Obituaries 2023

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.

Alasdair MacLennan


The Reverend Alasdair MacLennan died at Inverness on 20 January 2023.  Born in Inverness, he joined The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders in 1957 for his National Service and was a member of the Orderly Room staff of the 1st Camerons in Aden and Dover.  He used to recall that his interest in the Ministry was much encouraged by being sent by the Adjutant of the 1st Camerons to attend a short course at The Royal Army Chaplains Department in Bagshot.  In 1979 he became Minister in Brora, and later in Resolis and Urquhart on the Black Isle. 

He accepted an invitation to become Honorary Chaplain to the Cameron Highlanders Branch of the Queen’s Own Highlanders Regimental Association’ and regularly attended Branch events.  He took part in the Services at the Old High Church in Inverness when the Colours of the 1st and 4th/5th Camerons were laid up. He and his wife Betty, who came from Dingwall, latterly retired to Muir of Ord. 


Alex Love


Alex (also known as TD or “Turtle Dove”) died on 15 February 2023 aged 81.   

He spent his formative years in Dunfermline.  When he left school, he went to work in the local Valleyfield coal mine, but when he was old enough, he decided to join the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders.  After amalgamation he became a Queen’s Own Highlander and went on to serve in the UK, Singapore, Borneo, Osnabruck, Berlin, Sharjah, Belize, Northern Ireland, and Hong Kong. 

Alex served the majority of his time in the Battalion in the MT Platoon, eventually becoming B Company’s MT Sergeant in Osnabruck, and then MT Sergeant at the Scottish Infantry Depot, Glencorse.  Alex was therefore a “well kent face” around the regiment and many a young Jock learnt to drive under Alex’s patient tutelage  

When Alex was demobbed after twenty-two and half years with the regiment, he settled down in Bannockburn with Anne and his two daughters, where he found employment as a Security Officer with Stirling University, finally retiring at the age of seventy.  

Richard Foy

QO Hldr

Richard known as Dick passed away peacefully on 14 April 2023.  He was a Queen’s Own Highlander and served with the Battalion in Berlin, Edinburgh, Sharjah, and Northern Ireland.  Whilst serving in Osnabruck (Belfast Barracks) Dick transferred to the Pioneer Corps where he had a very successful career.

Donald J, MacDonald

QO Hldr

Donnie MacDonald 11 passed away on 12 February 2023.  He was born, raised, and educated in Fort William.  From an early age he was a very enthusiastic sportsman and excelled at football, squash and shinty.  Donny joined the army and attended Bridge of Don.

On joining the Queen’s Own Highlanders, he went to ‘A’ Company and from there he became a Medic. He very quickly established himself within the battalion football team where he made the left back position his own.  He was renowned for his overlapping runs down the left flank; essentially a wingback before wingbacks were invented.  He also played a significant part in the historic 4-3 victory over the RHF in the Army Cup. 

Donny served with the battalion in NI, Belize, and Kenya.  He left the army in 1987 and became a manager within retail working in Aberdeen and Liverpool.

Donny finally settled in Aberdeen and is survived by his daughter Kimberley.

David Munro

QO Hldr

David who lived in Lhanbryde and served as a Queen’s Own Highlander in the mid 70’s died on 8 March 2023 aged 67

Michael Bell


Michael sadly passed on 3 May 2023 in the Royal Infirmary Edinburgh with his family beside him.

Born on 1 April 1941 Michael enlisted on 17 February 1958 at the tender age of 17.  He served 13 years until his demob on 26 March 1971.  Serving initially in the Seaforth Highlanders, Michael became a Queen’s Own Highlander on Amalgamation with the Cameron Highlanders in 1962.

During his time with the Battalion, Michael saw service in Singapore, Borneo, Brunei and Osnabrück.

Michael excelled at most sports however, the sport that was closest to his heart was his football. He was known as a legend not only at Company level, but also at Battalion level. This is evident in the collection of football trophies and memorabilia his wife Ruth has in their house to this day.

Although Michael was known as a bit of a frugal man, he would not see anyone doing without and on many occasions, he has helped friends and comrades both financially and through his strong sense of comradeship.

Michael is survived by his wife Ruth as well as his son Michael and stepchild Richard.

James "Smudger" Smith

Sgt James Carlyle Smith 23930740  16/04/43 – 25/05/2023

Born in Newarthill on 16/04/1943 where he was raised by his parents John and Annie. One of  5 children he grew up with his brother, Alec and his 4 sisters, Anne, Janette, Joanne and Mary. 

