BROWN, Michael

Died aged 80 on 3 March 2017

Michael Brown, of Howcroft Gardens, Sandal, was a former Royal Navy photographer who went on to work for MI6. Born in York in 1936, he left York Grammar School in1952 and initially trained to be an architect at the Joseph Cadbury Foundation. Meanwhile, his older brother had joined the Royal Navy and Michael followed his example in 1954. He served in the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle during the Suez conflict in 1956. His next commission was in the ice patrol vessel HMS Protector and he had fond memories of his time spent in Antarctica and visiting many of the countries of South America. A naval friend said: “He was an outstanding photographer and the photographs that he took during his time in these remote parts of the world fully show his skill and talent. As a keen footballer, one of his enduring memories of this commission was when he played for Protector against Santos, a Brazilian side, and a young 17-year-old named Pele was on the opposing team. Needless to say Protector’s team took a severe beating on that day!” In civilian life Michael continued his photographic career at the Foreign Office in London. He then passed the civil servants’ exam and was invited to work in either accountancy or the newly formed computing department. He chose the latter and this led to him to undergoing some of his training at GCHQ and eventually working for MI6. Later he worked for William Hudson Shipping; Alexon, the clothing manufacturers, where he helped develop their bar code system; a firm of international accountants and finally an American oil company. He then formed his own company as a consultant to the oil rig industry. He travelled to rigs all over the world but particularly to the North Sea and Gulf of Mexico. Sadly in the last few years of his life he was affected by dementia and he was in a care home when he died. His funeral was at Sandal Methodist Church and mourners included friends from Wakefield Rotary Club, which he had joined in 2004.

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