Obituaries 2017

The Regimental Association is here to promote the welfare of all veterans of the Regiment. We help to arrange assistance where necessary, to veterans of the Regiment, or to their spouses, widows, widowers, civil partners or children, giving particular consideration to members of the Association, or their dependents.


Craig A, Pillans

QO Hldrs
Craig passed away on 31 December 2017 aged 34.

James M, Barber

Cameron & QO Hldrs
Major Jamie Barber died in St Andrews on 28 December 2017 aged 85.

Jamie was the son of Lt Gen Sir Colin Barber KBE CB DSO (Camerons), and he followed his father into the QO Cameron Hldrs on commissioning in 1953.

He served with the Camerons in Europe, Scotland and most notably Korea (Mortar Officer). He was an Instructor at RMA Sandhurst before attending Staff College in India.

He was B Coy Commanders in 1 QO Hldrs and undertook 2 x GSO2 jobs in Scotland before retiring in Nov 1970 to enter the world of Horse Racing mainly in Hong Kong.

Mrs Margaret Duffus

QO Hldrs
Margaret passed away in 2017.

Bernie Munro

QO Hldrs
Bernie died peacefully in Dr Gray’s Hospital Elgin on 6 December 2017 after a long illness.

Bernie will be best remembered for singing and playing his guitar, while serving in the Battalion in the 60’s and 70’s.  Bernie also had a brother Bobby who served in the QM’s. 

Peter Laughton

Peter died on 5 December 2017 aged 94. 

The elder son of Col Francis Laughton MC, TD who commanded the 4th Bn The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders TA, he was educated at Ampleforth College and was commissioned in the Cameron Highlanders on 2 April 1943.  Having joined the 2nd Camerons in Egypt, he took part in the Italian campaign, being wounded at Monte Cassino in March 1944.  He served with the battalion for the final stages of the Italian campaign and then in Greece and Salonika.  After the war he served with the 1st Camerons, of which he was Adjutant in Tripoli in 1950-51.  He then became Adjutant of the 4th/5th Camerons TA in Inverness in 1951-53.  He was later Brigade Major of 152 Highland Brigade and having commanded a company at the HBTC, Fort George he retired in 1957.  Having been granted a TA Commission in the 4th/5th Camerons, he commanded HQ Company in 1957-60 and then D (Nairn) Company. 

He retired from the TA in 1966 and worked for many years for Schweppes Ltd, making his home at Petworth, Sussex.  He and his wife Joanna, who died in 2016, celebrated their Diamond wedding in 2012.  Their son Hugh Laughton served as an officer in the Queen’s Own Highlanders in 1980-83.

Chris McGair

QO Hldr
Chris (Uggy) was born in 1947 and died on 10 November 2017.

Chris McGair’s older brother Jim served in 1 QO Hldrs before Chris and was known as “Big Uggy”.  Chris went on to inherit this nickname and it was a fact that very few people in the regiment knew Uggy by his real name.

Chris was born in 1947 and once he became old enough, joined the Queen’s Own Highlanders, going on to complete fourteen years’ service with the regiment.  He served in BAOR, Edinburgh, Belize and Northern Ireland, spending most of his time as a driver in the MT Platoon.  Uggy was a real character and a “well kent face” within the Battalion.

When he was demobbed, he went to live in Fife, finding jobs as a Security Guard, Miner and Taxi driver.  He sadly passed away on 10 November 2017 and was cremated on 16 November 2017 surrounded by his family, friends and members of the Regimental Association.  He is survived by his wife, two children and three grandchildren.

Jackie MacRae

QO Hldrs
Jackie passed away on 7 November 2017 in the Hospice, Inverness after a long illness aged 71. 

He joined the 4th/5th Battalion The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders TA in October 1963 as a Drummer (No 24040519), and after the reorganisation of the TA in 1967 continued to serve with 2/51 Highland Volunteers until the TA ceased to exist on Skye.  He continued to play with the Regimental Association Pipe Band for many years. 

