Obituaries 2024

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.

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Donald Angus MacLean

2/51 Highland/QO Hldr

24172596 Donald Angus MacLean, also known as Dan Goggan, died on 22 December 2023 in Blar Buidhe Care Home in Stornoway. He served as a cook with 2/51 HIGHLAND in Stornoway and supported 2/51 on Exercises including Germany and Cyprus. He volunteered to support 1 Queens Own Highlanders on their Exercise in Kenya in 1986 where he became a favourite of the local children. Originally from Tong on the Isle of Lewis, he was a weaver of Harris Tweed and worked in the Construction Industry while also supporting his local Youth Club. He had a talent for singing, was a member of his local Gaelic Choir and serenaded the local association on their dinner nights.

He is survived by his wife Mary MacLean and stepson Davey.

Joe Murdoch

QO Hldr

It is with sorrow that we announce the passing of Joseph Murdoch, known as Joe, who left us on Christmas Day, Monday 25 December 2023, at the age of 61. Taken far too soon, his departure leaves a family void that can never be filled, and he will be profoundly missed by all who knew him.

He served with distinction for 14 years in the Queen’s Own Highlanders from December 1978 – April 1992.  Joe served in Bridge of Don, Kirknewton, Hong Kong, Tidworth, Falklands, N Ireland, Fort George, and Munster.  

Born in April 1962 in Glasgow, he spent his early years in Kelvinbridge and Drumchapel, where he developed an adventurous spirit and love of sport that stayed with him throughout his life.

Joe attended St. Sixtus Primary School and later, St. Columba’s Secondary School in Maryhill. At the age of 16, he made a significant choice to join the Army, forgoing a potential football career with Motherwell Football Club.

Following his honourable discharge in April 1992, Joe transitioned to civilian life, working as an HGV driver, and later joining the 6 Scots in Maryhill as a Reservist.

Joe had a few hobbies and interests over the years. He liked his golf, fly fishing and especially his football and used to play for Celtic Boys Club. As mentioned earlier he was about to be signed by Motherwell Football Club but made the decision at 16 to join the Army. When he lived in Inverness, he played amateur football and won the Hugh Mackie Cup when playing for Thistle Inn. An SFA referee he also helped coach various junior teams.

In 2000, Joe married Margaret finally settling in Saltcoats in 2013.

A man of character, Joe was known for his straightforwardness, genuine nature, and a sense of humour that brightened the lives of those around him. His commitment to family was unwavering, and he found immense joy in their happiness. Joe leaves behind a legacy of generosity, kindness, and an enduring love for life. There were no airs or graces with Joe, what you saw was what you got. He was a genuine guy who called a spade a spade when required.

Joe was a keen member of the RBL in Saltcoats where he never missed a meeting, and he was held in high regard by the other members especially doing collections for the Poppy Appeals.

He is survived by his wife Margaret, children Scott, Jocelyn, and Cameron, and grandchildren Ben, Alexander, and Alba, along with a wide circle of family and friends who will forever cherish the memories of a remarkable man.

Tam Stephen

Cameron

Tam Stephen passed away peacefully on 1 January 2024.  He was ninety years old.

Tam was born in Elgin in 1933 and lived in a simple two bedroomed house with his mother, father and eight siblings.  When he left school, he went to work with his father as a Plasterer but was eventually called up to do his National Service with the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, who were stationed in Austria at the time.  After a brief spell in civvy street he signed up as a regular soldier and went on to complete a total of twenty-four years with the Colours, first with the Cameron Highlanders and subsequently with the Queen’s Own Highlanders.

Tam’s postings ranged from Austria, Dover, Singapore, Osnabruck, Berlin, Scotland, Sharjah, and Northern Ireland.  His time in the Battalion was spent between stints in the MT Platoon and the Assault Pioneers, and it was whilst with the Assault Pioneers on the Battalion’s first tour of duty in Northern Ireland that a bomb exploded in a house that the platoon were searching.  Mercifully, there were no fatalities or serious injuries.

Tam retired from the army in 1974 and found work with the Gas Board and in Security.  He was married to Tilly and they went on to have three children and become great, great, grandparents.

Tam was laid to rest in West Lothian Crematorium.  He was piped into the service to the tune “March of the Cameron Men”, attended by his family, friends, and members of the Edinburgh Branch of the Regimental Association

William Parr

Cameron

William known as Bill who served in the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders passed away on 17 February 2024 aged 90.

Eric Forrest

Cameron

Eric who served in The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders passed away on 21 December 2023.

Allan Black

QO Hldr

Allan joined the Queen’s Own Highlanders aged 19 in 1972 following on from his father who served from 1932 – 1945 in the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders.

He passed out from Glencorse Barracks in Atbara platoon in 1973. Alan served until 1979 with tours in Kirknewton, Northern Ireland, Belize and 2nd tour Northern Ireland.

After leaving the regiment Allan travelled to Africa and took the opportunity to join the Rhodesian regiment of the Selous Scouts which was a special forces unit of the Rhodesian Army.

On returning to the UK, he settled initially in Greenock where he met his wife Ann and in 1986, she gave birth to his son Philip.

