Rear Admiral David Macey RN


This is just for the benefit of any of you who knew or served with Rear Admiral Macey...

He died very recently at the age of 83, and his funeral service took place this morning in Canterbury Cathedral.
This is just for the benefit of any of you who knew or served with Rear Admiral Macey...

He died very recently at the age of 83, and his funeral service took place this morning in Canterbury Cathedral.

I'd guess that, in view of his age at 83, there would be few if any (?) at RR who knew this Admiral, but thanks anyway for that news.

I googled his details for some clues of his RN service but only found the following (which surprised me as I'd have thought that someone of that rank and vintage would have merited a fuller obituary somewhere...) but I trust he got a good send off at your fine cathedral.

David Edward MACEY Obituary: View David MACEY's Obituary by The Times

RIP Sir. :salute:
BOOTWU - Oi! Rear Admiral Macey could have been serving as recently as 1987. Interestingly, he was partially responsible for the implementation of the disappointingly short-lived Operation TAPESTRY as indicated by this excerpt from the April 1991 Volume of the Naval Review:

Naval Review said:
'The Offshore Tapestry'

A very concise paper entitled 'The Offshore Tapestry', initiated it is believed by Lord Lewin, assisted by Admiral David Macey, (much earlier in both their careers) was circulated within the Naval Staff and MOD in 1973 - and the title went into the language. This paper alerted its readers to the growing UK interest in offshore waters and the seabed beneath them; it identified seven principal areas of MOD interest and concern:- 1. The Seabed; 2. Pollution; 3. Traffic Control; 4. Gas and Oil rigs; 5. SAR; 6. Fishery Protection; 7. Mine Countermeasures.

It identified a common thread, an interrelationship of vehicles, expertise, organisation and R & D, also a natural progression from peace to wartime requirements. It therefore recommended an inter-departmental working party to make recommendations on how British activities and interests should be developed, safeguarded and organised for the benefit of the country. It is not known whether such a working party ever met, but it certainly did not achieve any coherent change, let alone national coordination or authority...
My own experience of TAPESTRY included a NATO exercise c.1985 which involved an incident when I was flying from Inverness to Orkney in a Loganair Islander. I was sitting up front and discovered that the pilot was an ex-FAA Buccaneer pilot who specialised in 'dentology', i.e. the identification of Warsaw Pact ships from any obvious damage to their hulls and superstructure as they kept changing their pendant numbers. We were south-east of Orkney when we spotted an 'ORANGE' German U-boat at PD (periscope depth) and he called it in to the control tower at Kirkwall. Within an hour, the control tower had contacted the Port HQ and a trio of 'BLUE' German frigates had sailed from their anchorage in Scapa Flow and 'sunk' their enemy countrymen.

The obituary you cite is a death notice, probably placed by the family. I suspect proper, more comprehensive obituaries will be published in the DT and/or Times in due course. There is often a delay of several weeks or even months
Thank you, N-G.

An interesting example of Tapestry's joined-upwardness; I suppose the earlier Tapestry concept has been re-staffed a few times and would hope that a swisher version is now included within the current NATO Purple SO (Plans') remit.

re: your 'Oi!' - In mitigation/clarification,

That death notice I linked was headed 'Obituary' within the on-line edition, with it's footer thus: Return to today's Death notices, Memorial Notices, for The Times

wrt age: I hope that another RR'er turns up who did serve & knew him, it appears that this area of The Times has a pay-wall gap for adding condolence messages from those who did.

Meanwhile, lets look forward to a fuller, real, Obituary in due course.



BOOTWU - he did indeed get a magnificent send-off as only Canterbury can do.

After leaving the RN he worked for quite a few years as Receiver-General at the cathedral, basically in charge of the structure of the building and all the admin that goes with that. After his second retirement he was replaced as RG by another ex-navy man, well a Royal anyway.

Before the service started the organ was played with a selection of music, some of which he had chosen - notably starting with the Sailors Hornpipe. As you would probably guess the last hymn was For those in peril on the sea. The service lasted an hour and was conducted by the Dean of Canterbury assisted by a number of senior clergy. The eulogy was lengthy with many tales of mischief in his early service.

The western, nave part of the cathedral had remained open to visitors and there were around thirty in there when the service was ending. They had all been told what was happening. They had been wandering around looking at the many military memorials in there but as it became clear the service was over all of them sat down. The coffin was then carried through the entire length of the cathedral in procession to be taken out the west door and placed in the hearse. As it entered the nave all the visitors stood up, turned to face into the centre of the cathedral and stood rock still in silent contemplation as the procession passed. It was an amazing reaction to see. Three of them, from Australia, told me afterwards that it had been very moving for them to listen to the service going on in the quire and to then see the procession. One was all but in tears with the emotion of the whole thing.

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