthusiastic sailor, initially in dinghies, however later in cruising yachts, he cruised frequently to Normandy, Brittany and the Channel Isles. Gardening was additionally a fantastic curiosity and he and his spouse took half in lots of excursions organised by the Royal Horticultural Society.

John Kelsey married, in 1944, Phyllis Smith. She predeceased him, as did their son, and he’s survived by their daughter.

Main Basic John Kelsey, born November 1 1920, died June 10 2016

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