Toby Frere

Vice Admiral Sir Richard Tobias "Toby" Frere KCB (born Frere-Reeves; 4 June 1938 – 5 March 2020)[2] was a Royal Navy officer who ended his career as Chief of Fleet Support.

Sir Toby Frere
Birth nameRichard Tobias Frere-Reeves[1]
Born(1938-06-04)4 June 1938
Marylebone, London[1]
Died5 March 2020(2020-03-05) (aged 81)
AllegianceUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Years of service1955–1997
RankVice Admiral
AwardsKnight Commander of the Order of the Bath

Early life and educationEdit

Frere was born in London, the son of publisher Alexander Stuart Frere-Reeves CBE and Patricia Marion Caldecott Wallace. His mother was the daughter of writer Edgar Wallace.[3] J. B. Priestley was his godfather.[4] He was named after his great-grandfather Henry Tobias Frere, a first-class cricketer. When he was 1, his father legally dropped Reeves from their surname.[5][6]

He was educated at Eton College and the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth.[3]

Naval careerEdit

Frere joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve through National Service in 1955 and was commissioned into the Royal Navy in 1958.[7] During the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, as a submariner based at Halifax, he was involved in setting up a barrier patrol with American air support off Newfoundland.[8]

He commanded the submarines HMS Andrew, HMS Odin and HMS Revenge before taking charge of the frigate HMS Brazen.[7] Promoted to Rear-Admiral, he was appointed Director-General, Fleet Support (Policy & Services) in 1988[9] and then Flag Officer, Submarines and Commander Submarines for the Eastern Atlantic in 1991[10] before becoming Chief of Fleet Support in 1994 and retiring in 1997.[7]

In retirement, he became the First Chairman of The Prison Service Pay Review Body[11] as well as Chairman of the Governors of Oundle School.[12]


In 1968, he married Jane Barraclough; they had two daughters.[7]


  1. ^ a b England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1916-2007
  2. ^ Frere
  3. ^ a b Mosley, Charles, ed. (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knighthood (107 ed.). Burke's Peerage & Gentry. p. 1993. ISBN 0-9711966-2-1.
  4. ^ "Mr A. S. Frere". The Times. The Times Digital Archive. 6 October 1984. p. Page 10.
  5. ^ "No. 34643". The London Gazette. 7 July 1939. p. 4726.
  6. ^ "Mr A. S. Frere". The Times. The Times Digital Archive. 6 October 1984. p. Page 10.
  7. ^ a b c d Debrett's People of Today 1994
  8. ^ Cuban missile crisis The Times, 22 October 2002
  9. ^ Whitaker's Almanack 1989
  10. ^ Whitaker's Almanack 1992
  11. ^ A Brief History of the Office of Manpower Economics Formation Office of Manpower Economics
  12. ^ Oundle School Independent Schools Inspectorate, March 2008
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Neville Purvis
Chief of Fleet Support
Succeeded by
Sir John Dunt