James was never particularly scholarly and bunking off school seemed to be his main hobby. Surprisingly, for a boy who never liked to follow rules, at the age of 20, Jim enlisted in the army and began a 22-year career firstly in The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), from 1963-68 and then with the Queen’s Own Highlanders (Seaforth & Camerons) from 1968-85.  He always laughed when he told the story about joining up, on April Fools’ Day 1963!

Throughout those 22 years, Jim worked his way up the ranks in the Queen’s Own Highlanders. Starting in B Company he was first promoted during the early tours in N Ireland.  He was transferred to the Medical Section where his quiet demure suited the job perfectly.  He attained the rank of Sergeant becoming the practice manager of the regiment.  As you can imagine, his skills were put to regular use and he served the injured well on a number of occasions.   He was also well known for his barbering skills and many a short back and sides were delivered on operations with a little bit more off the top if you were ex-Cameronian.

Jim was well supported at home by his family.  He had met a lovely young lady by the name of Morrine who would become his wife and mother to his children.  They spent almost 40 years of marriage together, with daughter Pauline and son Jamie.  On leaving the army the family settled down in Swindon where Jim became an HGV driver.  In the fullness of time, Jim and Morrine become grandparents to Pauline’s sons, Cameron and Lewis and to Jamie’s son, Connor. 

There were harder times for Jim, none more so than when his beloved Morrine passed away in 2006, long before her time it has to be said.  The family helped to keep Jim going.  He was proud of what his grandsons achieved.  Cameron and Lewis are musicians and have been working hard to get themselves known and are starting to make a bit of a breakthrough in the States.

Making the move to Blantyre in 1995, Jim was lucky to have been surrounded by good friends and neighbours.  He loved living there and he loved the community spirit.  He was never short of company.  More recently, age may have begun to show on Jim, but for his age, other than the expected signs of wear and tear, Jim kept in remarkably good health.  Sadly though, he had suffered a few health issues in the last few weeks of his life, but his passing on the 25th of May has been quite unexpected. 

Jim will be missed not just by his family and friends but all those he assisted with his medical skills and of course the wider regimental family.

GBNF CFGB Rip Jim (Smudger)


Enlisted in Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) on 01/04/1963 until they were disbanded in 1968.

Lowland Bde: BAOR 1963 – 64 GB 1964 – 66 Aden 1966 – 67 GB 1967 – 68

Highland Brigade:

Joined 1 Queens’ Own Highlanders (Seaforth & Camerons) Berlin -1968 B Coy 6pl 1969 Sharjah with further service in UK, BAOR, Belize, NI, Hong Kong, Falkland Island, NI, GB, completing 22-year engagement as Medical Sergeant 20/04/85

William Woodward


 William who served in the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders passed away on 12 July 2023.

John E M Anderson

Major John Anderson TD, who served in 2/51 HIGHLAND and 1 QO HLDRS, died aged 76 years on 11 June 2023. Born in the USA of Scottish ancestry, he studied Environmental Sciences at Edinburgh University where he graduated B.Sc. in 1972 and attained a Doctorate in 1977. John was commissioned Second Lieutenant on probation, 51st Highland Volunteers, on 22 May 1977. He served initially in the Battalion’s Inverness-based C Company, followed by Battalion Intelligence Officer, Second in Command C Company, and his final appointment in 2/51 HIGHLAND was as OC Recruit Reception and Training Team. He was, throughout his time with the Battalion, a stalwart of its highly successful shooting team.

In 1980-81 he spent a year on a short service engagement with 1 QO HLDRS in Hong Kong.

John transferred in the late 1980s to the All Arms Pool of Watchkeepers and Liaison Officers, through whom, in addition to the usual round of training duties in the UK and Germany, he was voluntarily mobilised for no less than five operational Balkan deployments as an operations watchkeeper or as a liaison officer. In retirement at Arabella, Ross-shire he retained a close interest in shooting, regimental history, and veteran welfare, serving for many years as President of the Invergordon branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland.

Peter Mutch
QO Hldr

Peter passed away in June 2023.

Ian MacDonald
QO Hldr

Ian known as ‘Wee Mac’ passed away on 12 November 2022 aged 54 years.

Billy Anderson
QO Hldr

Billy known as Paddy passed away in June 2023.

William McFarlane
QO Hldr

William known as Bill passed away on 15 June 2023 aged 73 years.