The last twenty years of his life was spent working as the ship’s Cook and Medic with North Star Shipping, resupplying the Oil Rigs in the North Sea. That meant he basically spent six months at sea and six at home with his family.

Allan had two passions in his life, fishing (no 1) and any whisky that had “single malt” on the label like Glenfiddich, Macallan, Glenmorangie etc.

Sadly, Allan developed a brain tumour that had spread from a skin cancer he had several years previously.

Allan passed away on 19 January 2024 and is survived by his wife of 39 years, Ann, and his son Phillip.

Jimmy Gray

QO Hldr

Jimmy Gray was born on 2 June 1948 and passed away on 16 February 2024.

He was raised in Kelty in the Kingdom of Fife. After leaving school he worked in various jobs, including a textile factory and down a coal mine. He married Rosemary in 1968 and the pair went on to have two sons (Steven and Robin). In the early seventies Jimmy decided to join the Army to find a better life for his young family and joined the Queen’s Own Highlanders – going on to complete a full career of twenty-two years with the regiment, serving in the UK, Germany, Hong Kong, Belize, and Northern Ireland. 

ing the 1st Battalion Jimmy soon gravitated towards the clerking world, eventually becoming the Families Office Colour Sergeant, where he also became the resident DJ and Bingo Caller at many of the Wives Club functions.

After he retired from the army Jimmy went to work for a food technology firm as a Storeman in Broxburn and ran it with military precision until his final retirement.  

In 2018 Jimmy had a fall on some ice and his right leg was very badly broken and became infected.  Over the next two years both his legs were amputated due to infections. This did not deter Jimmy from getting on with life using his mobility scooter and eventually an adapted car with hand controls, to travel around the local area from his home in Kelty. 

Steed Wilson

QO Hldr

Steed was born on 6 August 1957 in Elgin.  He developed a skill and passion for football at a young age and played in the Elgin and District Boys League for several years becoming a member of their select team. His skill and ability at football continued into his adult years. Steed had been a member of the Army Cadets, and this laid the foundation for him joining the Army. He started his career at 15 in August 1972. He trained at The Junior Infantry Depot Bridge of Don and after passing out joined the 1st Bn the Queen’s Own Highlanders in November 1974 based in Osnabruck. His time in the Army was wide and varied, serving in Germany, Belize, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Brunei, Canada, the Falklands, and a number of tours in Northern Ireland.

As a section commander in Dungannon in 1978 his patrol was hit by an IED sadly resulting in the death of young Mark Carnie. Steed was awarded a GOC’s Commendation for his actions that day. Steed never forgot Mark and some years later he arranged for a service to be held at Marks grave in Brechin which was attended by a good number from the Regiment along with members of Marks family.

Steed passed his Senior Brecon course with distinction and was selected to be an instructor there. He was also posted to V Company Liverpool Scottish as SPSI demonstrating his professionalism.

He held posts in the Bn as 2IC Recce, CSM HQ Company and as Bn TQMS. Eventually being selected for promotion to WO1.  In 1994 he was posted to 2/51 Highland in Elgin as RSM and finishing his career at Brecon in 1998 as RSM Cambrian Patrol Team.

After his time in the Army Steed remained in uniform becoming an Admin Warrant Officer NRPS working out of Maindy Barracks in Cardiff. He spent the next 18 years ensuring TA/ Reserve units were properly supported in their training efforts, especially in preparation for the many OP Herrick phases prior to their deployment to Afghanistan.

As well as being a very good soldier many will remember Steed for his footballing skills. Strong and skilful, with a commanding presence on the field, he quickly established himself as a key member of the Bn and Infantry teams. He captained both teams through their most successful periods winning all the leagues and championship games they entered gaining huge respect and much silverware. He also played at Army level and for several Combined Forces teams. He also coached and played for the Brecon Corries.

Steed was the epitome of what a Scottish soldier should be and some 44 years in uniform and service to the Crown is an outstanding achievement.

Steed Wilson sadly passed away in hospital at Merthyr Tydfil on 19 January 2024 surrounded by family and friends. Steed’s passing came after a long battle with Multiple System Atrophy {MSA}.

Friends from across United Kingdom attended his funeral in Brecon.

Steed is survived in Brecon by his wife Ann, stepdaughters, grandchildren, and other close family members in Elgin.

Joe Bellingham

QO Hldr

Joe was born in Glasgow on 11 October 1963, the youngest of four brothers.  When Joe was sixteen, he chose to follow his brother Johnny into the Queen’s Own Highlanders and signed on to train as a Junior Drummer at Dreghorn Barracks, Edinburgh.  After passing out of basic training Joe joined A Company in Hong Kong and then went on to become a drummer in the Pipe Band.   

Joe’s career gravitated towards the Recce Platoon, which soon became the Battalion’s Close Observation Platoon when the Battalion was stationed in Northern Ireland.  Joe served in Hong Kong, Tidworth, Northern Ireland, the Falklands, Fort George, Munster, and as an instructor at the Depot, Glencorse.

