THE man at the helm of Swindon's Royal Naval Associa-tion for two decades has died.

Rear Admiral Anthony Davies, 91, of Aldbourne, had a lengthy and distinguished career in the Royal Navy.

His final military duty was as warden of St George's House, Windsor Castle, from 1966 to 1972.

Ian Green, chairman of Swindon RNA, said: "He was a brilliant chap with a remarkable career."

In his memoirs, Mr Davies tells how as a child in Madras, India, he got his first taste of being under fire when the ship Emden "fired a few rounds at ships in the harbour but missed me".

His naval service began in 1926, when he became a Royal Navy Cadet in Dartmouth on HMS Britannia.

He described his training as a thoroughly enjoyable education during which I made life long friends.

By 1929 he was a Midship-man, and embarked on a distinguished career in which he rose through the ranks and served on a variety of vessels.

He had a short stint with the Mediterranean Fleet aboard HMS Barham, which included a trip to Jerusalem.

He also served on HMS Danae in America and the West Indies, HMS Warspite with the Atlantic Fleet, and HMS Despatch in the Med-iterranean.

By 1934, he had earned the rank of Lieutenant and served aboard HMS Duncan on a two-year peaceful tour of ports between Japan and Malaya, as well as the Philippines and the Dutch East Indies.

"There was plenty of work and plenty of fun," his memoirs say.

"They were the happiest years of my life until I got married."

Service on HMS Excellent followed, before a stint on HMS Repulse as a Second Gunnery Officer between March 1939 to March 1940.

His memoirs go on to say: "On recommissioning the ship's planned duty was to take the King and Queen to Halifax for a royal tour of Canada.

"But owing to the gathering storm the royal party took passage in a merchant ship and we escorted them half way across the Atlantic."

During World War II Mr Davies served on HMS Cossack, followed by service on HMS Excellent and then HMS Indefatigable, which he was aboard during a Japanese kamikaze attack in the Pacific.

Post war, as a Commander, Mr Davies stayed with HMS Excellent and was promoted to Captain in 1954.

A stint on HMS Pelican in South Africa was followed by the post of Deputy Director of the Royal Navy Staff College in Greenwich between December 1955 and July 1957.

He rounded off his career, after a stint as Captain of the Fleet in Singapore, as Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence at the Admiralty and Head of British Defence Liaison Staff in Canberra.

Between February 1966 and August 1972 he was warden at St George's House, Wind-sor Castle.

He recalled: "This was a fascinating job which I thoroughly enjoyed in every way, meeting people of all ages and from many walks of life."

Mr Davies' wife died in 1980. He is survived by two sons and a daughter.