Graham Brown


Graham, known as Bruno in the Regiment died on 21 June 2023.  He joined the Seaforth Highlanders as a Junior Drummer in September 1958 at the age of 16 and started his career at the Highland Brigade Depot Bridge of Don Aberdeen.

In August 1959 he went to the Seaforth Highlanders depot at Fort George and later the same year joined the 1st Bn Seaforth Highlanders in Munster Germany where he was posted to B Company.

Following the amalgamation, he remained with B Company until he moved to the Quartermasters Department in 1963. He was to remain in this department for the rest of his service.

Bruno was also a very good rifle shot and was a member of the Bn shooting team for many years taking part in the Army Championships at Bisley and bringing back many trophies to the Battalion.

During his time in the regiment Bruno served all over the world.

Bruno left the regiment in December 1982 having served for 23 years and became an active member of the Regimental Association (Highland Branch).

Jim Campbell

QO Hldr

Jim who served in the Queen’s Own Highlanders died on 22 March 2023.

John Dailly

QO Hldr

John who was Padre with the Queen’s Own Highlanders died on 9 March 2023.

Gary Haefner

QO Hldr

Gary who served in the Queen’s Own Highlanders died on 2 February 2023.

Dougie Scott

QO Hldr

Dougie who served in the Queen’s Own Highlanders died on 20 March 2023.

Willie Squair

QO Hldr

Willie who served in the Queen’s Own Highlanders died on 3 April 2023.

David Blacklaw

QO Hldr

David who served in the Queen’s Own Highlanders died on 21 July 2023.

Edward Toms


Edward was born in Plymouth in 1920.  At the outbreak of the Second World War, he was training as an electrical engineering apprentice in the Royal Naval Dockyard at Devonport.  In 1941 he signed up as a Trooper with the Royal Tank Regiment, seeing service in the Western Desert and Near East including the Battle of Alamein, followed by a period based in Italy with the Raiding Support Regiment and taking part in raids across the Adriatic into enemy-occupied Albania.  Meanwhile he had been commissioned into the Seaforth Highlanders and went on to take part in the crossing of the Rhine and the pursuit into Germany.  When the war in Europe ended, he served briefly in the Far East where he met his future wife, Veronica Rose, who was serving with the ATS in Sri Lanka.  He went on to pursue a post-war military career, seeing service in the UK, Germany, Egypt, Cyprus, and Gibraltar and rising to the rank of Colonel. 

On his retirement from the army in 1969 he joined the Civil Service, working first in the Department for Employment as a Principal and later joining the Foreign & Commonwealth Office at the British Embassies in Bonn and Vienna as Labour Counsellor.  In 1981 he retired from the Civil Service and started a successful picture framing business in London with one of his sons.  He moved to the coast at Hythe in Kent after the death of his wife Veronica in 2003.

Edward passed away on 17 August 2023 aged 102.  He is survived by his daughter, three sons, eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Edward Bridgeford


Edward who did 2 years National Service in the Seaforth Highlanders died on 1 August 2023.  He was a long-standing member of the Seaforth Club in Nairn.

Eric Reid

QO Hldr

Eric who served in the Queen’s Own Highlanders died on 8 August 2023.

Douglas Murray


Dougie Murray was born in Edinburgh and after leaving school found a job beside his father as an apprentice plasterer.  He soon, however decided that the army was the place to be and enlisted into the Seaforth Highlanders as a bandsman with his instrument of choice being the tuba. 

He transferred to the Queen’s Own Highlanders on amalgamation and went on to serve in the UK, Germany, and the Far East.  Dougie often commented that this was one of the happiest parts of his life and was saddened when he had to be medically discharged because of problems he had with his hearing.

Dougie had a few jobs after leaving the army but eventually found a niche as a storeman/driver at the Scottish Infantry Depot, Glencorse, where he had a side line taking all the squad photographs that many of the soldiers who passed through the Depot probably still have to this day. 

In his later years Dougie had problems with his mobility and memory and had to be hospitalised several times.  He sadly passed away on the 5 September 2023 at the age of eighty-four.  Members of the Edinburgh Branch of the Regimental Association paid their respects at his funeral.  Last Post and Flowers of the Forest were played. 

Jocky MacDonald


Jocky who served in the Cameron Highlanders passed away on 12 October 2023.

James Purdie

QO Hldr

James who served in the Queen’s Own Highlanders died on 6 September 2023.

Andy Rennie

QO Hldr

Andy who served in the Queen’s Own Highlanders died on 21 September 2023.

