Michael Layard

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Sir Michael Layard
Born (1936-01-03) 3 January 1936 (age 83)
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  Royal Navy
Years of service 1954 - 1996
Rank Admiral
Commands held RNAS Culdrose
HMS Cardiff
Naval Home Command
Battles/wars Falklands War
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Commander of the Order of the British Empire

Admiral Sir Michael Henry Gordon Layard, KCB, CBE (born 3 January 1936) is a retired senior Royal Navy officer who went on to be Second Sea Lord.

Naval career

Educated at Pangbourne College and the Britannia Royal Naval College, Layard was commissioned into the Royal Navy in 1954.[1] He trained as a fighter pilot and in 1970 he took command of 899 Naval Air Squadron flying Sea Vixens.[1] He became Commander (Air) in HMS Ark Royal in 1977 and Chief Staff Officer to the Flag Officer, Naval Air Command in 1979.[1] During the Falklands War he was Senior Naval Officer in the MV Atlantic Conveyor[1] which was sunk by two exocet missiles.[2]

He became Commander of RNAS Culdrose in 1982, Captain of the destroyer, HMS Cardiff in 1984 and Director Naval Warfare (Air) at the Ministry of Defence in 1985.[1] He went on to be Flag Officer Naval Air Command in 1988, Director General Naval Manpower & Training in 1990 and Second Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Personnel in 1992 (and, concurrently, President of the Royal Naval College, Greenwich from 1993).[1] From 1994 he was asked to combine this role with that of Commander-in-Chief Naval Home Command.[1]

In retirement he became a Trustee of the Fleet Air Arm Museum[3] and a governor of Pangbourne College.[4]

He owns a 32 foot yacht, Banjo.[5]


In 1966 he married Elspeth Horsley Fisher and they went on to have two sons.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Debretts People of Today 1994
  2. Evans, Michael (11 December 2007). "Legal fears left Atlantic Conveyor defenceless". The Times. London.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Fleet Air Arm Museum Financial Statements for the year ended 31 March 2007
  4. "OP Admiral and College Governor criticises defence review". Old Pangbournian Society. Retrieved 9 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Admiral Sir Michael Layard, KCB, CBE - Art prints and originals signed by Admiral Sir Michael Layard, KCB, CBE". directart.co.uk. Retrieved 9 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Michael Livesay
Second Sea Lord
Succeeded by
Sir Michael Boyce
Preceded by
Sir John Kerr
Commander-in-Chief Naval Home Command
Court offices
Preceded by
Sir Edward Burgess
Gentleman Usher to the Sword of State
Succeeded by
Sir John Allison