Obituaries

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.

2019

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Rory Allan Urquhart Grant
Cameronian & QO Hldrs

Rory Grant was born on 22 April 1942 and died on 19 October aged 77 years.

Rory joined the Army on 4 Nov 1961 and was commissioned into The Cameronians.
He transferred to 1 QO Hldrs on 15 May 1968 as OC Recce Platoon in Edinburgh and Sharjah until 1969.

He was promoted to Captain in April 69 and soon after went off to Singapore as ADC to CinC FARELF until late 1970 when he returned to 1 QO Hldrs in Edinburgh.

He remained with the Battalion for a year and was then posted to the Scottish Infantry
Depot – Bridge of Don, 1971 – 73. He retired from the Army at the end of this Tour in early 1974.

George MacDonald

Seaforth & QO Hldrs
George passed away at his home in Wick on 8 October 2019.

A former Seaforth and Queen’s Own Highlander, he was a Stalwart of the Caithness Branch for many years, most of them in post as Secretary and Treasurer.

Iain J, Henderson

QO Hldrs
Iain Henderson was born on 22 May 1945 and died at home in Spain in early October 2019 aged 74 years.

He went to Belmont Abbey and Sedbergh before joining the Army and attending RMA Sandhurst in 1967.

On commissioning 25 October 1969, he joined D Company 1 QO Hldrs in Edinburgh and then moved with the Battalion to Osnabruck, West Germany.

He was posted to the Scottish Divisional Depot, Glencorse in 1972 and retired from the Army in 1974.

Benjamin O, Murray

Seaforth
Benjamin (Ben) passed away late September 2018 aged 86.

Ben originally came from Thurso and was called up for service in the Seaforth in the early 1950’s serving in Egypt, Aden and Gibraltar.

A painter to trade he moved to Nairn and worked at his trade until taking over a Boarding House in the town which he and his wife ran for many years.

Always a very keen supporter of the Seaforth Association he was an active member of the Nairn Branch committee until his health started to fail. However, even when he was unable to attend meetings, he still took a keen interest of the Branch.

Ben Murray was a staunch Seaforth, a “weel kent” face in the Association and in his adopted town. A cheerful, well liked and respected character, he will be sadly missed by all who knew him.

Robert Moir

QO Hldrs
Bob (Tex) passed away on 16 September 2019.

William (Dutch) Holland

QO Hldr

Dutch was born on 10 February 1959 and passed away on 16 September 2019.

Dutch, the son of Seaforth and Queen’s Own Highlander Bill Holland, worked as a miner before joining the Queen’s Own Highlanders.  He passed out of Glencorse as a member of Corunna Squad on the 20th April 1979 joining the 1st Battalion stationed in Ritchie Camp, Kirknewton.   Dutch served as a member of B Company in Hong Kong, Tidworth and the Falklands, before transferring to the Motor Transport Platoon.  He also saw service as a driver at the Scottish Infantry Depot at Glencorse. 

Discharged in 1990 Dutch was with his first partner Donna for 26 years and was with partner Charlotte for 9 years prior to his death.  He took employment in a variety of jobs in civvy street, a delivery driver, kitchen porter, a company which cleaned buildings after fires were amongst the jobs he did.  He then attended university to study nursing and worked in Edinburgh as a clinical nurse for years.  He then moved south and he was working as a Care Assistant at Oakhill House Care Home in Horsham at his time of death.  The Care Home was well represented at his funeral, testament to the respect and feeling they all had for Dutch.  His funeral service was held at Surrey and Sussex Crematorium on Friday 25 October 2019. 

Robert Esden MBE

Seaforth
Robert passed away in September 2019.

John Fairfield

Seaforth

John Fairfield was born in Liverpool on 18 May 1924 and died on 14 September 2019 aged 95.  He joined the 1st Bn Seaforth Highlanders in 1955 on a 3-year engagement having completed his basic training at the Seaforth Depot, Fort George.

John served with the Battalion in Gibraltar.  After de-mob he returned to Liverpool, but he travelled to Dingwall each year to attend Reunion Dinners where he would normally play the “Last Post” on his cherished Bugle.

Gerry Kidd

Gordon, Cameron, Seaforth & QO Hldrs
Gerry Kidd died on 2 September 2019 whilst walking his dog. 

Gerry enlisted into the Army in 1950 and was cap-badged as a Gordon Highlander.  He did a tour as an Instructor at the Depot in 1953/4, but as a Corporal decided to transfer to the Cameron Highlanders.

