A service of Celebration and Thanksgiving for the life of Dick Francis, CBE, was held at St Martin-in-the-Fields on Monday 21 June 2010, the anniversary of Dick and Mary’s wedding.
Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh were represented by Sir Michael Oswald, KCVO, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales was represented by The Lord Daresbury, DL, and Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Patron of the Injured Jockeys Fund, was represented by Mr Brough Scott, MBE.
The packed church heard tributes by Brough Scott, Merrick Francis, Felix Francis and Frederick Forsyth, CBE and readings from three of Dick’s grandchildren, and Andrew Hewson, Tom Weldon and Sir Peter O’Sullevan, CBE. Harpist Eugenio Leon flew in from the Cayman Islands to play at the service; Anthony Andrews sang Oh What a Beautiful Morning
from Oklahoma, the Choir of St Martin-in-the-Fields sang The Lord Bless You and Keep You
by John Rutter, and service ended with Tony Bennett (whom Dick met in Kentucky) singing I Left My Heart in San Francisco
This is an extract from the Frederick Forsyth eulogy at Dick Francis's memorial service.
Dick Francis joined the RAF at the start of the Second World War in 1940. He was stationed for two years in the Middle East repairing aeroplanes. In 1943, after 37 requests, he was accepted for pilot training. He graduated in summer 1944 and returned to England to fly Spitfires, Wellington Bombers, gliders and Lancasters.