Danny Morgan

QO Hldrs
Danny (Frugal) was born on 7 January 1949 and died on 24 September 2017 aged 68.

24008750 Pte Danny (Frugal) Morgan – Queen’s Own Highlanders (Seaforth and Camerons) served from 1966 – 1973 GSM NI & Bar – Danny served in Sharjah, Berlin, Northern Ireland and left the Bn in Osnabruck. He was in the Signals Platoon and worked as many Signallers did with various companies throughout his service.

When Danny left the Army, he worked with Virgin Records for many years and anything he did not know about music was not worth knowing.  He was a Celtic Man through and through and followed his team throughout.  Never one to hold a grudge he had much banter with those of other persuasions.

Jimmy A, Paterson

Jimmy passed away of 30 September 2017 aged 82.

A loyal attender of Highland Branch functions Jimmy will be very sadly missed.

Jimmy Fraser

Jimmy Secretary of the London Branch of the Seaforth Highlanders died on 25 September 2017 after a short illness.

Charlie M, Liddle

Cameron & QO Hldrs
In-Pensioner Charlie died at the Royal Hospital Chelsea on 2 August 2017 aged 83. 

He was born in Leith and worked as an apprentice riveter before enlisting as a 3-year Regular soldier in The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders in 1955 (No 23234743).  He served in Korea, Aden and Dover with the 1st Camerons, and re-enlisted in the Queen’s Own Highlanders after the Amalgamation.   He served with 1 Queen’s Own Highlanders in BAOR, Sharjah, Northern Ireland, Belize and Hong Kong, retiring as a Colour Sergeant in 1982.  A meticulous accountant, he served as PRI Sergeant and as Mess Manager in the Officers and Sergeants messes.   After retirement he worked as Mess Manager at Craigiehall and Edinburgh Castle.   He later became an In-Pensioner at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

Mary Sinclair

QO Hldrs
Mary (Margaret) mother of Alex Sinclair passed away in 2017.  She was a very special lady.

Neil Cameron

QO Hldrs
Neil (Titch) died on 16 July 2017.

Peter Keeley

QO Hldrs
Peter passed away suddenly after a heart attack on 16 July 2017.

Peter was born on Dunbarton and initially joined the Royal Pioneer Corp but transferred to the Queen’s Own Highlanders in 1970 and subsequently posted to A Company where he was eventually promoted to Lance Corporal and became their Storeman.  He had split service and served with the regiment in the UK, BAOR, Hong Kong and the Falklands.

Peter was granted a medical discharge in 1989 after a few minor heart attacks and went on to settle in Livingston where he had various jobs before retiring to take things a bit easier.

Robin McLaren

Seaforth & QO Hldrs
Robin passed away on 13 July 2017.

Robin McLaren was born in London on 25 December 1934 to Lt Col and Mrs JA McLaren.  He attended Gordonstoun School in Moray and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (Intake 14) in 1953/55 before being commissioned into 1 Seaforth in February 1955.

As a Rifle Commander he served in Egypt and Aden and Gibraltar.  In August 1956 he was promoted and took over as OC Anti-Tank Platoon in Munster, Germany where he would stay until June 1960.  He was posted back briefly to the Seaforth Depot at Fort George where between game shooting and fishing he trained new recruits.  He was posted back to Munster in October 1960 to 7 February 1961 as ‘amalgamation’ Adjutant in the rank of Captain.

After ‘amalgamation’ Robin was seconded to the Kings African Rifles (4th Battalion) in Uganda where for 18 months he was Regimental Signals Officer and OC Training Company which gave him masses of opportunities to hunt big game.  In October 1962 he was posted to the 2nd Battalion KAR where he was OC HQ Company and where he would see other parts of this vast Continent.  In July 1964 he was posted back to 1 QO Hldrs in Osnabruck initially as 2IC B Company (Bonny B) and then Acting OC D Company until December 1965.

