Richard Fyjis-Walker

19th June 1927 - 17th September 2013

On Friday 14th March, 2014, at 11:30am a service of thanksgiving for the life of Richard Alwyne Fyjis-Walker was held at St Bride’s Church, Fleet Street.
Download Order of Service (pdf)


The Venerable David Meara delivered the bidding:

We gather today to celebrate the life and honour the memory of Dick Fyjis-Walker, unflappable diplomat, who tried his hand at merchant banking before joining the Foreign Service and serving in Ankara, Washington, Khartoum and Pakistan. On retirement he became Chairman of the Commonwealth Institute during an exceptionally challenging period, and was always ready to proffer incisive advice about political strategy within the countries he knew well, especially Afghanistan.

He was to find in Gaby a loving and elegant partner and together they made a formidable and very sociable team. We remember today a man of warmth and sensitivity, with an incisive mind, and a strong sense of the humorous and absurd in human life. He had a gift for friendship and a quiet and critical faith that sustained him over the years. He was a loyal and much loved member of this church, and we, along with you his family and friends, continue to miss him greatly.

As today we give thanks for Dick’s combination of warmth, unflappability, shrewdness and charm that made him such a special person, we commend him to God, trusting that at the end of our brief day is the eternity of God’s love.



William Fullerton

John de St Jorre


Jemima Robinson read Matthew 7: 12

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.

Alexander Fyjis-Walker read Ithaka by Constantin Cavafy

When you set out for Ithaka
ask that your way be long,
full of adventure, full of instruction.
The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,
angry Poseidon – do not fear them:
such as these you will never find
as long as your thought is lofty, as long as a rare
emotion touch your spirit and your body.
The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,
angry Poseidon – you will not meet them
unless you carry them in your soul,
unless your soul raise them up before you.

Ask that your way be long.
At many a Summer dawn to enter
with what gratitude, what joy –
ports seen for the first time;
to stop at Phoenician trading centres,
and to buy good merchandise,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensuous perfumes of every kind,
sensuous perfumes as lavishly as you can;
to visit many Egyptian cities,
to gather stores of knowledge from the learned.

Have Ithaka always in your mind.
Your arrival there is what you are destined for.
But don’t in the least hurry the journey.
Better it last for years,
so that when you reach the island you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to give you wealth.
Ithaka gave you a splendid journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She hasn’t anything else to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka hasn’t deceived you.
So wise you have become, of such experience,
that already you’ll have understood what these Ithakas mean.

Matthew Fyjis-Walker read Father and Son by anon

As I Fly
Ride the Desert
I see Outside
A Bird
Stubby winged
Red Backed – Brown Breasted
Bright Eyed – yellow Ringed
Long Beak – Black Legged
it is your Soul
I want to finger touch you
Hug you All
I cannot
But perhaps
Your soul will see my soul
Flying beside me
Till I return
For me you did not die,
Just like our two birds we’ll fly
You and me
Far away over the sea,
And it is not that long,
Till we shall share our song.

Olivia Humphreys read Miss me but live your Life to the Full by anon

When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me,
I want no rites in a gloom-filled room;
Why cry for a soul set free?
A body asleep. A mind at peace.
I live; alive in your memory.
Miss me a little – but not too long
And not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that we once shared.
Miss my life but live your own.
For this is a journey that we all must take
And each must go alone.
It’s all a part of the Master’s plan,
A step on the road to home.
Would that I were with you, could wait till you start.
If you are lonely and sick of heart,
Go to the friends we know
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds.
Miss me – but live to the full.


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

Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr – Bach

Psalm 121 – Walford Davies

Gymnopédie – Erik Satie played by Harry Fyjis-Walker

Ich liebe Dich – Beethoven

Gloria from St Nicholas Mass – Haydn

Blowing in the Wind – Bob Dylan


The day Thou gavest

Come down O love divine

Tell out my soul

congregation sitting for service


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