CAPTION: Torbay Commemoration Service Commendation by the Bishop of Crediton

Torbay Commemorative Service Celebrates the Legacy of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme

Posted: 15th April, 2021

Rev’d Nathan, Torbay Area Dean welcomed everyone in the church and watching at home

On Thursday 15 April at 10am, St Paul’s Church, Preston hosted the Torbay service to commemorate the life of His Royal Highness, The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Watch the service here.

The Rev’d Nathan Kiyaga, Torbay Area Dean, opened the service with a reading from John 11.25-26 and prayed. Read the Order of service here.


Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope GCB, OBE, DL, Her Majesty’s Deputy Lieutenant of Devon then spoke fondly of the Duke of Edinburgh and his naval achievements:

“To the royal family the duke was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. But for many of us he was defined by the roots he grew here in Devon at the Britannia Royal Navel College in Dartmouth. He was a sailor.

Admiral Mark Stanhope reading his reflection of the Duke

“At 21 he was one of the youngest first lieutenants in the Royal Navy, serving in the Destroyer HMS Wallace as second in command. This rapid promotion reflected the strength of his reports where he was singled out as (and I quote) ‘an officer of unusual promise’ noted for his seamanship, skills, high intellect, good judgement, strong character, zeal and very great charm.

“He was very much at home and always a great hit with the ship’s companies of the vessels he visited where his dry wit and ready humour were always in evidence. He was universally admired by all.”

Jack Thompson from Paignton earned silver in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and is now studying Psychology at Exeter University.

Jack Thompson earned a silver DofE

Jack explained that the DofE is an award scheme that a lot of young people get involved with from the ages of 14-20. It is split up into four main components with a skill component, a physical component, and a volunteering component and then a main expedition.

He said, “I have so many great memories of the expedition. Getting to go up onto the wonderful landscape of Dartmoor. Working with a group of friends to follow a route. Learn how to read a map. It’s not something that many young people know how to do these days, we often go to our phones, but you never know when you might be stuck on Dartmoor and need to know how to use a map.

“Personally, I really enjoyed the volunteering. I love basketball so being able to volunteer as a basketball coach was a big highlight. It led me to me a few years later working as a basketball coach so it provided great opportunities as well as being really fun.

“It really prompted a passion to be continually engaged in the community I live in. Being part of my local church made that easier for me, but a lot of young people have that immediate channel. I think the DofE scheme is such a great opportunity for young people to have a great impact on their local community. At uni now being part of the local church, I still love getting involved with stuff like that, I play a lot of basketball and still love coaching.”

The Mayor of Torbay, Maggi Douglas-Dunbar and Torbay Council’s Chief Executive were invited to read.

Bishop Jackie giving her sermon

Next Bishop Jackie spoke about Prince Philips visits to Torbay. How he recalled a cloudy day when Concord was launched as a bright sunny one in his memories. She spoke about the lasting legacy of the DofE Award Scheme and how it was so successful at giving young people like Jack skills for adulthood and serving society. She also spoke about the sanctity of his marriage to the Queen, her “beloved husband”.

The service was closed with a commendation by the Bishop of Crediton and finally, the national anthem.