While I was in Japan last week, I was informed from Denmark of the tragic news that my good friend and frequent collaborator Thomas Nørgaard Olesen was found dead at home just before Easter. Thomas was truly a wonderful man - hard working, diligent, genteel, delightful and great company. For over a decade, he ran his own publishing house, Nautilus Forlag, which published three of my books - including two volumes on the naval architects Knud E. Hansen A/S and a major work on Danish international liner shipping, entitled 'Dansk Linjefart', all works of which I am immensely proud. Thomas researched, wrote and published a very great deal else besides, mainly in the field of Danish transport history and so he has left a unique and outstanding legacy of numerous beautiful books.
He was also head of the Dansk Jernbane Klub (Danish Railway Club) and, beyond that, had broad-ranging interests and an ability to discuss many subjects with authority. In other words, just like his father, Mogens, he was a considerable scholar. He was also a very fun person to travel with and we enjoyed several shipping photography and railway-related trips together. If one ever required any information on anything related to Danish transport, or to borrow photographs or other material, one needed only to telephone Thomas and he could provide the answer, or the required material, unually within minutes.
Thomas packed more into his 36 years than most manage in far longer lifetimes. He was a special person and I - and a great many others - will miss him very much.