Crossed the Bar


And finally:-

Monica Gerrard and family would like to thank the many friends and colleagues who attended the cremation of David on the second of February. They would also like to thank all those who offered kind thoughts and commiserations on his passing. He was sent on his way in a manner befitting his popularity.


It is with much sadness that I report that Captain David (Dave) M Gerrard RFA(Retd) crossed the bar on Sunday 17th January 2016 at his home in Plymouth and after a battle with cancer, he was 69 years old

David’s funeral will take place at Weston Mill Crematorium, Plymouth (HERE for their website and HERE for a map) at 15:00 on Tuesday, 2nd of February 2016. Old shipmates and colleagues will be so very welcome. Attendees will be invited to enjoy refreshments with David’s family at this service.

Family flowers only by request but donations in lieu, if desired should be made to Cancer Research UK (HERE for their website and HERE for a map).

The arangements for the funeral are being made by Co-op Funeralcare (HERE for their website and HERE for a map)

As members will know Dave was a stalwart of the RFA Association devoting a lot of time as Plymouth Branch secretary and maintaining and managing both the Plymouth Branch website and the RFA Nostalgia website. He also ran the RFA Association shop selling various items of RFA memorabilia. He will be sadly missed.

On behalf of the RFA Association I wish his widow Monica and all their family our sincere condolences.


If you have any remembrances of Dave please email it to me at and I will post them on this page. I am also looking for photographs of Dave for this piece and the RFA Association Gallery and Archive, If you have one please email it to me.

Pat Thompson writes:- I never actually sailed with Dave, presumably as our careers ran parallel to each other’s but in the 40 or so years we knew each other relieved each other in various ships, the first one being RFA Tidepool in 1973 when we were both Second Officers and the last being RFA Sir Geraint in 1994 (gosh was it that long ago) by which time both of us were in Command. After that we met at various RFA Reunions where Dave was usually to be found selling memorabilia to anyone foolish enough to to get anywhere near his stall. When needed Dave was always a great source of photographs for postings on the RFAA website. He was a great source of information about the RFA. I will miss my old shipmate and colleague.

Eric Fisher writes:- It is with much sadness that I hear of David’s passing. I sailed with David when he was Chief Officer on the Sir Lancelot during the Falklands Campaign. He was a fine officer and served the ship’s company well including his Captain during some tense moments on the Sir Lancelot during the early stages of the war when we came under air attack in San Carlos Water.

He was a good ship mate and I met up with him at various RFA reunions.

Rest in peace David.

2nd Officer (COMMS) Eric Fisher RFA Retired

Dave Tipping writes:-I was with Dave in ‘Tidepool’ prior to and during her drydocking at Barclay Curles in 1973.

Around that time, Grocer Heath was taking the UK into the Common Market and I, then a keen Europhile, was all for it. Dave was not, and it occupied a few of our lunchtime conversations.
I never got the chance to admit to him that he was right.
David Tipping.
George Mortimore writes:-I sailed with him in Tarbatness in 1973. A superb shipmate and very amusing companion ashore and afloat. Since retirement I have been in constant touch with him over all matters photographic and personnel concerning the RFA. His knowledge and records were encyclopedic.

He will be sadly missed




Mick Caley writes:-Sailed with him just the once, but a man one will always remember. A fine Choff and very popular with the lads.  RIP.

Mick Caley Bosun


From the RFA Association Facebook page:-

Mike Day RIP, David.

Ross Ferris Very sorry to hear, condolences to Monica and all his family. Sailed together several times from late 70s onwards, in LSLS and Rovers (WIGS) I recall. A quiet gentle giant. RIP.

Rab Thomson I am so sorry to hear of this. I sailed with David on two ships when he was Choff, Bacchus and Resource. He was a good shipmate and I remember his humour and his piano playing.
RIP, Sir.

Andrew Armstrong Very sorry to hear David was the Navigator on my very first ship as cadet and he taught me everything about Celestial navigation lessons I never forgot.

Shaun Jones That is very sad. Had a very nice card from David late last year thanking me for all the photos etc.

Dennis Barker Very sad news thoughts are with Monica and family

Dave Murray Sailed with David on Resurgent Far East 1964 1965 Great Guy.

Alistair Swatridge Very sad news, thoughts to Monica and his family.

Iain Ralph Very sad to hear, thoughts with his family

Graham Collins RIP David. We spoke at Barry Thompson`s Service. Two great guys now no longer with us.

Eric Fisher RIP David – Always remember your leadership during tense times whilst avoiding bombs on Sir Lancelot in San Carlos Water ..

Steve Rhodes It is the mark of the man when all those who knew him will miss him. In this case, the electronic age we live in means that many who were not fortunate enough to know him will also miss him.