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News > Announcements > Obituaries > In Memoriam - Allan FitzRoy (1948 - 1953)

In Memoriam - Allan FitzRoy (1948 - 1953)

You are warmly welcomed to leave a message below, share your memories and celebrate the life of Allan FitzRoy (1948 - 1953) who we sadly lost in 2024.
2 Jul 2024
Written by Sue Carpenter
Obituaries
Allan Wentworth Stewart-FitzRoy
Allan Wentworth Stewart-FitzRoy

Allan Wentworth Stewart-FitzRoy (48-53) died at home on 14th June 2024 following a fall. He was 89. He left a wife Susan, three daughters, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. This obituary is based on the assistance and insights of one of his daughters, Louise FitzRoy-Stone, and a partial memoir As I Remember It that Allan wrote for his grand-children. His funeral took place on July 18 at the St Thomas à Becket Church, Warblington followed by a wake at Emsworth Sailing Club. The OP Society was represented at the funeral by Commander Andrew Gordon-Lennox, a fellow member of the sailing club.

Allan was born in Hove, East Sussex in 1935, the son of an officer in the P&O shipping company who transferred to the Royal Navy in 1937. The result was that before joining the Nautical College Pangbourne in 1948, he had a peripatetic existence thanks to the impact of World War 2, being evacuated to Devon in 1940, seeing his father only twice in five years and of necessity attending several schools in various parts of southern England.

His father’s career eventually culminated in 1947 with the job of Naval Attaché at the UK embassy in Belgrade, capital of the newly proclaimed communist state of Yugoslavia. By this stage Allan had decided, under his father’s influence, to make a career in the Forces. His school holiday journeys to Belgrade (organised by the British Army of the Rhine), convinced him that the Navy was his best bet. The result was that he arrived at Pangbourne in the Winter Term 1948 with the objective of entering BRNC Dartmouth four or five years later.

Allan flourished at the NCP. A member of Harbinger Division, he played Hockey for the 1st XI at right back, according to The Log he was “a great trier, never gave up” fenced for the RN at the Royal Tournament, became a member of Form VI and was Chief Cadet Captain of the College in Winter Term 1952.

Gaining entry to BRNC Dartmouth by the Special Entry route in October 1952, he left the NCP at the end of Lent Term 1953. By Founders’ Day 1953 he was already at Dartmouth. Given two days’ leave to return to the NCP, the Duke of Edinburgh presented him with the first Queen’s Gold Medal of the Elizabethan era.

By this stage Allan was generally known as Algy, a nickname that stuck to him until he retired from the RN aged 65. Around this time, too, his father changed the family name to Stewart-FitzRoy. His three months at Dartmouth as a member of the ‘Coronation Term,’ however, were not very fulfilling and he left with some relief in the autumn of 1953 to begin four years’ training at sea as a Midshipman on a variety of ships. These included the aircraft carrier HMS Triumph, the light cruiser HMS Gambia and the destroyer HMS Diamond. In 1956-57 he joined the Naval University at Greenwich for a year improving specialist naval disciplines such as navigation. Then in the summer of 1957, he moved to the minesweeper HMS Fenton followed by promotion to Sub-Lieutenant.

As I Remember It underlines the international, often happy-go-lucky and endlessly social life of a young Royal Navy officer as the sun set on the British Empire. Allan, by his own account, played a full part with his introductory period as an RN officer taking him to Malta, Cyprus, the Suez Canal, Aden, the Indian Ocean, Singapore, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), East Africa and the West Indies.

By 1966, aged 31, he had been promoted to Lieutenant Commander and been based in London and Portsmouth in administrative and training capacities. In 1969 he joined the guided missile destroyer HMS Glamorgan as Navigation Officer. His next sea-going appointment was in HMS Phoebe in 1972-73 which coincided with the ship being used as the location for the popular BBC drama series “Warship.”

Promoted Commander in 1974, he spent two years at Faslane naval base in Scotland in a shore-based role supporting the UK’s submarine service, a year on the C-in-C Fleet’s staff at Northwood, a year at the National Defence College and a period at sea in the Type 12 frigate HMS Yarmouth.

The later periods of Allan’s RN career before he retired were mostly based in and around Portsmouth in shore-based establishments including HMS Nelson and HMS Sultan. In 1988 he was working in the Ministry of Defence. After retiring from the RN aged 55 that year, he was given an RO1 (Retired Officer) role in London which dealt with security. “He loved his job and was very fed up when he had to retire completely,” says Louise. “He found it hard not to be a working man.”  

In retirement Allan played golf, but his main passion was spending time on the water in Chichester harbour in his boat Sapphire. A member of Emsworth Sailing Club since the 1970s, he became a fixture in the club to the day he died. “He was particularly adept at going out in his little boat with lots of rope on board so that he could rescue others who got into difficulty,” Louise recalls. “He really was a much-loved character in that environment.”

 

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