Joe received an excellent grade on his Skill at Arms Course and a recommendation to return to Warminster as an instructor.  In 1991 he eventually made the decision to transfer to the Small Arms School Corp (SASC), where he served as an instructor and advisor on courses in Junior Division, Senior Division, the AFV Gunnery School in Lulworth, and at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.  He rapidly rose through the ranks and was commissioned.  Joe served on several postings with the SASC and whilst serving in the former Bosnia/Kosovo he was awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service.  He eventually retired from the army in 2006 with the rank of Captain. 

Not wishing to sit idle, he took a job as a Health and Safety Advisor and became Head of Environmental Safety to a large company building wind turbines. In 2017 he became ill.  His condition gradually deteriorated, and in 2021 he was admitted to a care home in Edinburgh, where he passed away on 2 March 2024.  He is survived by his children Christopher and Sophie and his partner Anne.

Bernard Curran

QO Hldr

Bernard who served in the Queen’s Own Highlanders died on 30 November 2023 aged 64.

David A Reid

Cameron

David Alexander “Sandy” Reid, who died on 22 February 2024, was born on 30 June 1938, the younger son of Lt Col and Mrs Roscoe Reid.  His father and his older brother served in the Buffs, but Sandy followed his grandfather Lt Col DP Haig into The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders.  Educated at Wellington College, he carried out his recruit training at the Depot Camerons before going to the RMA Sandhurst.  He was granted a Regular Commission in the Cameron Highlanders on 2 August 1958 and joined the 1st Camerons in Dover.  In 1959, when the 1st Camerons trooped the Regimental Colour for the Colonel of the Regiment Maj Gen Douglas Wimberley at Dover Castle, 2Lt Reid was the Ensign carrying the Colour.  In 1960 he was posted to the Depot Camerons as a training subaltern, returning to the 1st Camerons in Edinburgh when the Depot closed.  On the amalgamation with the Seaforth Highlanders in 1961 he was posted to 1st Bn Queen’s Own Highlanders.  When 1 QO HLDRS moved to the Far East in 1961, he and Lt Michael Stewart took part in the overland expedition which drove four Land Rovers from Edinburgh to Singapore. In 1964 he left the Regular Army and subsequently served in 4th/5th Camerons TA until the reorganisation of the Reserve Forces in 1967.

He became a successful factor, working at Dochfour and then with the Eagle Star lands on the Black Isle.  He later moved south to the Borders. 

He is survived by his widow Clova (née Lyle) and their two daughters and families.

John Dunn

Cameron

John known as Jake who served in the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders passed away on 23 March 2024.

Kenneth MacGregor

QO Hldr

Kenneth served for a number of years in the Queen’s Own Highlanders and afterwards worked for ISS Security (Capgemini).  He died on 25 February 2024 in Raigmore Hospital and is survived by his wife Helen, children, and grandchildren.

Donald J, Campbell

Donald known as Cammy passed away on 19 April 2024.

He passed out at the Junior Soldier Depot, Bridge of Don as part of Findlater Platoon.

During his service with 1 QO Hldrs he was a renowned footballer with ‘A’ Coy, then a part of the Anti-Tank Pl during the Gulf War and on leaving the regiment in November 1991 worked in Baghdad doing private security for three years.  He joined 7 SCOTS and was CSM ‘C’ Coy.

Cammy is survived by his wife Rachel and two daughters.

Tony Glover

QO Hldr

Tony who served in the Queen’s Own Highlanders passed away on 3 May 2024 at the age of 71.

He enlisted in August 1968 into the Junior Infantryman’s Battalion (JIB) at Shorncliffe and after two years of training he joined the 1st Battalion in Edinburgh.  Tony was initially posted to ‘A’ Company and subsequently to the Battalion’s Intelligence Section.

During his first few years in the Battalion Tony became one of several soldiers who were specially selected for their shooting abilities to represent the UK at the Central Treaty Organisation’s NISHAN Shooting competition.

In 1971 the team went on to win NISHAN VIII against very strong opposition from the USA, Turkey, and Iran.  This team was the only British team ever to have won this prestigious competition.

Tony served in Edinburgh, Osnabruck and completed three Operational tours in Northern Ireland before being demobbed in April 1974.

He married Lydia in 1972, just one day after Tony’s nineteenth birthday and they went on to have two children Luke and Andrea.  Once Tony left the army he decided to settle in the south of England and initially went on to run a Bar in Folkestone before starting his own painting and decorating business.

He is survived by his wife Lydia and their two children Luke and Andrea.

James Mitchell

Cameron

James joined the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders in the late 1950’s and became a member of HQ Company on amalgamation.  He moved to the Intelligence Section and on a Battalion Air Portability Exercise on arrival found the jungle on fire. Two of the party were injured and it was left to Mitchell and the IO /RSO Lt Crombie to do all the intelligence work.

In 1963 he was the Bn Postman and moved to the MT Platoon. He was a keen hockey player and a good shot. In 1967 he moved to the QM’s and in 1968 left the Bn to go to Wick as a PSI and after a year moved to 51 Hld Volunteers and his final tour of duty was with the Bn in Osnabrück. He retired as CSgt in 1974.

James passed away in November 2019.  He is survived by his wife Eileen and their 3 children.

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