Warm tributes paid to ex-navy commander

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THE family of a retired Royal Navy commander have paid tribute to him following his death.

David Morris, from Penrhyn Avenue, Drayton, was born in Peterborough, in 1930, and spent his childhood in India.

Cdr Morris joined the Royal Navy in 1949 as a weapons and electrical engineer and spent the first years posted to a variety of training colleges and ships.

He served on HMS Vernon in 1956 and moved to Portsmouth in 1968, serving at HMS Collingwood following postings to Malta, Plymouth and on HMS Eastbourne.

Cdr Morris served in various roles in Collingwood, Portsmouth’s dockyard and the MoD and went on to become the weapons engineering officer on Portsmouth-based tiger class cruiser, HMS Blake.

After retiring from the Royal Navy he moved to the Omani Navy, where he took responsibility for the delivery of a fully functioning naval dockyard, returning to the UK in 1988.

Cdr Morris had a great passion for cricket and hockey and he was a frequent presence at the side of the pitch supporting Havant Hockey Club.

He undertook a number of roles on the club organising committee, his longest tenure was as communications officer.

His son Nigel said: ‘He helped with the organisation of many events, including Havant’s hosting of the European cup, and countless trips to support the 1st XI over more than 15 years when Havant were one of the top club sides in the country.

‘As acknowledgement of his contribution he was made an honorary vice president and life member of the club.’

Cdr Morris and wife Vivienne, who he met and married in Southsea in 1957, had three children and five grandchildren.

The couple were active members of Emsworth Bridge Club.

‘Seven years ago my father took on, and beat, lung cancer’, said Mr Morris.

‘However, he started to find speech difficult two years ago and was diagnosed with motor neurone disease.

‘He lost his speech and his ability to eat but remained stubbornly independent, despite the effects of the debilitating disease.

‘Although in his 80s he learnt to use the iPad to aid communication both in and out of the home. He lived at home with tremendous support from a wide range of caring professionals from the NHS and Marie Curie.’

A fund has been set up to raise money for the MND Association. Go to mndcommunity.org/tributefund ref 373779.

n David Morris was born March 30, 1930. He died December 19, 2014.