Descended from a long line of mariners, George William Emptage joined the Royal Navy on his 18th birthday. In civilian life he became a postman but when war was declared in 1914, he transferred from the Naval Reserves to active service.
A boy swept out by the tide was saved from drowning in Margate by a passer-by and two local boatmen
Born into a family of generations of mariners, Albert John Emptage earnt his living by the sea, having begun to work with boats at the age of eight. Whilst he had a turbulent domestic life, his skill at sea was undisputed. Albert was a member of the Margate lifeboat service for 40 years, many of them as coxswain. It was not just his height which made him a ‘giant of a man’.