New Gallery July 2013

Dick and Felix Dick and Felix with President Václav Havel Felix Felix Felix Felix Felix Felix Felix Felix Felix Felix Felix Felix Felix Felix Felix Felix and Debbie Felix and Debbie Felix and Dick riding Felix and Dick Felix and Richard Stubbs Felix and the Melbourne Cup Felix riding, aged about 8 Felix, Mary and Dick Felix Harlan and Felix

Memorial Service

A service of Celebration and Thanksgiving for the life of Dick Francis, CBE, was held at St Martin-in-the-Fields on Monday 21 June 2010, the anniversary of Dick and Mary’s wedding.

Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh were represented by Sir Michael Oswald, KCVO, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales was represented by The Lord Daresbury, DL, and Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Patron of the Injured Jockeys Fund, was represented by Mr Brough Scott, MBE.

The packed church heard tributes by Brough Scott, Merrick Francis, Felix Francis and Frederick Forsyth, CBE and readings from three of Dick’s grandchildren, and Andrew Hewson, Tom Weldon and Sir Peter O’Sullevan, CBE. Harpist Eugenio Leon flew in from the Cayman Islands to play at the service; Anthony Andrews sang Oh What a Beautiful Morning from Oklahoma, the Choir of St Martin-in-the-Fields sang The Lord Bless You and Keep You by John Rutter, and service ended with Tony Bennett (whom Dick met in Kentucky) singing I Left My Heart in San Francisco.

Sir Peter O’Sullevan, CBE arriving at St Martin-in-the-Fields © Janey Airey Order of Service © Janey Airey St Martin-in-the-Fields © Janey Airey Brough Scott MBE, Chairman of the Injured Jockeys’Fund and who represented Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal © Janey Airey Anthony Andrews sang Oh What a Lovely Morning © Janey Airey Felix Francis speaking at the service © Jane Airey Merrick Francis speaking at the service © Janey Airey St Martin-in-the-Fields was packed out for the service © Janey Airey Merrick Francis and Felix Francis, Dick and Mary’s sons after the service © Janey Airey Andrew Hewson, Dick and Felix’s literary agent, who read from Dicks autobiography, The Sport of Queens © Janey Airey This is an extract from the Frederick Forsyth eulogy at Dick Francis's memorial service.


Dick Francis joined the RAF at the start of the Second World War in 1940. He was stationed for two years in the Middle East repairing aeroplanes. In 1943, after 37 requests, he was accepted for pilot training. He graduated in summer 1944 and returned to England to fly Spitfires, Wellington Bombers, gliders and Lancasters.

Dick (far right), on leave in Bethlehem. Dick in 1942. Dick (front right) with fellow RAF recruits. Dick in the Middle East. Dick (left) in Cairo. Flying officer Richard Francis, 1945. In the Battle of Britain Memorial Hangar, 1990. At the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, 1990.


Dick's Grandparents Dick as a baby, aged six months Dick aged two years and 3 months (1923). Dick as a young boy. Dick and his younger son Felix, with whom he now writes his novels. Dick and his wife Mary, who were married for over 53 years. Sadly, Mary died in 2000, just a month before Dick’s 80th birthday. Dick in Devon, where the family has holidayed for 57 years. Dick, Merrick and Felix Francis in Devon, 2008 Dick Francis (centre) and family on holiday in Paignton Devon 2008 Dick’s immediate family on holiday together in Paignton, Devon, 2008. Back row LtoR: Matthew (Felix’s elder son), Alex (Merrick’s wife), Merrick, Felix, Debbie, Anna (Matthew’s fiancée) Front row LtoR: Olivia (Tim’s girlfriend), Tim (Merrick’s son), Dick, William (Felix’s younger son), Louise (William’s girlfriend) Lord Vestey, Felix Francis and winning jockey, Robert Thornton, who rode Ouzbeck to victory in the Dick Francis Silks stakes


Dick on Fighting Line, on which he won the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow. Dick riding. Dick riding. Dick in the winners enclosure after a successful race. Dick, pictured here with other jockeys after a bad fall. Dick showing his affection for horses. Roimond (no.2) ridden by Dick Francis, at Beecher's Brook in the Grand National, 1950. Finnure ridden by Dick Francis jumping the Chair fence in the Champion Chase, 1950. Dick being thrown off in spectacular fashion. Dick in the parade ring before the 1956 Grand National with HM The Queen, HM The Queen Mother, HRH Princess Margaret and trainer Peter Cazalet. Devon Loch's collapse just forty yards from the winning post, during the 1956 Grand National. Devon Loch is led back. Dick walks away from the scene, a dream shattered.