|THE TIMES: MR JOHN PALMER|
Mr John Elliott George Palmer, CBE, who died on August 18, was an outstanding dock and harbour engineer, especially in oil loading terminal design. He was for 20 years a partner of the firm of consulting engineers, Rendel, Palmer and Tritton.
John Palmer was the son of Sir Frederick Palmer, also an engineer, with the partnership of Sir Alexander Meadows Rendel and Seymour Biscoe Tritton. John Palmer joined the firm in 1925 and was taken into the partnership in 1946. He retired from the partnership in 1966 but remained an active consultant for a further 14 years.
In his early years Palmer worked in India and the Middle East. During the war he served as a Superintending Engineer in the Civil Engineering Chief's Department of the Admiralty. After rejoining Rendel, Palmer and Tritton he was responsible for many major civil engineering projects, at home and overseas.
In the immediate post war period he was the first British consultant to penetrate the United States preserve of oil loading marine terminal design. He was responsible for the oil terminals at Aden and Kuwait, the Angle Bay oil terminal in South Wales and the off-shore oil terminal at Khor-al-Amaya in Iraq. The latter was the first off-shore oil loading terminal in the world and for many years the South Pier at Mina al-Ahmadi, Kuwait was the world's largest terminal.
Amongst his other dock and harbour projects were major developments in the ports of Swansea, Aberdeen, Liverpool, Bristol and Port Talbot in the United Kingdom and overseas in Takoradi, Calcutta, Madras and Aqaba. Aqaba was not John Palmer's largest port but it was his best loved. he liked to be known as 'Abu Aqaba' (father of Aqaba) and for his outstanding services he was awarded the Star of Jordan by King Hussein. He was appointed CBE in 1972.
Palmer also made his mark in other fields of civil engineering; oil pipelines in Iraq and Syria and railways and roads in Britain, Gold Coast (Ghana), Nigeria and Sierra Leone. He was a great character and an outstanding British civil engineer of prestige, courage and honesty who will be long remembered for his achievements.