1926 - 2014

Unfortunately Ray was only a Member for just over a year which gave us insufficient time to get to know him personally, although he certainly appeared good company and will be fondly remembered by with those with whom he sat at the table at Meetings.

He must have had a very vigorous, harsh and testing time as a young teenager as he was a Cadet on HMS “WORCESTER” which was anchored in the Thames at Greenhithe. It is interesting to read completely opposite views on its regime but the claim was that the Navy and Merchant Navy benefitted greatly from the Officers it turned out.

However , whatever Ray’s feelings were about the harsh training it certainly influenced him, as over the years at sea he served on tramps, tankers, cargo liners and passenger liners, with several years as Master. This experience proved useful as he came ashore in 1958 and joined the Board of Trade as a Nautical Surveyor and Examiner of Masters and Mates. He duly passed through the Grades to become Chief Surveyor. I believe during his time he passed some of our marine Pals when they sat their “Tickets”.

He was at one time a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Member of the Royal Institute of Navigation and Founder Member in 1971 of the Nautical Institute. He served as Treasurer or Secretary for various provincial Maritime Societies and was for a period Chairman of Round Table. Another activity in which he engaged was the annual Seafarer's Service in Llandaff Cathedral which he arranged with the late Cdr. John Curteis and the Rev. Michael Wishart.

Other positions he held were Commodore and Master of “Old Worcesters’ Yacht Club and Younger Brother of Trinity House, Hull. Presumably however, the most prestigious was that of Master of the The Honourable Company of Master Mariners Livery, following in the steps of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales and HRH The Princess Royal.(The photograph shows him in the regalia of this Office.) Ray was also one of the Founders of the Welsh Livery Company, now The Worshipful Livery Company of Wales.

Following his retirement in 1989, Ray and his wife Barbara enjoyed worldwide travelling and especially the two trips a year to their daughter, Heather, her husband Melvin and their two grandchildren Digby and Polly who live in New York. His would certainly appear to have been a full and satisfying life brought about by both his love of his sea time experiences and the numerous activities in which he was involved when he came ashore.

John Iles


The Worshipful Livery Company of Wales

Trinity House

HMS Worcester