Admiral Sir Gordon Tait

Category One: Persons of Prominent International Standing

Date of Birth

30 October 1921 at Timaru


Alan George Tait and Ann Margaret Tait (nee Gordon)


Philippa Helen Todd, Wellington, 20 December 1952


Two sons and two daughters

Date of Death

29 May 2005 in Auckland


  • Timaru Boys’ High School
  • Royal Naval College Dartmouth
  • Royal Naval College Greenwich
  • National Defence College


  • Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath 1977
  • Distinguished Service Cross
  • Mentioned in Dispatches
  • Naval ADC to the Queen 1972
  • Freeman of the City of London
  • Fellow of the British Institute of Management
  • Companion of the British Institute of Management
  • Member of the Royal Yacht Squadron


Royal Navy War Service (1939-45):

  • Atlantic and Russian Convoys
  • Served in submarines in the Atlantic
  • Mediterranean and the Far East
  • Post War Service to retirement in 1979

Sea Appointments:

  • Commanded Submarines
  • Commanded HMS Caprice 1960-62
  • Commanded HMS Ajax and 2nd Destroyer Squadron 1965-66
  • Commanded HMS Maidstone and 3rd Submarine Squadron (Nuclear) 1967-69

Shore Appointments

  • ADC to Lt General Lord Freyberg 1949-51
  • Staff of UK High Commission Canada 1957-59
  • Deputy Director Operations and Trade, Admiralty 1963-65
  • Chief of Staff Submarine Command 1969-70
  • Commanded Royal Naval College Dartmouth 1970-72

As Rear Admiral

  • Naval Secretary Ministry of Defence

As Vice Admiral

  • Flag Officer Plymouth (appointed KCB)
  • Port Admiral Devenport
  • NATO Commander Central Atlantic

As Admiral

  • Second Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Personnel

Other Appointments

  • Governor Plymouth College
  • Commodore Britannia Yacht Club
  • Member Naval Education Advisory Committee

Positions held after retirement from Royal Navy

  • Chairman Lion Breweries Ltd
  • NZ Director Westpac Banking Corporation
  • Director Todd Brothers Ltd
  • Director Todd Motors Corporation
  • President and Chairman of Trustees NZ Sports Foundation
  • Chairman NZ Family Trust (Telethon 1983)
  • Member Spirit of Adventure Trust Board

Last updated: 16 Sep 2021