WHITTON and RITCH -Surname Studies and people from the Island of GRAEMSAY, Orkney

John F Groat

John F Groat

Male 1924 - 1998  (74 years)

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  • Name John F Groat 
    Born 1924 
    Gender Male 
    Died Aug 1998  Longhope, Orkney Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I5516  My Relatives
    Last Modified 16 Oct 2019 

    Father John Malcolm Flett Groat,   b. 1886, Walls & Flotta, Orkney Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Isabella Sinclair Robb,   b. 18 Sep 1895,   d. 1971, Walls & Flotta, Orkney Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Family ID F1199  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • MBE JP DL
      President Longhope Branch RNLI wrote foreword for
      "Hoy - the Enchanted Isle" by John Bremner 1965 published 1997

      Scotsman, 17th August 1998

      John, “Jackie” Groat, who was Britain’s longest-serving lifeboat honorary secretary in recent times, has died aged 74. He had filled the volunteer position at Longhope, Isle of Hoy, Orkney, for almost 33 years.

      Mr Groat spent his adult career as postmaster of Longhope, on the shores of the Pentland Firth, and he helped his brother James manage the family’s general merchants business in the Orkney village’s Anchorfast Buildings, which they inherited from their father, also John.

      As a young man, he served with the RAF Bomber Command and one of his raids over enemy territory saw him on board a Lancaster which bombed Peenemunde, an island in the Baltic Sea, where the Nazis V-1 “Doodlebug” flying bomb rockets and V-2 ballistic missiles were tested.

      After the war, he returned to his native island to work in the family business, and in 1962 took over as the honorary secretary of the busy local lifeboat station, covering the treacherous tidal waters of the Pentland Firth.

      In March 1969 Mr Groat was widely commended for his calm handling of the press after tragedy struck the community, when the Longhope Lifeboat TGB capsized, with the loss of all eight volunteer crewmen as it went to the aid of a stricken vessel.

      Another crew of volunteers quickly came forward, and Mr Groat became affectionately known by them as “Faither” for his father figure roll in handling all the administrative work involving the branch.

      The Depute Lieutenant of the County of Orkney and a Justice of the Peace, he was made an MBE for his long services to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

      Mr Groat, who was predeceased by his wife Edna more than two decades ago and had no family, was a direct descendant of Jan de Groot, the Dutchman, who gave his name to John o ’Groats after being sent there by King James IV to establish the first regular Orkney Ferry Service in the late 15th century.

      The island GP, Dr Tony Tricket , who succeeded Mr Groat in the lifeboat post, paid a warm tribute to his predecessor. He said: “He was a man of distinction and honour, the ideal role model for young islanders to look up to. He was a man who lived and breathed the lifeboats and was very active in community affairs here.”

      Mr Groat had been actively working in the Post Office right up until his death.