In 1955 he went with them to Korea where he was a Machine Gun Sergeant.  Gerry would remain with the Battalion on a tour to Aden and then to Dover in 1959.  In 1960 the Battalion moved to Edinburgh to prepare for the Amalgamation with the Seaforth Highlanders.  Gerry duly became Medium Machine Gun Sergeant in 1 Queen’s Own Highlanders.  Gerry went briefly with the Battalion to Singapore before being posted as Signal’s SPSI to the Liverpool Scottish where he would remain until 1964.  He returned to the Battalion in Osnabruck as a CSgt and then to Berlin where he was promoted to CSM of D Company.  Gerry was promoted to WO1 (RSM) in 1970 and went on to fulfil that role with 2/51 Highland Volunteers.  He retired in January 1973.

Gerry was an outstanding athlete winning many 100yd, 200yd and Hurdler titles in his earlier career.

On leaving the Army he worked for the Diplomatic Office as a Social Worker in Glasgow and finally as the boss of the Fedex Delivery Company in NW England based in Carlisle.

Reginald Scott

Liverpool Scottish & Cameron
Reginald (Reg) was born 12 November 1920 and died 1 September 2019 aged 99.

Reg joined the Liverpool Scottish on 17 January 1940 and served with B Company 1LS until he was transferred to 2 Cameron on 24 November 1943.  He sailed to Egypt to be part of 11th (Indian) Inf Bde in 4th (Indian) Division.  In February 1944 2 Camerons moved to Italy where they fought at Monte Cassino, losing 250 casualties in a month of bitter fighting to break through the Gustav Line. 

Duncan Foster

Cameron
Duncan was born in Glasgow in 1925 and died peacefully on 6 August 2019 aged 94.

Duncan moved with his family to Perth where his father became the Station Master.  Duncan joined the Railway Home Guard, but eventually enlisted into The Territorial Army to become a Queen’s Own Cameron Highlander.  After basic training he was sent to the South of England to prepare for the D-Day landing in June 1944.  He landed in Normandy aged 19, with 5 Cameron’s on the day after D-Day, going on to see active service from St Honorine in Normandy to Eindhoven in Holland and on to the Rhine crossing and subsequent advance across Germany, finishing at Cuxhaven and a Victory parade at Bremerhaven.

Duncan was shot and wounded by a passing German aircraft but went on to serve in the British Army of the Rhine from 1945-47.

On leaving the Army Duncan trained and had a very successful career as an Optician in Ireland (Donegal) and later as a locum in Scotland where he had re-located to in 1989.Duncan was awarded the Legion d Honneur on 2nd May 2018 by the French Consul General in Edinburgh, Monsieur Emmanuel Cocher for his part in helping to liberate France from the Nazi’s.

James P, Whotton

Seaforth & QO Hldrs
Jim Whotton as he was known was born on 24 September 1934 and died 15 July 2019 aged 85 years.

Jim completed his Basic Training at Fort George in 1953 and was then posted to A Coy 1 Seaforth in Minden (West Germany).  He would remain with A Coy for 2 years and was promoted to LCpl.  In 1956 he moved with the Battalion to Folkestone, Kent, but on promotion to Cpl in 1957 he went back to the Seaforth Depot at Fort George where as a Training Cpl he would remain for 2 years.

Jim returned to 1 Seaforth by now in Cyprus in 1959 to be a Platoon Sergeant in B Coy.  The Battalion moved back to Edinburgh in early 1961 to amalgamate with 1 Camerons to become 1st Battalion The Queen’s Own Highlanders (Seaforth & Camerons).  Jim remained in the newly formed Battalion as a Pl Sgt in B Coy until 1962 when he was again promoted and posted to 2.51 Highland Volunteers as an SPSI in Wick. 

Jim would remain in Wick choosing to leave the Army in 1965 where he met his wife Christine.

Alex Learmonth

Cameron, Seaforth & QO Hldrs
Alex was born in Aberdeenshire on 4 May 1941 and died on 31 August 2019 aged 78.

Alex was born into a Military family and as soon as he was old enough, he enlisted into The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders.  Shortly after his enlistment the Camerons amalgamated with the Seaforth Highlanders so Alex became a Queen’s Own Highlander.

Alex served in Osnabruck where he met his wife Elsie who was the NAAFI Manager.  Alex spent a large proportion of his 22 years’ service in the MT Platoon and was demobbed in 1982 going on to run a successful Driving School business in Glenrothes.

Archie MacKinnon

QO Hldrs
Archie passed away on 13 July 2019.

Brian G, Gault

QO Hldrs
Brian passed away in July 2019.

