Yesterday, (Friday 10 March 2023) marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Lt Col (ret’d) Sir Richard Sharples KCMG, OBE, MC, Governor of Bermuda and his Aide- de-Camp, Captain Hugh Sayers.
Her Excellency the Governor, Ms Rena Lalgie and her Aide-de-Camp, Captain Alexander Gibbs, attended a memorial service at The Royal Military Chapel (The Guards’ Chapel) in London hosted by the Welsh Guards.
Sir Richard had been a commissioned officer in the Welsh Guards, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, prior to serving as Minister of State at the Home Office and later being appointed as Governor of Bermuda. Captain Sayers, the grandson of another former Governor of Bermuda, Admiral Sir Ralph Leatham, was a serving officer in the Welsh Guards at the time of the assassinations.
Also in attendance at the London service, along with members of the Sharples and Sayers families, were Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Gloucester, Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Bermuda Regiment, former Governors of Bermuda, Sir John Vereker and Mr George Fergusson, and former colleagues of both Sir Richard and Captain Sayers.
The Governor said, “I was honoured to attend the service to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassinations of Sir Richard Sharples and Captain Hugh Sayers at The Royal Military Chapel (The Guards’ Chapel) in London. It was a poignant service which marked the sacrifice of two men who were taken from their families far too early. The memory of Sir Richard and Captain Sayers will remain not only with their families but also with the Welsh Guards and the people of Bermuda.”
In Bermuda, the Acting Governor Mr Tom Oppenheim MBE, alongside Bermudian former Aides-de-Camp, attended St. Peter’s Church graveyard to lay wreaths in remembrance.
The Acting Governor laid a wreath on the grave of Sir Richard Sharples, and former Aide-de-Camp, Major (ret’d) Alvin Daniels MVO, laid a wreath on the grave of Captain Hugh Sayers. Major Daniels became the first Bermudian Aide-de-Camp to the Governor immediately after the assassinations in 1973.
Major (ret’d) Daniels MVO said, “I was honoured to have been asked to lay the wreath on the grave of the late Captain Hugh Sayers ADC on the sombre occasion of the 50th anniversary of his death in the presence of the Acting Governor and former ADCs.
“On behalf of the 23 ADCs who followed in his footsteps, our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of both Sir Richard Sharples and Captain Hugh Sayers.”