Maurice de Rohan AO OBE

Born 13 May 1936, died 5 October 2006

Disaster Action’s work is dedicated to the memory of our founder, Maurice de Rohan. Maurice and Margaret de Rohan’s eldest daughter Alison and her husband Francis Gaillard died in the Herald of Free Enterprise sinking off Zeebrugge, Belgium in March 1987. He and others affected by the disaster went on to found the Herald Families Association, and then Disaster Action.

Maurice’s calm authority, warmth and experience enriched our lives. Without his drive and commitment Disaster Action would not have been founded and the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act (2008), which Disaster Action played a key role in bringing about, might never have seen the light of day. When introducing the Bill into the House of Commons in 2006 Home Secretary John Reid paid tribute to Maurice de Rohan and Disaster Action’s work over the previous 20 years.

His skills in bringing together and getting the best out of people from diverse backgrounds in order to identify common goals were exceptional.

Pamela Dix’s obituary for Maurice written for the Guardian can be found at

Maurice de Rohan with his wife Margaret at the January 2006 Australia Day gala dinner, Australia House, London.