Written by Tom Fraser

Assisted by Alan Ford and Joe Birtles

Sanctioned by Anne Little





19 December 1937 to 9 September 2022

GB No: 1836 – 1953/54


Christ the King Anglican Church, Thaba Tshwane, Pretoria

The Reverend G. Nell & The Reverend G. Jacobs


Six GBOBA Old Boys and one Worcester Honorary member, attended a beautiful, eloquent and touching funeral service for Captain Ivor Little on Wednesday 14 September 2022. The service was held at Christ the King Anglican Church in Thaba Tshwane (Valhalla / Voortrekkerhoogte), Pretoria.

During the service, a poem of Ivor’s choice was shared with the congregation.

     Crossing the Bar

Alfred, Lord Tennyson


Sunset and evening star,

And one clear call for me!

And may there be no moaning of the bar,

When I put out to sea,


But such a tide as moving seems asleep,

Too full for sound and foam,

When that which drew from out the boundless deep

Turns again home.


Twilight and evening bell,

And after that the dark!

And may there be no sadness of farewell,

When I embark;


For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place

The flood may bear me far,

I hope to see my Pilot face to face

When I have crost the bar.

Note of Interest to “Crossing the Bar”

Death and acceptance are the major themes of this poem. Throughout the poem, we find many examples which indicate that the poet is talking about the approaching dawn of his life. Although the poem is not morbid or sad, it describes the poet’s meditation over his future demise.

A more appropriate nautical themed poem could not have been chosen.

During the service, before the poem was shared by the Minister, he informed the congregation that it was included as part of the service, along with a selection of hymns and readings, which Ivor had previously meticulously and efficiently chosen when planning his own funeral service.

The GBOBA contingent was made up of seven members, from oldest to youngest:

GBOBA : 1902 – John Orrock 54/55, 2286 – John Muller 66, 2295 – Brian Carver 67, 2391 – Alan Ford 71, 2430 – Joe Birtles 73, 2643 – Tom Fraser 79.

Honorary Member: Ian Thurston (Worcester), 59-61

At the end of the service two of the GB Old Boys present, Rear Admiral John Orrock and Major Tom Fraser, both decorated military veterans and military officers, were invited by the Minister, together with all other military veterans, to on behalf of the family, participate in a Military Veteran’s Guard of Honour.  A be meddled and typical Warrant Officer took charge of the Guard and called them to Attention in double line abreast, after which he explained their duties.

The function of the Guard was to pay final respects to Captain Ivor Little in accordance with accepted military tradition.

As the pall bearers exited the Narthex, the Guard again came to Attention. Once the casket was stowed in the vehicle, each family member

each stepped forward to pay their last respects by saying a final word and placing a flower petal on the casket.

After the family completed paying their respects, the Guards of Honour sequentially took their turns individually to do likewise. After saying their final words and dropping a flower petal on the casket, each smartly stepping back, gave Captain Ivor Little a final salute, and thereafter, executed a smart left turn and fell-out.

Upon reflection, doing this as military veterans and also, as proud and dedicated GB OB’s, was a privileged and most opportune moment to execute and live the GB Motto of “Honour and Duty.”

Thereafter, the hearse having departed, all were invited into the church hall, where tab nabs were taken and time spent with the family

Alan Ford took a turn in the queue to spend a few minutes chatting to Anne Little. She told us of the last few months of trials and tribulations pertaining to Ivor’s health and how they both stoically coped with the challenges he faced.

Tom Fraser spoke warmly and poignantly with Anne and the rest of the family, reminiscing with them about those great days in the early 1990’s, when the Littles unselfishly, and warmly, year after year, opened their home in Valhalla to Gauteng Branch musters.

These gatherings often exceeding 100 ex cadets and their families, who loyally attended the annual Bothie Old Boys Association (Gauteng Branch) Commissioning Day Celebration lunches.

All would gather to enjoy the special and wonderful comradeship that we find in the GBOBA family, as we year in and year out, for many years, commemorated the Commissioning of the Ship, and toasted Old Salts who had “gone over the side” at their home, and simply, had an enjoyable afternoon in special company.

The three young well-behaved, happy and laughing “little Little’s” would run around with great excitement as they enjoyed the company of this bunch of “elderly“people, who once a year, seemed to invade their home en-masse and often, would spoil them too!

The success of these annual events was due to Ivor and Anne’s commitment to Honour and Duty, taking on this role and great responsibility for more than 15 years, from the early 90’s until Ivor finally swallowed the hook and as a new Derby and Joan couple, sans progeny, moved to a more convenient town house in Centurion.

Let us also never forget the strong foundation of support that Ivor had in Anne, who was present at every GBOBA occasion throughout all those years, as she diligently assisted Ivor to ensure that all went well and smoothly at every gathering, which it always did!

Those were indeed wonderful days and times.

To Ivor and Anne, we will never forget.

In a way, Ivor’s funeral service was also a celebration of all that he had done professionally for so many, within his GBOBA and S A Navy spheres.

Rest in peace Captain Ivor Christopher Little.

Until we meet again,

From all your GBOBA Comrades and friends

PHOTO 1: GB OB’s present:

Major Tom Fraser, John Muller, Alan Ford, Brian Carver, Rear Admiral John Orrock, Captain Joe Birtles