Sir William Thomas Pillar

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Swearing-in of Sir William Pillar

Admiral Sir William Thomas Pillar (1924–1999) was Chief of Naval Support and a member of the Admiralty. He was appointed Lieut-Governor of Jersey in 1985.


Educated at Blundell's School and the Royal Naval Engineering College, he joined the Royal Navy as a cadet in 1942 during World War II. He was promoted to sub-lieutenant on 1 June 1944. An acting lieutenant at the war's end, he was promoted to substantive lieutenant on 3 June 1947. Following service in the Korean War he was promoted to Lt-Commander on 1 October 1953, Commander on 31 December 1958 and to Captain on 31 December 1966.

He was appointed Assistant to the Director-General, Ships in 1970 and Commander of the Royal Naval Engineering College in 1973. Attaining flag rank as a Rear-Admiral on 7 January 1976, he was made Port Admiral at Rosyth and then Assistant Chief of Fleet Support. Promoted to Vice-Admiral on 2 April 1979, he became the first Royal Navy engineer officer to be Chief of Fleet Support. He was appointed a KCB in the 1980 Queen's Birthday Honours list, and was promoted to Admiral on 5 January 1982. In 1982 he became Commandant of the Royal College of Defence Studies. Appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire, Military Division in the Birthday Honours list the following year, he retired on 6 March 1984.

On retirement from the Royal Navy he became Lieut-Governor of Jersey. He was also Commodore and later Life Vice-Commodore of the Royal Navy Sailing Association, a member of the Royal Yacht Squadron, president of the Royal Navy Modern Pentathlon Association and a Knight of St John.


In 1946 he married Ursula Ransley; they had three sons and a daughter.

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