Duncan Solway


Duncan who served in the Seaforth Highlanders and Queen’s Own Highlanders from 1955-1979 passed away on 30 September 2023.

David Blacklaw

QO Hldr

Davie Blacklaw as he was known was born in Glasgow on 13 May 1941 and died on 21 July 2023 aged 82. 

David joined the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders and passed out of Cameron Barracks as a member of Salamanca Squad on 3 July 1959.  Always a smart soldier he was a member of the Royal Guard at Balmoral the following year.  Noted throughout his regular army career as a great sportsman, Davie represented his beloved MacDelta Company and the Battalion in a huge variety of sports including athletics, swimming, hockey, basketball and water polo.  A fine infantry soldier and a shining example to recruits Davie served his time in a rifle platoon before joining the Recce Platoon and then filled various storekeeping roles throughout the battalion.  Except for a short spell in Cyprus, he spent all his career with the 1st Battalion serving in Singapore, Brunei, Sharjah, UK, N Ireland BAOR, Hong Kong, and the Falklands. 

In 1983 after completing his regular service he continued his career on the Long Service List with employment at the Army Education Centre at Beaconsfield and Aldershot Garrison ending his career in 1992 as a Sergeant.

His peers in the Cpls Mess described his contribution to the battalion best when he left in 1983; We are always saying farewell to someone but surely no one more special than Davie Blacklaw.  If there was a prize for Loyalty, Team Spirit, and Endeavour surely it would be won by Davie to add to his many sporting trophies.

A contingent from the North of Scotland and Blue Hackle wearers from elsewhere in the UK joined his wife Sheila and sons Cameron and Gary at his funeral in Aldershot on 29 August 2023. 

Duncan Solway


Duncan Solway was born in Dunfermline on 24 November 1937 and died on 30 September 2023 aged 85.  He joined the Seaforth Highlanders in 1957 and then served with the Queen’s Own Highlanders reaching the rank of Sergeant completing his service in 1979. 

Duncan was a founder member of the Recce Platoon in the early sixties before gaining promotion in Delta Company.  He had a zest for the outdoor life and filled many positions as an adventure training instructor including postings to the Infantry Junior Leaders Battalion at Oswestry and the Depot at the Bridge of Don. 

During his career, he served in Singapore, Brunei, the UK, Berlin, Sharjah, Osnabruck, Northern Ireland, and Gibraltar. He settled on the Black Isle with his second wife Gladys where they fostered many children also finding time to be an adventure training instructor at Applecross. 

A contingent from the Queen’s Own Highlanders (Seaforth and Camerons) joined his family and friends at his funeral in Inverness on Tuesday 17 October 2023. 

David Beaumont


David who served in the Seaforth Highlanders passed away on 21 July 2023.

Tony Hannah

QO Hldrs

Tony who served in the Queen’s Own Highlanders passed away on 1 August 2023.

Dusty Miller

QO Hldr

 Bill who served in the Queen’s Own Highlanders passed away on 26 July 2023.

Bill Ross

QO Hldr

Bill who served in the Queen’s Own Highlanders passed away on 26 July 2023.

Michael Thain

QO Hldr

Michael who served in the Queen’s Own Highlanders and 2/51 Hldr passed away on 17 September 2023 aged 74.

John Wood

QO Hldr

John who served in the Queen’s Own Highlanders passed away on 14 September 2023.

David Campbell Watson

QO Hldr

David who served in the Queen’s Own Highlanders passed away on 2 August 2023.

Peter Stuart

QO Hldr

Peter who served in the Queen’s Own Highlanders passed away on 11 July 2023.

Jimmy Sherry


Jimmy Sherry was born and brought up in Kinross and was called up for National Service in 1958.  He completed his basic training in Cameron Barracks, Inverness before being posted to the 1st Battalion Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders who were stationed in Dover.  On demobilisation, Jimmy returned to Kinross to get married and take up employment in the building industry as a joiner.

Jimmy was a very proud Cameron Highlander and a staunch supporter of their Regimental Association.  He attended many annual reunions in Inverness with his old friend Charlie Millar and became active in Kinross Ex-Servicemen’s Club, becoming their Vice-Chair.

Jimmy sadly passed away on 20 October 2023 just short of his eighty-sixth birthday.

Thomas Brady

QO Hldr

Thomas who served in the Queen’s Own Highlanders passed away on 10 October 2023.

