Michael Layard

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Sir Michael Layard
Born (1936-01-03) 3 January 1936 (age 84)
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchRoyal Navy
Years of service1954–1996
Commands heldNaval Home Command
HMS Cardiff
RNAS Culdrose
899 Naval Air Squadron
Battles/warsFalklands War
AwardsKnight 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 served as Second Sea Lord from 1992 to 1995.

Naval career[edit]

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]

Layard 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 and 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]

Later life[edit]

In retirement Layard became a Trustee of the Fleet Air Arm Museum, and a Governor of Pangbourne College.[3]

Layard owns a 32-foot yacht, Banjo.[4]


In 1966 Layard married Elspeth Horsley Fisher. They have two sons.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Debretts People of Today 1994
  2. ^ Evans, Michael (11 December 2007). "Legal fears left Atlantic Conveyor defenceless". The Times. London.
  3. ^ "OP Admiral and College Governor criticises defence review". Old Pangbournian Society. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  4. ^ "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.
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