Robin was then picked up for a Staff job as the GSO 3 with HQ 99 Gurkha Infantry Brigade in Borneo and Singapore.  His great admiration for the Gurkhas stemmed from this initial exposure and it would stay with him to the end.  On returning to 1 QO Hldrs in July 1968 as Major McLaren he took over as OC B Company where during his 2 years he would see service in Edinburgh and Sharjah (a tour of duty where he cemented his nickname).  In May 1971 having worked his magic with the MS world he was again seconded to the Far East and 10th PMO Gurkha Rifles in Hong Kong.  He loved the Far East, but in August 1973 he was posted back to Perth, Scotland to be the GSO 3 in HQ 51st Highland Brigade where again he could get back to traditional Scottish Country pursuits.  Having got back to the UK he made it his business to remain in Staff or Training posts in the UK from January 1975 to June 1987.  He spent 5 years on and off in HQ South West District, Taunton and Shrewsbury, 2 years in Dundee as Training Major Tayforth UOTC and a couple of years in London as DAAG M6(A), DM(A).  His final tour was as ASLO (Schools Recruiting) and Station Staff Officer in Grantham and Leicester where he was able to Hunt.  He married Annie, his wife of 32 years in 1985 and on his retirement on 10 July 1989 moved to Kinrara Estate outside Aviemore, Inverness-shire where he worked very hard at Estate Management which included lots of hunting, shooting and fishing. He and Annie loved nothing more than inviting fellow Officers and soldiers to join them at Kinrara.  A generous and unique man who will be missed by many, if for nothing else, but his ability to tell ‘stories’.  

Alex Peters

Pipe Major Alex (Eck) Peters, former Pipe Sgt Queen’s Own Cameron Hldr, who transferred to the Inniskillings on amalgamation (7/2/61) passed away in July 2017.

Alex was a Southern Branch Member.

Brian Kennedy

QO Hldrs
Brian passed away on 18 June 2017 aged 68.

Brian passed out of the Highland Brigade Depot on 4 March 1967 as a member of Tripolo Squad and was soon posted to the 1st Battalion Queen’s Own Highlanders in Berlin.  Brian had broken service but was to go on to complete 22 years serving in Rifle Company’s, the MT Platoon and for some time as a PTI.  When he was demobbed in 1991, he went back to his home city of Dundee and found work driving HGVs.  He did not however give up his military connections as he was soon to join the Black Watch in the City of Dundee as a TA Reservist – going on to become their MT Sgt.  If life was not busy enough, he became a Special Constable in 1996 leaving that service in 2008.  He eventually retired in 2014.

Lawrie Nisbet

Lawrie passed away in July 2017.

Born in Edinburgh in 1926, he enlisted in 1943 and after attending the Officer Training School in India he was granted an Emergency Commission in the RAOC on 2 December 1945.  He transferred to The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders in 1946 and served with the 1st Camerons in the Occupation of Japan. 


Douglas A N C, Miers

Cameron & QO Hldrs
Douglas died at Inverness on 15 June 2017, aged 84. 

He was born in Fyzabad, in India, on 4 September 1932, while his father was serving with the 1st Camerons.  Educated at Winchester College, he enlisted in The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders in 1951.  At the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, he passed out in 3rd place out of 231 cadets, winning the Infantry Prize.  He was commissioned on 6 February 1953, the fourth generation of his family to serve as a Regular officer in the Cameron Highlanders. 

He served with the 1st Camerons in Austria, Lüneburg, Elgin and Korea.  When HM The Queen presented new Colours to the 1st Camerons at Balmoral Castle in 1955, he was one of the Ensigns who carried the Old Colours off parade. In 1956 he became ADC to General Sir Horatius Murray, GOC-in-C Scottish Command, in Edinburgh.  In 1958-1959 he was Adjutant of the Depot of The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders at Cameron Barracks, returning to the 1st Camerons in Redford Barracks as the last Adjutant of the battalion before the amalgamation with the Seaforth Highlanders in 1961. 