Ian Lorimer

QO Hldr


Ian, son of Guy and Eileen Lorimer, was born in Hindhead, Surrey on 20 January 1943.  His maternal grandfather was Rear Admiral Lionel Warleigh RN.  Ian was educated at Kingsmead Preparatory School from 1949-55 before moving on to Fettes College in Edinburgh.

In 1961, Ian gained a Territorial Army commission in the Liverpool Scottish before entering RMA Sandhurst in 1962.  He passed out two years later and was granted a regular commission in the Queen’s Own Highlanders on 31 July 1964.  Ian then joined the 1st Battalion in Osnabruck, Germany as a platoon commander in D Company.  He then moved with the Battalion to Berlin and after two years in D Company, Ian was appointed Assistant Adjutant in October 1966.  Ten months later he was posted to the Highland Brigade Depot, Bridge of Don as a training officer.  Ian was a keen skier and was a member of the Battalion Downhill Ski Team and captained it between 1966 and 70.  He was also a member of the Battalion’s Prix le Clerc Shooting Team (Pistol) in 1966/67.

In July 1968, Ian returned to the Battalion as a platoon commander, this time in A Company and served in Edinburgh and then in Sharjah, where he was appointed Mortar Officer.  In Sharjah Ian probably did more extra orderly officer duties and lost more Mess bets than most!  He along with Hugh Young were also banned from drinking alcohol by the Adjutant, David Blair for being drunk on Hogmanay while in a Muslim country.  Throughout his career, Ian was often the instigator or leading participant in any exuberant Mess party.  And Ian was extremely competitive in the Mess whenever it came to sport and bridge.

Ian was promoted to Captain on 31 July 1970.  Having returned to Edinburgh Ian was sent to Bordon in Hampshire to become an Armoured Personnel Carrier Conversion Instructor in preparation for the Battalion’s move back to Osnabruck in April 1971 in the mechanised infantry role.  All vehicle commanders and drivers attended the course which involved some fairly hair-raising driving conditions in rather vintage AFV 432s.  During this busy time the Battalion completed three operational tours in Northern Ireland.  The first was in East Belfast where Ian was the MTO.  His appointment was perhaps no coincidence as Ian was renowned for his love of fast cars and often seen in one BMW or another.  A mere 4 months later the Battalion was deployed at short notice to take part in OP MOTORMAN.  Ian had a testing time ensuring the Battalion transport reached various bases spread all over Northern Ireland.  After a brief spell as Ops/Trg Officer, which included a memorable exercise in Norway, Ian was appointed OC Command Company and Press Officer while the Battalion was in Northern Ireland again and this time in the Lower Falls area of Belfast.

In November 1974, Ian was posted for 22 months as a Grade 3 Staff Officer to the Military Operations branch of the Ministry of Defence, London.  He attended the Army Staff Course, at Shrivenham (Division 3) and Camberley, from October 1976 through to December 1977.  He was promoted to Major on 31 December 1976.

On completion of the Army Staff Course, Ian returned to the Battalion to command A Company in Kirknewton, Edinburgh.  Here, Ian’s desire to spend his weekends in London became legendry across the Battalion.  He was either desperate to get to the airport in time for his plane, or if he missed it to make another speedy trip south in his BMW.  These weekends away became known as Ian’s ‘grunewochenders’.  Two more operational tours in Northern Ireland followed.  The first to North Armagh in 1978, when A Company was based in Cookstown, North Tyrone, and the second to South Armagh in 1979 when it was based at Forkhill in ‘Bandit Country’.  After this, Ian was posted back to the Ministry of Defence as Grade 2 Staff Officer in ACGS (Operational Requirements) and served there until he retired from the Army on 14 December 1980.  Ian was a fun person to have around; he certainly added to the enjoyment of others in the Battalion and the Army.  He was also an officer who always gave his best, and all ranks respected him.

On leaving the Army, Ian embarked on a successful civilian career.  He first worked for Amoco as a corporate communications manager before moving into financial services in 1986 working for Hoare Govett, Security Pacific, Pauline Hyde & Associates and then Baring International.  In 1996 he was a founding director of the business consultancy, Harvey Glynne International and in 1999 was founder and managing director of the coaching consultancy, Time to Talk Ltd.  Ian’s health began declining in 2010, entering a cycle of ill health and recovery.  His legacy in the military and civilian realms was his enthusiasm for life and an unwavering ability to find strength to battle challenges.

In 1976, Ian married Celia, and they had one daughter, Geraldine.  They divorced in 1991.  Ian married Lorraine in 1999.  They had two daughters, Aurelia and Chiara.  All survive him.

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