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News > Alumni Network Announcements > Obituary


We are saddened to announce the passing of Commander Nigel David "Sharkey" MacCartan-Ward, DSC, AFC (1943-2024), a distinguished alumnus of Reading School.
28 May 2024
United Kingdom
Alumni Network Announcements
Commander Nigel David "Sharkey" MacCartan-Ward, DSC, AFC (1943-2024)
Commander Nigel David "Sharkey" MacCartan-Ward, DSC, AFC (1943-2024)

Born Nigel David Ward, he was a retired British Royal Navy officer renowned for his pivotal role in introducing the Sea Harrier Fighter, Reconnaissance, Strike aircraft to service and commanding the 801 Naval Air Squadron during the Falklands War. He earned the nickname "Mr. Sea Harrier" for his exceptional contributions.

Nigel's journey began at Reading School, where he attended as a boarder from 1954 to 1962. He excelled academically and athletically, becoming Head Boy and Captain of the 1st XV Rugby Team, and was a South of England Rugby Trialist. His passion for flying started early; in 1959, he received an RAF Flying Scholarship, allowing him to earn his Private Pilot’s Licence in the Tiger Moth.

Commander MacCartan-Ward's legacy will be remembered by his fellow alumni and the wider community for his dedication, leadership, and pioneering spirit. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family and friends during this difficult time. Rest in peace, Mr. Sea Harrier.

#ReadingSchool #WeAreRedingensians #RestInPeace #InMemoriam #AlumniTribute #CommanderWard #GoneButNotForgotten

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