John DM, Hardie OBE DL

Cameron
John Donald Morrison Hardie was born on 27 September 1928 in Kisumu, Kenya.  Educated at Beckenham Grammar School in Kent and later at the University of St. Andrews, where he was president of the Students’ Representative Council.  Donald was called up for National Service and commissioned into the Queens Own Cameron Highlanders on 27th June 1953.  He commanded 3 Platoon, A Company of 1st Camerons based at Luneburg West Germany.  By May 1954 Donald had become the Assistant Motor Transport Officer and remained in this post until his retirement from the 1st Battalion, whereupon he joined the 4/5th Queens Own Cameron Highlanders (Territorial Army) on the 1st May 1955.  During his service in 4/5th Camerons, Donald carried out various duties before being promoted to Captain in November 1957 and then taking on the role of Company Second-In-Command of C Company (Islands).  He remained in C Company for the remainder of his military career and when he was promoted to Major in May 1963, he was later appointed its Officer Commanding.  Donald retired from the Territorial Army in October 1966, but it was during his time in the Territorial Army that he founded a woollen exports company, Hardie Wood Ltd.  In 1987 Donald was awarded the OBE for his work for business in Scotland.  After leaving the Territorial Army, Donald also became involved in politics and on two occasions ran as a Conservative candidate for Parliament, losing one election by only 57 votes.  In 1979 he became the executive director of the Institute of Directors in Scotland and held that post for 18 years.  In February 1993 Donald was appointed Deputy Lieutenant for East Lothian.  He also worked tirelessly to help create the National Museum of Scotland in 2006, as well as the 50th anniversary addition in 1994 to the World War Two memorial in the Netherlands to the 51st Highland Division.  He was also session clerk at Humbie Kirk, a post he held for 55 years. Donald passed away on 5 July 2019.  Donald’s wife Sally Pat, whom he married in 1952, predeceased him and he is survived by their three children, David, Robin and Katharine.

Jimmy Ryan

QO Hldrs
Jimmy passed away on 3 July 2019 aged 67.

Jimmy Ryan joined the Liverpool Scottish Army Cadets in 1964 when he was 13 – encouraged no doubt by his father, who served in the Territorial Army with the 1st Battalion the Liverpool Scottish. 

In 1967 when Jim was fifteen, he decided to join the army and passed the tests to become an Infantry Junior Leader at Oswestry.

Jim was one of nine children.  When he was asked about why he wanted to join the army he joked that he had only signed up to get himself a bed!  Little did he know that that bed would be in a barrack room with ten other smelly sixteen-year olds!

Surprisingly, when Jim first joined up, he was badged as a Kingsman, having been persuaded by one of Recruiting Sergeants in the Army Careers Office to join the local regiment ie The Kings (Manchester and Liverpool) Regiment. 

However, as fate would have it, the Commanding Officer of the Infantry Junior Leaders Battalion (IJLB) at the time was Lieutenant Colonel ID Cameron – of the Queen’s Own Highlanders. 

When Colonel Cameron had his initial chat with the new recruits he picked up on Jimmy’s scouse accent – and when he found out that Jim was a former army cadet in the Liverpool Scottish, he told Jim that many years ago when he was a Captain, he was posted to the Liverpool Scottish as their Adjutant, and that he knew a Regimental Policemen by the name of Ryan!  Jim confirmed that would have been his dad! 

The CO immediately turned around to the RSM, and said “there’s been a mistake here RSM, this lad should be in the Queen’s Own Highlanders – sort it out”.  A few days later Jimmy was changing the buttons on his number two dress from the Kings Regiment to that of the Queen’s Own Highlanders!

Jimmy passed out of Junior Leaders in 1969 and joined Delta Company of the 1st Battalion the Queen’s Own Highlanders in Edinburgh, where he was soon identified as a good shot, joining the pool of young talent training for the NISHAN shooting competition.  He very quickly became a Gravel Belly!  Many years later Jim put these marksmanship skills to good use when coaching the young cadets of Merseyside ACF

After Edinburgh, the Battalion was posted to Osnabruck in Germany and Jim was soon promoted to Lance Corporal, where he had a busy life, converting to the battalion’s new role as Mechanised Infantry. 

Whilst in Germany Jim completed three tours of Northern Ireland.  The Battalion’s first tour was to Ballymacarrett in East Belfast in 1971, and was somewhat of a baptism of fire, with the sound of shots being fired and bombs going off in the city centre nearly every other week.  Thankfully there were no fatalities on that first tour whilst the battalion were learning the skills of how to deal with the terrorist threat. 

During this tour Jim’s section was deployed after a bus was set alight – a favourite pastime of the local hoods at the time. 

Jimmy was standing next to Joe McMenemy, his section commander, when shots were fired through the flames of the bus, passing between Jim and Joe, and narrowly missing them both.  One of the shots, however did hit one of a group of women who were standing directly behind them, gleefully jeering and shouting abuse at the troops whilst watching the bus burn.  Whilst a follow-up was going on to try to catch the shooter, Jim and Joe gave instant first aid to the woman – undoubtedly helping to save her life.   

Jim left the army after his six-year contract was up – to return to Liverpool, to marry Sue (the sister of Wally Tyrer), and to settle down in a job as a policeman.   

He became a regular visitor to V (Liverpool Scottish) Company of 1/51 Highland Volunteers dropping in whenever he could to have a chat and cup of tea with the PSI’s.