As the first Adjutant of 1st Bn Queen’s Own Highlanders he served in Edinburgh and Singapore.  He attended the Staff College, Camberley in 1962-1963, and was then appointed GSO 2 (SD) in the Ministry of Defence.  He served as a company commander with the 1st Gordons in Minden, and in 1969 returned to the staff as DAA&QMG of 12 Infantry Brigade in Osnabrück.  In 1971 he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and appointed to Command of the Scottish Infantry Depot, Bridge of Don until 1974. 

He then held a series of senior staff appointments as AQMG HQ UKLF at Wilton, Colonel AQ 1st Division in Verden, Deputy Commander/Assistant Military Attaché of the British Army Staff in Washington DC, and finally as Chief of Staff, HQ Scotland in Edinburgh.  He retired from the Army in 1987.  He subsequently held a Retired Officer’s appointment running the MOD estate on Salisbury Plain Training Area for ten years.

After returning to the Highlands to live at his family’s house at Lettoch, North Kessock he played a full part in the regimental community, as Convener of the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders Regimental Association, as a Regimental Association Trustee, and as Chairman of the Cameron Highlanders Officers Dinner Club. 

In 1959 he married Miss Richenda Pelly, and they celebrated their Golden Wedding in 2009.  She survives him, with their son and three daughters. 

Steve Kiakowski

QO Hldrs
Steve (Kia) passed away on 11 June 2017.

Steve Kiakowski, better known as “Kia” joined the Infantry Junior Leaders Battalion (IJLB), Oswestry in September 1967 as an Argyll and Sutherland Highlander, but re-badged whilst he was there to the Queen’s Own Highlanders when the Argyll’s numbers starting to get cut.  It was at Oswestry that he learned to excel at canoeing, later passing his skills to so many others. 

He subsequently passed out of Oswestry in late 1969 to join the 1st Battalion in Edinburgh as a member of the Rear Party whilst the Battalion went on post-Sharjah leave.  He soon joined 6 Platoon, B Company and was promoted to Lance Corporal in 1971.  On his initial tour in Northern Ireland he was based in the Short Strand district of East Belfast and made his first find whilst stopping a car on a routine patrol in Lisburn Street – a group of men acting suspiciously, one 5 lb bomb, and a loaded .38” revolver later! 

Kia spent time with the Recce Platoon and other sub units within the Battalion, but always seemed to return to the “Bonny B”.  He served in the UK, BAOR, Northern Ireland, Belize, and Hong Kong.

He was demobbed after Hong Kong and went on to marry his wife, Eleanor, and become father to his two sons, Kevin and Steven.  In Civvy Street he started work in Fountain Park Brewery before taking on various jobs as a joiner.  He unfortunately fell off some scaffolding whilst at work and became physically disabled in the 1990’s.  In July 2016 he was diagnosed with neck and throat cancer and sadly passed away on the 11 June 2017

Kia always excelled on operations, or on exercise in the field, but was one of those characters who got bored whilst in barracks and whose stripes were best sewn on with Velcro – he would have wanted it no other way!  He was a real character and good all-round soldier.  He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.

Anne Nason

QO Hldrs
Anne wife of Col IG Nason (CO Queen’s Own Highlanders 1977-1979) died from Cancer on 4 June 2017.

Wattie Grant

Seaforth & QO Hldrs
Wattie (Drummie) Grant passed away on 20 May 2017.

Wattie Grant was born on 29 August 1932 in Elgin.  At the age of eighteen he joined up at Fort George and was accepted into the Highland Light Infantry, but soon transferred to the Seaforth Highlanders and after amalgamation the Queen’s Own Highlanders.  He became a Drummer in the Seaforth’s Pipe Band with high hopes of following in his father’s footsteps who himself was a Drum Major.  Wattie’s first appearance in the Edinburgh Military Tattoo was as a Highland Dancer followed by many other appearances in the Tattoo over the years as Drummer and subsequently Drum Major.  He was Drum Major of both the Seaforth Highlanders and Queen’s Own Highlanders.  One of his proudest achievements was leading the massed Pipes and Drums on Horse Guards Parade at “Big Blaw” in 1971 shortly before he was demobbed.  He served in BAOR, Aden, the UK, Northern Ireland and with the Trucial Oman Scouts in the Gulf.

