Crossed the Bar

Updated DSC Citation


Facebook tributes

It is with so much sadness that I pass on this report from Scotford Lawrence regarding the passing of his brother David:-

“I am unsure whether you are the right person to contact on this matter, but I trust that you will pass on the following information to the appropriate department. Given below is the text of the formal obituary notice for my brother David Lawrence whose name appears in your on-line records. He was an RFA officer for some 35 years, having joined from the merchant marine in 1958.

LAWRENCE – Captain David Everett Lawrence RFA DSC (Falklands). Peacefully in his sleep at home on 8th November aged 84.  Husband of the late Janet and father to Angela, Richard and Christopher.  He was much loved and will be greatly missed by family, brothers and grandchildren.

Funeral Service will be held at Gloucester Crematorium on Friday 2nd December at (HERE for their website and HERE for a map) Family flowers only.  Donations in lieu to Salter’s Hill Charity (HERE for their website and HERE for a map) may be sent c/o Allen-White Funeral Directors, Crown Mews, Bath Road, Kings Stanley, Stonehouse, Glos. GL10 3JG (HERE for their website and HERE for a map)”

Shipmates and colleagues will be most welcome to attend David’s funeral and will be invited to take refreshments with the family afterwards.

On behalf of the RFA Association I extend our sincere condolences to all his children and family.

DSC Citation

David Lawrence was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his service in RFA Sir Geraint during the Falklands Conflict, below is the citation for that award:-

Captain David Lawrence of RFA Sir Geraint.

Distinguished Service Cross. (DSC) (1982)

RFA Sir Geraint was one of the first members of the amphibious task group and was present in San Carlos Water throughout the period of intense air attack immediately after the landing on May 21.

Day after day the lightly armed ship was subjected to fierce attack by large numbers of enemy aircraft using cannon, rockets and bombs.

Subsequently she was employed on the re-supply of troops at Teal Inlet, an unenviable task which was performed cheerfully and with great courage.


For this, the ship had to work unescorted and to lie in daylight in the exposed anchorage wide open to air attack with little area air defence.

Throughout the period, from the landing on May 21 to the fall of Port Stanley on June 14, Capt. Lawrence was an inspiration to his men.By his courage, leadership and energy he was able to carry his ship and her Chinese crew through a dangerous and difficult period of duty far beyond that which can normally be expected.  He performed all the tasks asked of him in a manner equal to the best traditions of the R.F.A. Service .


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


Brian Waters writes:-

I have many happy memories of David Lawrence. We sailed together on a number of occasions when he was always
one rank ahead of me!
He was a thoughtful man with very wide interests and I always felt he was constrained by the hierarchical structure
he had chosen to work in and be part of.  He was, by nature a free spirit, more T-shirt and slacks than mess undress
but professionally sound, and he put me straight on a number of occasions at least one of which, me having taken it to heart, contributed eventually
to my own elevation to Captaindom.
Having said all that, he was no saint either and had a wicked sense of humour.  He enjoyed a tot or two of light rum with coke
and his face was a picture on one such occasion, when a uniformed driver appeared and announced he was the transport to
take the Captain to dine with the Admiral!  It took the team a moment or three to ready him.
Cheers David, rest quietly.
Aye,     Brian Waters
Martin Seymour writes:-
I sailed with David several times and appreciated his stoical wit and we had some good times.
When we ran Plumleaf aground stern first in Taiwan (when she was scrapped) he jumped with joy at having to complete a Grounding & Damage report.
When bouncing off the lock gates walls in Chatham once, he was asked if he would rather take up chicken farming (not by me I might add!).
When I cut open my nose after diving into a makeshift swimming pool on Tarbatness, which was probably only 6 inches deep!, he was the one (as Choff) who abandoned his lunch and stitched my face.
He built a canal boat and sailed it around the country with Janet. My wife and I took a day trip with them once. The boat was called Plumleaf.
I saw him this year and he was frail.
RIP Captain Lawrence, one of the old school and a good seaman.

Facebook tributes:-

Rab Thomson RIP Captain Lawrence.

Mike Day
Mike Day A damn fine scholar and gentleman. Very sad. RIP.

Ian Moores
Ian Moores An excellent Captain and fine tutor when I was learning my “trade”. We once took Sir Geraint to Antwerp without a pilot, during one of the Scheld river pilots strike (1991). We applied for pilotage money and sure enough we got it. Captain David split i…See more

Alexander William Parker
Alexander William Parker What a great example to a first time single handed Purser. RIP

Ian Finlayson
Ian Finlayson Lovely fellow. Sailed with him as Choff in the seventies and on his first command on Plumleaf where he made himself a canvas hammock and told John Summers to get on with it! Broke his ankle on South Georgia when we were on Blue Rover (1987) and managed to avoid repatriation so that his retirement plans would not be messed up. RIP.

Bryan Davies
Bryan Davies Sailed with him when he was C’Off a true gentleman RIP

John Brindle
John Brindle RIP Captain Lawrence.

Alistair Swatridge
Alistair Swatridge A true Gentleman, whom I sailed with a few times with many fond memories, RIP

Derek Paul Richards
Derek Paul Richards Sailed with him when he was 1st Off in Blue Rover 1975 – splendid fellow! RIP Dave.

Peter Daniels
Peter Daniels Good man. Will be missed.

Shaun Jones
Shaun Jones Sad news. He was Ch.Off in OLNA when I was a 3/O and taught me tanker operations with patience and tolerance. Lovely Boss

Charlie Rogers
Charlie Rogers R.I.P. Shipmate ?

Rupert Ward
Rupert Ward Sailed with him a few times, sorry to hear the sad news.

Kenneth Downie
Kenneth Downie RIP captain.

Gary Shaw
Gary Shaw Rip

Mike Norfolk
Mike Norfolk Sailed with him on Brambleleaf in 1983/4. Memorable time in Puerto Rico with Brian Stalley, Ivan Clark and myself. Many happy memories of a good Captain and a very happy ship

Vaughan Lewis
Vaughan Lewis My old man on Geraint 1982