Thomas Bell was born on 21 December 1865 at Sirsawa in India. He was the son of Imrie Bell, a consultant engineer who was in India advising on lighthouse design and his wife, Jane Walker of Edinburgh.
Thomas was educated at the Gymnasium in Celle, Hanover, and then at King's College School, London, as his father travelled on a consulting basis. In 1880 he entered the Royal Naval Engineering College at Devonport, and graduated in 1886 as a fully qualified engineering officer. Thomas had intended to pursue a naval career, but unfortunately had to leave the service due to poor eyesight.
"Mr. Blake regards a fine ship as other critics would a Van Gough... If the citizens of a great seafaring nation are ever to learn a bit about ships-they could not do better than trust to the author of this book."so wrote H. M. Tomlinson, British author and journalist, of the George Blake.
George Blake was born on 28 October 1893 at 60 Forsyth Street, Greenock, Renfrewshire, the fourth child of Matthew Blake, manufacturer of sugar machinery, and his wife, Ursula Scott McCulloch.
“When the 1st Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders go into action in Korea my thoughts will be with one man – the Regimental Sergeant Major Paddy Boyde. There isn’t another bloke in the Army I’d rather soldier with. In the kilt he’s the very picture of the Highland soldier – even though he’s Irish. Maybe it’s the combination of an Irish birth and seventeen years of Scots training that made him an enemy to be feared and a friend to be proud of” so wrote An Old Argyll as RSM Boyde prepared to go into action in Korea.