He married his wife Jessie in 1953 and they went on to have three children.  After leaving the army in 1972 he went to work for Scottish and Newcastle Brewery and managed several pubs around the Edinburgh area.

Wattie passed away from complications caused by his Cancer and asked that his body be donated for medical research.

Tommy McCann

Seaforth & QO Hldrs
Tommy passed away on 27 April 2017.

Tommy was born and brought up in Prestonpans, East Lothian and in 1959, at the age of 19 left the pit where he was working to join his brother, George, in the Seaforth Highlanders.  Initially stationed in Munster he was soon to move back to Edinburgh for the amalgamation of the Seaforth and Camerons to become a Queen’s Own Highlander.  He joined the Signals Platoon and was soon off to Singapore.  On return to the UK he married and went on to have four children.

After serving six years, he left to start work as a dry stane dyker in Wick.  Whilst there, he took an active interest in the Sea Cadets as an adult instructor.  He eventually returned to Prestonpans with his wife, Bertha to start work in Cockenzie power station.  Tommy, together with his brother George were regular attenders at the Edinburgh Branch of the Regimental Association and despite mobility problems in his later years, always tried to turn up to watch the Branch march on Armed Forces Days.  He was a proud Seaforth Highlander and Queen’s Own Highlander.

Benny Little

QO Hldrs
Benny passed away on 3 May 2017.

Paul King

QO Hldrs
Paul passed away on 21 April 2017 aged 57.

Paul who served with the Queen’s Own Highlanders sadly passed away in the Marie Curie Hospice in Edinburgh on 21 April 2017 aged 57.

Paul was raised and brought up in Penicuik and after leaving school became an apprentice bookbinder.  He quickly realised however, that his future lay in becoming an army musician and subsequently signed up as a Queen’s Own Highlander.

In April 1982 he joined Salamanca Platoon at the Depot, Glencorse to carry out basic training before moving to Bridge of Don for continuation/music training.  He then joined the Battalion in Tidworth and went on to serve with the Military Band as a Cornet player in the UK, Northern Ireland, BAOR and the Gulf.  Apart from a short stint at the School of Music, Kneller Hall, where he converted from the Cornet to the French Horn, he served with and travelled all over the world with the Military Band.  In 1989, together with the rest of the Band, he was deployed to the Gulf with 1 Armoured Field Ambulance to carry out the Band’s wartime role of medics and stretcher bearers.  Indeed, it was the Band’s proud boast that they were in the field of operations during the First Gulf War before any other soldier from the Battalion had even set foot on the desert sands!

After he was demobbed in 1994, he joined the Scottish Ambulance Service as a driver supplying patient transport services.  In his later years he became a Security Administrator at Napier University.  

Bill Donald

QO Hldrs
Bill passed away on 11 April 2017 aged 74.

LCpl Bill Donald was born in Keith on 29 August 1942 and trained as a joiner when he left school.  He subsequently joined the Queen’s Own Highlanders after passing out of the Highland Brigade Depot in April 1967 with prizes for the Best Recruit and Best Shot of Marne Squad.

He went on to join 1st Battalion in Berlin and after some time in a duty Company became one of the Battalion’s Domestic Pioneers.  He went on to serve with the regiment in Edinburgh, Sharjah, Osnabruck and Northern Ireland.  After leaving the army in 1975 he worked as a joiner and Site Manager in the building trade. 

Hugh Fraser

Cameron & QO Hldrs
Hugh (Shug) passed away on 4 April 2017.

Charles G, O’Loan

QO Hldrs
Charlie passed away at the Highland Hospice in Inverness on 26 February 2017.

Roderick Boag

Seaforth & QO Hldrs
Roderick (Eric) passed away on 21 February 2017 aged 79.

