The Passing of an Era - Rear Admiral Steve Ritchie (1914-2012)

10 May 2012

Rear Admiral Steve Ritchie visiting the Society's stand at OI 2004It is with great sadness that we announce the death, at the age of 97, of Rear Admiral Steve Ritchie CB DSC. He passed away at his family home in Collieston, Aberdeenshire, on Tuesday 8th May 2012. As Founding President (1972-73), and then later an Emeritus Member of The Hydrographic Society, Steve remained a keen supporter and active member of the Society throughout its 40 years and his presence and much-valued input will be greatly missed. The Society extends its sincere sympathies to his family.

In a distinguished career Steve Ritchie served as Hydrographer of the Navy from 1966 to 1971 before being elected President of the Directing Committee of the International Hydrographic Bureau in Monaco in 1972 - a post he held for ten years.

Celebrated and fêted throughout the world as hydrography's most eminent - and colourful - luminary, he was a prolific writer continued to write on topical affairs within the profession into his nineties. Amongst the books he wrote in 'retirement' was his highly popular autobiography No Day Too Long - An Hydrographer's Tale published in 1992 which includes a Foreword by the late Prince Rainier of Monaco.

More detailed obituaries and appreciations of the long and vibrant life and career of Admiral Ritchie will be published in Soundings and The Hydrographic Journal in the coming months. Any members wishing to contribute anecdotes or photographic contributions to these tributes are invited to send them to by mid-June.

The funeral service will take place on Wednesday 16th May.


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