Saturday 11 December 2010

RIP Colonel Tommy Pace OBE MD RAMC, late the Royal Ulster Rifles, Knight of Magistral Grace of the Order of Malta

Of your charity,

pray for the soul of


late RMO the Royal Ulster Rifles

Knight of Magistral Grace

of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta

30 years Sacristan of the Conventual Church
of the Order

who died on 22 November 2010

aged 96 years


Colonel Tommy, in the choir dress of the Order of Malta, with his niece and other friends

The Funeral Requiem Mass and Exequies for Colonel Tommy Pace were held at Saint James's Spanish Place, George Street, London W1U 3QY, at 10 am on Friday 3 December 2010, preceded, the night before, by reception of the body at 5pm and Solemn Vespers of the Dead.

The Requiem was followed by a private Reception at the King Edward VII Hospital for Officers (Sister Agnes' Foundation), and a private cremation at Golders Green cemetery.

A Mass, for the Feast of Our Lady of Liesse (whose shrine is in Grand Harbour, Valletta, Malta), and whose devotion was a favourite of the late Colonel, and which occurs on the same day, was also sung in the Conventual Church of St John of Jerusalem of the Knights of Malta, St John's Wood, for the Colonel's intention at 6.30pm, by Father John Hemer MHM.

This mass was followed by the Advent Recollection.

Colonel Tommy - a recollection...

Colonel "Tommy" Pace was born in Malta, where he studied medicine before the War, was commissioned in the Royal Army Medical Corps, and served with distinction during the War in India and in Burma where he won a military OBE.

After the war, he served in Singapore, Kenya and Cyprus before going to Paris as Chief of NATO Medical Services. His last posting was to Brussels where he served at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) as chairman of the NATO Emergency War Surgery Handbook Revision Committee.

After retirement he moved to St John's Wood, to be close to Lord's Cricket Ground, and was a life-long member of the MCC. He was also a keen follower of rugby. He had been Sacristan of the Conventual Church for thirty years and continued regularly to attend Mass there until a few weeks before his death.

He was immensely proud to have been invested a Knight of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta in June 2009 and described himself as the newest, oldest member.

The last few months of his life were a valiant struggle with advancing cancer, during which time he was an example to all his friends of patient forbearance and piety. His wife predeceased him by about fifteen years. He is survived by his four nieces.

All who knew him loved him for his charity and impeccable manners and gentility. He was a delightful man, very witty and amusing but also wonderfully humble and patient and was always a marvellous advertisement for his native Malta. It is no exaggeration to say that those who knew him were able to see in him something of Christ Himself.

He was, in every sense, worthy of Chaucer's famous words "a verray, parfit gentle Knight".

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord...

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