Sir Desmond Cassidi memorial

Admiral Sir Desmond Cassidi GCB

26th January 1925 - 10th October 2019

On Friday 24th January 2020 at 11:30am a service of thanksgiving for the life of Admiral Sir Desmond Cassidi GCB was held at St Bride’s Church, Fleet Street.
Download Order of Service (pdf)


The Revd Canon Dr Alison Joyce delivered the opening:

A very warm welcome to St Bride’s. It is a particular honour to have present with us today representing Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, Admiral Sir Jock Slater, and representing His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent, Commodore Martin Quinn. You are most welcome.

We are here to honour the memory and to celebrate the life of Admiral Sir Desmond Cassidi, a consummate professional who was outstanding in his field; and also an exceptional human being and a man of faith, who inspired the affection, as well as the respect, of those who had the privilege to know him throughout his extraordinary life and his remarkable career.

Admiral Cassidi was a loyal supporter of St Bride’s for many years, so was particularly close to our own hearts; we share your sense of profound loss at his passing.

We begin now with an opening prayer by the priest and poet John Donne.

Let us pray:

Bring us, O Lord, at our last awakening
Into the house and gate of heaven,
To enter into that gate and dwell in that house
Where shall be no darkness nor dazzling, but one equal light;
No noise nor silence, but one equal music;
No fears nor hopes, but one equal possession:
No ends nor beginnings, but one equal eternity
In the habitations of your glory and dominion,
World without end. Amen.


Rear Admiral James Carine

Rory Cassidi, Son and Lucy Johnson, Step-daughter


Rear Admiral Mike Bath read Ecclesiastes 3. 11-15

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?

10 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.

11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

12 I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.

13 And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.

Vicky Ford, Step-daughter read The Fisherman’s Prayer

Rogan Wheeldon, Grandson read Crossing the bar by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Sunset and evening star,
      And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
      When I put out to sea,
   But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
      Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
      Turns again home.
   Twilight and evening bell,
      And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
      When I embark;
   For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
      The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
      When I have crost the bar.

Robert Wheeldon, Grandson read If I should die

Keely Bertram, Granddaughter read You can shed a tear by David Harkin

He is gone

You can shed tears that he is gone
Or you can smile because he has lived

You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him
Or you can be full of the love that you shared

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday

You can remember him and only that he is gone
Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what he would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.


The choir & organist of St Bride’s performed the following anthems and songs:

Psalm 121 – Walford Davies

In paradisum from Requiem – Fauré

They that go down to the sea in ships – Sumsion

Nunc Dimittis in G – Stanford

What a wonderful world – Weiss/Thiele arr. Jones


There is a green hill far away (During which the White Ensign was processed in)

Eternal Father, strong to save

He who would valiant be


Including the Naval Prayer, read by The Venerable Martyn Gough, Chaplain of the Fleet

Organ Voluntary:

Allegro risoluto (Plymouth Suite) – Whitlock

congregation sitting for service


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