Abbey honour for Sir Donald Gosling

Wednesday, 11th December 2019

Abbey honour for Sir Donald Gosling

A Service of Thanksgiving for the life and work of British Vice Admiral, businessman and benefactor Sir Donald Gosling KCVO was held at Westminster Abbey on Wednesday 11th December 2019.

The service was attended by TRH The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, HRH The Duke of Cambridge, TRH The Earl and Countess of Wessex, and HRH Prince Michael of Kent.

In his Bidding, the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, said:

We come together, in this holy place, to give thanks to God, as we make our memorial of Donald Gosling. We celebrate, today, a life, lived fully, generously, and joyously.
In this royal house we give honour to a man who delighted to serve the Crown. In this place of lasting memorial and monument we recall his enduring love of the Royal Navy, and his loyalty to the bonds of commitment that unite it and the traditions that sustain it.
Blessed with great gifts and the discipline to use those gifts to effect, he was a man whose consequent good fortune was shared so very generously. He was a man in whose company so many of us rejoiced and a man we held in affection. By example he directed us all to seek the common good. So, as we honour his generosity of spirit, we will commit ourselves afresh to the tasks of grace and kindness and we will pray that God will grant him joy in the company of the blessed.

At the start of the service, the White Ensign was brought forward by Petty Officer Gary Wright and placed on the High Altar by the Dean.

The Reverend Canon Roger Royle gave the Address.

Tributes were read by Jimmy Tarbuck and WO1 Nick Sharland RN.

Admiral Tony Radakin CB ADC, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, read a prayer by Sir Francis Drake (1540-1596).

HRH The Countess of Wessex read Isaiah 55: 6-13; and Admiral of the Fleet the Lord Boyce KG GCB OBE DL read Acts 27: 27-37.

The prayers were led by the Reverend Mark Birch, Minor Canon and Sacrist, and said by the Venerable David Stanton, Canon in Residence, and the Venerable Martyn Gough, Chaplain of the Fleet.

The service was sung by the Westminster Abbey Special Service Choir directed by James O'Donnell, Organist and Master of the Choristers. The organ was played by Matthew Jorysz, Assistant Organist, and before the service by Alexander Hamilton, Organ Scholar. The Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, Collingwood, was conducted by Captain Tom Crane RM.

Order of Service for A Service of Thanksgiving for the life and work of Vice Admiral Sir Donald Gosling KCVO RNR (PDF, 541KB)