A TRIBUTE has been paid to a Dorset author and historian who was widely regarded as the “Father of the Tank Museum” at Bovington.

Lt Col George Forty passed away on Thursday, May 19.

He was a prolific and well published military historian and author whose books mainly covered armoured warfare and also included a number telling the story of Dorset at war.

Lt Col Forty served in the Tank Regiment for more than 32 years, serving in the Korean War and all over the world including in Aden, the Persian Gulf, Borneo and Germany. He also spent time living locally in West Lulworth while working at the Gunnery School. After retiring from the Army he began a new career in 1981 as director of the Tank Museum, moving to live in Briantspuddle.

Son Adam, who works at the Royal Signal Museum, said: “During the next 13 years he transformed the museum, tripling its size and adding many new vehicles from around the world to enhance the collection.

“His legacy is the modern, dynamic and professional organisation which is now regarded as one of the foremost military museums in Europe.

“The museum also provided the incentive for his literary skills and in the following years he wrote over 60 books, many in three to four different languages including French, German and Japanese. He was made Fellow of the Museums Association shortly after retiring in 1993 and was awarded the OBE in 1994.

“He was a gentle and happy family man who is always spoken of with affection and respect by all those that he worked with.”

He leaves behind his wife Anne and sons Simon, Jonathan, Adam and Jason as well as a number of grandchildren.