David Balfour was born on July 9th, 1944, in Edinburgh, the second son of Rear Admiral and Mrs G I M Balfour. He had a brother, Patrick, who also joined the Royal Navy, and a sister, Jane. Educated at Radley College, David was a keen oarsman, and as well as being a member of the winning eight of the Princess Elizabeth Cup at the Henley Royal Regatta in 1962. He was a member of Leander.
The Senior Service was a natural destiny for him; so later on in that same year, David moved on to the Britannia Royal Naval College. He chose to specialise as a Supply and Secretariat Officer and passed out of Dartmouth three years later. After completing the Supply Charge course, a fine selection of sea appointments followed, including HM Ships LONDON, BRIGHTON and CHICHESTER. In 1974 he attended the Royal Navy Staff College, and then worked inside the Ministry of Defence as Assistant Secretary to the Vice Chief of Naval Staff. This prestigious appointment was followed in 1977 by a move to the teaching staff of the Lieutenants Greenwich Course, known as the LGC, where he remained until 1980. He then became the Supply Officer of HMS SHEFFIELD. Throughout this period he continued to row for the Royal Navy, as well as taking an increasing role in the sport’s administration.
In August 1975, David married Rosalind, a Barts nurse. Their wedding service took place at St Bartholomew the Great Priory Church in London, a very happy union blessed with the arrival of a daughter, Julia, in May 1978.
On May 4th 1982, while patrolling forward of the main battle group of the South Atlantic Task Force, HMS SHEFFIELD was hit by an Exocet missile launched by a Super Etendard aircraft of the Argentine Naval Air Arm. Twenty-one of the ship’s company died, including their efficient and much-liked Supply Officer. The burned-out hulk sank under tow six days later. David now rests in peace, with his gallant comrades, in very deep water south and east of the Falkland Islands.
David Balfour was a devoted son, husband and father. He was at his happiest when pottering around the house, renovating an old cottage that became the family home. He is fondly remembered and still very much missed by all those who knew and loved him.
In 2022, as part of the 40th Anniversary commemorations, geographical features were identified and named after the fallen of 1982. BALFOUR CREEK is a small inlet on the south shore of King George Bay, West Falkland.
It is in position
51° 42′ 25.83″ S, 060° 31′ 25.50″ W