Eric was born in 1938 in Crieff.  He joined the Royal Marines in 1954 as a musician.  In 1960 he joined the Regimental Band of the Seaforth Highlanders at Fort George and was a very welcome addition to the Band.  He was an excellent Cornet player and a very competent musician.  He served in Munster, Redford (where he became a Queen’s Own Highlander), Singapore, Fort George and Bridge of Don where he was an Instructor with the Junior Bandsmen. 

John A, MacCallum MBE

Cameron & QO Hldrs
Major John MacCallum died in Edinburgh on 17 February 2017 aged 79.

Educated at George Watson’s College and the RMA Sandhurst, he was granted a Regular Commission in The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders on 21 December 1956.  He served with the 1st Camerons in Aden, Dover and Edinburgh.  After the Amalgamation he served with 11 KAR, returning to 1 QO HLDRSS in Osnabrück in 1964.  He was then the last Adjutant of 1st Bn Liverpool Scottish before the reorganisation of the TA in 1967.  After staff appointments in Northumberland and Singapore he served with the 1st Gordons as a company commander.  Seconded to the Sultan of Muscat’s Armed Forces as DAA&QMG, he was made MBE in 1974.  He later served at the Scottish Infantry Depot Bridge of Don, as DAAG HQ Lowlands, and as GSO1 (local Lt Col) with the BMM Saudi Arabia.  He was Camp Commandant HQ Scotland before retiring in 1990 to an RO’s appointment at Craigiehall.

Rab Denholme

QO Hldrs
Rab passed away on 23 January 2017. 

Alastair MacLeod

Alastair died on 13 December 2016 aged 95.

He served as a Seaforth from 1939 – 1956 and was a member of the CnR Dinner Club.

Lloyd Burt

QO Hldrs
Lloyd passed away on 15 January 2017.

Lloyd was brought up in Wick, Caithness and joined the Regiment in 1965 as a trumpet player with the Military Band.  He served in Berlin, Osnabruck, Sharjah and Edinburgh.  Lloyd and his brother served together and to distinguish them both he was known by his last 2 numbers as Burt 75.

Lloyd went on to gain a commission with 1 Highlanders ACF.  He served as an Adult Instructor with Ross Company from 1989.

David J S, Murray

Cameron & QO Hldrs
Lieutenant Colonel David Murray, who died on 8 January 2017 aged 95, combined a successful career as a Regular officer in The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders (Camerons) with pre-eminence as a player and authority on the Highland bagpipe and its music, and wide-ranging knowledge of all forms of military music.  An articulate writer and speaker, blessed with an exceptional memory for both tunes and history, he did much to enhance Scotland’s extraordinary military heritage, and to save it from oblivion as Defence cuts destroyed historic regimental identities.

Born in 1921 at Kuldana, the hill station above Rawalpindi where his father was serving as an officer with the 1st Camerons, the family returned shortly afterwards to the Regimental Depot at Inverness where he spent his early childhood.  When his father retired in 1925 to become a prison governor, the Governor’s quarter of a series of notorious prisons such as Barlinnie in Glasgow and Saughton in Edinburgh became David Murray’s home.  Educated in Edinburgh at George Watson’s College, his ambition from an early age was to play the pipes, and he was taught by two of the greatest pipers of the day, Pipe Major Robert Reid in Glasgow and Pipe Major Willie Ross at Edinburgh Castle. 

He had always hoped to become the third generation of his family to serve in the Camerons and enlisted on the outbreak of war in 1939.  After receiving his commission, he joined the 1st Camerons shortly after the battalion returned, 79 strong, from Dunkirk and was in the process of being reinforced and re-trained.  In 1942 David Murray, having attended a mortar course, sailed with the 1st Camerons for India where the battalion spent two years training for the planned recapture of Burma from the Japanese by seaborne landings.  In March 1944 this training was precipitately interrupted when a Japanese Division of 15,000 men emerged unexpectedly from the jungles of Burma on the frontier of India at Kohima.  The British 2nd Division, including the 1st Camerons, was rushed to Assam to face them. 

