Frank Ledwith, a former Thomas Miller partner, who was a major international figure in P&I insurance, has died at the age of 94. Ledwith's 48-year career was spent entirely with Millers in the service of the U.K. P&I, U.K. Defence, U.K. War Risks, Hellenic War Risks and Through Transport mutual clubs.
Ledwith joined Millers in 1924 as a 17-year-old junior clerk. He quickly established himself as a first rate negotiator and a leading light in U.K. Club as it expanded under Dawson Miller.
During WWII, the U.K. War Insurance Scheme necessitated Millers maintaining
a presence in the City of London throughout the bombing. Ledwith played a major role in administering the scheme, which dealt with the loss of hundreds of British and British Empire ships.
After the War, he traveled widely on P&I business and built close relationships with many of the Club's correspondents while helping to develop the membership. He became a leading P&I adviser to Greek shipowners about whose businesses and interconnections he was extremely knowledgeable. He played his part in advising recovering Japanese shipping interests. Both countries' fleets have since become vital elements in the U.K. Club's membership.
He became a Thomas Miller partner and by the 1960s was known affectionately within the firm as "P&I on legs." For several years, Ledwith ran the training room for those joining the firm, who included the present Chairman of Millers and his two immediate predecessors. He helped found the Hellenic War Risks and Through Transport Clubs, becoming the TT Club's first underwriter, before retiring in December 1972; He continued to work part-time in his training capacity for another three years.
In retirement, Ledwith produced Ships That Go Bump in the Night and Ships Afloat in the City, which are still regarded as standard reading for P&I executives. He also served for a number of years in a NATO planning committee which dealt with merchant marine matters arising from the possibility of a third world war.