Four Knights Grand Cross installed in Bath chapel
Tuesday, 20th July 2021
Four Knights Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath were installed in the Abbey’s Lady Chapel on Monday 19th July.
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath was established as a military order by Letters Patent of George I on 18th May 1725, when the Dean of Westminster was made Dean of the Order in perpetuity and the Abbey’s Lady Chapel designated the Chapel of the Order. Later, the Order was expanded to include civil servants as well as military officers.
The Order’s origins were in a medieval custom when before the ceremony a knight took a ritual bath symbolic of spiritual purification and spent a night in prayer. There is an account of this ceremony in the reign of Henry IV in 1399 and it was kept up until the time of Charles II, after which it fell into disuse.
Monday’s service was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, Dean of the Order.
The Bath King of Arms, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton GCB, brought each knight forward in turn and led them to their designated stall in the Lady Chapel. The stalls are decorated with Knight’s coat-of-arms, their crest, and their flag.
The Knights Grand Cross (GCB) who swore the Oath of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath and were installed in Chapel of the Order were:
- Sir David Omand, former Director of GCHQ from 1996- 1997 and Permanent Secretary at the Home Office from 1997 – 2000
- Admiral Sir Jonathon Band, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff from 2006 - 2009
- Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy, Chief of the Air Staff from 2006 - 2009
- Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff from 2009 – 2019