Thomas George Usborne
Born November 22nd.1907 in Rawalpindi, India.
Married July 11th.1936 in Bad Harzberg, Germany
to Gerda daughter of Adolph Just.
Tommy died March 1993.
Gerda died April 1998.             

Tommy got second scholarship at Charterhouse and read Litterae Humaniores (Mods & Greats) at Balliol College, Oxford where he got a 3rd class degree.
     His interest in Germany grew from his Oxford days. He learned the language fluently and married a German wife.

     His career started unhappily in brewing (Fullers brewery) and merchant banking (J.Henry Schroder; 1935-1940).
     At the outbreak of World War 2, being rejected for active service because of his wife's nationality, he worked for the Ministry of Economic Warfare (1940/5). 

     After the war he moved to the Ministry of Transport where, as head of the Traffic Signs division, he was in charge of the Anderson committee set up in 1957 to design new motorway signs. In 1963 he chaired the working party of the Warboys committee reviewing signage on all other British roads. 

     He retired in 1967. His experiences in wartime ministries was satirised in his unpublished book (for children from 4 to 94) "Julian and the Hedgehog in the Secret Service".

     Tommy and Gerda lived at 32 Mayfield road, Weybridge from 1942 until their deaths. He was an enthusiastic bird-watcher and botanist and regarded by the family as "cranky" for his obsessive interests in obscure subjects.

     He started the annual "Usborne Dinner" for Balliol men and their guests which continues to this day at various London clubs. He was a governor his old preparatory school, Summerfields in Oxford.

     On retirement at sixty Tommy and Gerda set off in a camper van for a three year tour round the world.
 Like most of the family he was a competent versifier. He contributed the following  to the smallest room at Windrush: 

      Mach's fenster auf, lass luft hinein.
      Der nächste wird dir dankbar sein.

His seal

Now read Tommy's advice in 1939 to Gerda in the event of his death in war