Bill Canning


The Royal Yacht Britannia was a particularly special venue on which to host the recent Old Sedberghian Scottish dinner as two Sedberghians launched their careers on the ship.

During the 1950’s and 60’s Admiral Sir Jock Slater GCB LVO SH 51-56 (below) and Captain William Canning MBE DSO S 44-48 (above) both served on The Royal Yacht Britannia. At that time, they were both young and fairly inexperienced ‘yotties’. Bill Canning went on to Captain HMS Broadsword, leading the ship safely through operations in the Falklands war. Sir Jock was the first Commanding Officer of the Aircraft Carrier HMS Illustrious, he was the Queen’s Equerry for six years and was proud to have been able to serve Her Majesty so closely, and he served as the First Sea Lord of the Royal Navy from 1995 to 98. Photographs of both the men as boys at Sedbergh and during their naval careers were on display for guests to view. A toast of dedication was made to Bill and Jock to recognise the contribution they made serving their country during their long and eminent careers.  

Sadly, we do not have a photograph of Jock Slater during his time at school. It would be wonderful to compile a full set of school photographs in the archive. If any Sedberghians have House or team photographs that may fill gaps in the collection please get in touch with the Archivist, Katy de la Rivière, who will check whether the archive holds copies. The archivist can scan loaned photographs and return the original to the owner.

Jock Slater
Jock Slater