Abbey memorial service for Navy supporter Sir Donald

A Service of Thanksgiving for Sir Donald Gosling, one of the Royal Navy’s greatest advocates and supporters, will be held in Westminster Abbey in December.

Sir Donald, who died in September aged 90, only spent a few years in the Service in the mid-1940s, but never forgot the grounding it gave him in life.

As a hugely successful businessman and car park entrepreneur, he donated millions to the naval family over several decades, from supporting and rewarding Sea Cadets to helping naval veterans enjoy reunions and celebrate accomplishments.

Sailors and Royal Marines and families have been supported at sea and on land through help with commissioning ceremonies and kitting out mess decks, to paying for adventurous training opportunities around the world.

Sir Donald played a key role in preserving HMS Victory for future generations by donating £25m and frequently invited sailors to join him on his yacht to refresh and relax if he encountered their ships or submarines on operations.

His funeral took place at the Fleet Air Arm memorial church, St Bartholomew’s, in Yeovilton, but was a small, private family affair.

The memorial service at Westminster at mid-day on Wednesday December 11 will allow the wider Royal Navy, veterans and friends of Sir Donald to pay their respects.

For tickets, email nicky.lee855@mod.gov.uk who will liaise with the abbey’s events team. Tickets will be despatched by early December.

When applying for tickets please include details on whether you are serving or retired and what rank/rate you hold/held.