During the next three months the 1st Camerons played a costly but decisive part in the intense fighting for control of the Kohima ridge.  Much of the action was at extremely close quarters, and artillery support was seldom practical.  The only effective fire support came from David Murray’s 3” mortars, and his high standards of training allowed the mortar platoon to give very close support to the Cameron companies and their patrols.  Supported by Naga porters to carry the ammunition, the mortar sections invariably provided prompt and accurate support, playing a key role in the series of actions to clear the Kohima ridge.  At the end of the subsequent advance through Burma David Murray was Mentioned in Despatches.  The Battle of Kohima was Japan’s first major defeat of the war. 

When the 1st Camerons returned to India at the end of the campaign, and then became part of the occupation force in Japan, David Murray was appointed Adjutant of the battalion.  After post war service mainly overseas, which included a tour with the Malay Regiment, he returned to the UK in 1954 to attend the Staff College, Camberley.  His subsequent appointment as Brigade Major in Stirling brought him back to Scotland. 

David Murray fulfilled his personal ambition in a long military career in 1963 when he took command of the 4th/5th Camerons, the Territorial Army battalion drawn from Inverness-shire and Nairn.  Under his dynamic leadership the battalion achieved success in numerous military and sporting events and, naturally enough, in the outstanding quality of its Pipes and Drums.  After retiring from the British Army in 1967 he served for a time in Abu Dhabi, where he was responsible for establishing the military college of the United Arab Emirates at Al Ayn.  

David Murray’s rise to prominence in the piping world began in 1955 when he entered the Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society’s amateur competitions and swept the boards.  It was unprecedented to find a serving Major in the army who could play the pipes as well as the top professionals, and he was very soon in regular demand as a judge at piping competitions throughout Scotland.  He quickly gained a name both as an excellent player, and as an authority on the evolution of bagpipe music, and this reputation led to some outstanding pipers choosing to serve in the Camerons and their successors the Queen’s Own Highlanders. 

After retiring from the army, he made his home in the Borders where, within easy reach of Edinburgh, he could develop his interest in military history and music.  In the Highlands he was for twelve years the much-respected Piping Convener of the Northern Meeting, the oldest and most prestigious of all piping competitions.  As Deputy Producer of the Edinburgh Tattoo, his innovations did much to develop the high musical standards which are so evident today.  He was a strong supporter of the Army School of Piping, based in Edinburgh Castle where he had been taught the pipes as a boy.  He was President of the Piobaireachd Society, and for many years he presented a series of programmes on piping for the BBC.  With a fine pipe tune named after him, ‘Colonel DJS Murray’ became a household name. 

The culmination of his lifelong interest in military history, and perhaps his greatest legacy, came with the publication in 1994 of his book ‘Music of the Scottish Regiments’.  Widely acclaimed, it remains unique as a record of all Scotland’s famous regiments, explaining the evolution of their bands, pipes and drums, their distinctions of dress, and the eccentricities which were fundamental elements of their esprit de corps. 

He is survived by his children John Murray and Mrs Alison Corbett OBE, and by his second wife Rosemary and a step daughter.

Kenny Urquhart

Seaforth & QO Hldrs
Kenny Urquhart sadly passed away on 9 January 2017.

Kenny came from Prestonfield in Edinburgh and joined the Seaforth Highlanders in the 1950’s.  After amalgamation, he was posted to A Company as a Lance Corporal but was soon promoted to full Corporal.  Even at his young rank and age Kenny was good enough to captain the Battalion football team, leading them to league and cup wins in the Battalion’s very f

Kenny is therefore best remembered as one of our Battalion’s best footballers.  Indeed, as well as playing many games over the years for the Battalion, Kenny was a regular Army player, as well as turning out for Nairn County.

Kenny was demobbed in 1971 from the Depot, Glencorse, where he was posted as a Training Sergeant.  He soon settled down with his family into accommodation in Edinburgh’s High Street, before moving to Tranent.  He worked at various jobs before retirement

Kenny will be sadly missed.

Nan Macdonald

Nan Macdonald

 QO Hldrs

Nan who was the wife of 24143952 Sgt J R Macdonald passed away on 6 June 2017 after a long illness. 

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