During his spare time, he became an Adult Instructor with the Army Cadet Force – something he was to continue for the rest of life until he had to resign shortly before his death.  He rose to the rank of Major, having been a detachment commander, a Company Commander, and Battalion Shooting Officer.  During this time, he had a profound influence on many young cadets and adult instructors, as was witnessed by the numerous members of Merseyside ACF who turned up to show their respects at his funeral.

Jim was a long-time member of the Edinburgh Branch of the Queen’s Own Highlanders Regimental Association – he and his wife Sue regularly came up to Scotland to attend Regimental Association dinners and functions and he marched on Armed Forces Day in Edinburgh whenever he could.  He was also a regular attender at the Liverpool Scottish annual reunion dinners.

Jim Ryan sadly passed away in his sixty seventh year surrounded by his family on 3 July 2019.  He died from complications arising from a cancerous tumour in his brain.  He is survived by his wife Sue, and their children Stuart and Vicki. 

Alexander B Finnie

Cameron
Sandy passed away on 18 June 2019.

Donald C, Munro

QO Hldrs
Donald passed away on 3 June 2019.

James A, Leith TD

Cameronian & Gordons
Alex was born on 25 April 1933 and died on 24 May 2019 aged 86.

Alex served from 1951-1957 with Aberdeen University OTC.

From August 1957 – August 1959 he was Cap Badge Cameronians for 3 months during training, then transferred to The Gordon Highlanders.  He served for 3 months in Dar-Es-Salem after which he transferred to the Mauritius Defence Company.  He completed his National Service in August 1959 and was demobbed at Gordon Barracks, Bridge of Don, Aberdeen.

In February/March 1958 he was commissioned into the 4th/7th Battalion Gordon Highlanders TA in the rank of Major.  After the amalgamation of the 4th/7th Gordons and 5th/6th Gordons into the 3rd Battalion Gordon Highlanders in 1961, he continued to serve in the 3rd Battalion until 1970/1971.

He carried the Queen’s Colour at the 3rd Battalion Presentation of Colours at Balmoral on 19th August 1961.  (Col Roland Buchan TD carried the Regimental Colour at the parade). 

Alex was a Life Member of The Gordon Highlanders Association.

He qualified as a lawyer and served for several years with law firm, Paull & Williamson, in Aberdeen. 

Robert Moohan

Seaforth
Robert passed away in May 2019.

Alexander Henderson MBE

Cameron & QO Hldrs
Sandy Henderson died on 15 May 2019.  He had served with the Camerons and Queen’s Own Highlanders where he was commissioned.

He went on to work with the Cadets where he was Cadet Executive Officer in Inverness for many years.

Hugh Lumsden

Cameron
Hugh passed away early 2019.

Addie MacKenzie

Lovat Scouts
Addie was born and raised in Beauly in 1924 and died 2019 aged 95.

He joined his local unit the Lovat Scouts aged 18 in 1942 where he was taught to ski and survive in inhospitable ranges like the Appenines in Italy and Austrian Alps where the Regiment fought during WW2.  He was demobbed in 1946 and returned to Inverness where he took up Nursing, working his way to becoming Director of Nursing Education for Forth Valley Health Board.

Addie was a fine Shinty player and with the Lovat Team from Glenurquhart lifted the Camanachd Cup in 1953.  He retired to be a JP and Councillor for Tongue and Farr, North Sutherland where he and his wife Ishbel bought a Croft.

Duncan MacLeod

QO Hldrs
Duncan (Dunky) passed away on 9 April 2019.

Eric McMonies

QO Hldrs
Eric passed away on 5 April 2019.

Seoras McIntosh

QO Hldr

George JE, McIntosh

George (Seoras or Tosh) born on 9 December 1947 and died on 24 February 2019 aged 71.

24042523 George (Seoras or Tosh) McIntosh joined the Queen’s Own Highlanders on the 4th of January 1964 passing out as a member of Anzio Squad in March 1965.  On arrival with the 1st Battalion, serving in Osnabruck, he became a member of B Company before moving to the Pipes and Drums the following year when the battalion moved to Berlin.  He remained as a piper with Pipes and Drums until his discharge in 9th of December 1974 in the rank of LCpl.  During that period, he served in BAOR, Sharjah and Northern Ireland.  When he left the Army, he worked for a short time as a driver then trained as a Welder at the Fabrication yard at Ardersier.

He left there after they had been on strike for some weeks and secured a job with a local animal By Products Company. He started as an Operative and was offered a Manager’s position at their plant in Conon Bridge where he remained for four years.  When the firm was sold to a large national company, he became a Project Manager with them and worked mainly in England and Wales.  After being made redundant he opened a shop in Elgin selling Leather goods, but this was not for him. He saw a gap in the market for computer repairs by going into people’s homes, offering advice fixing their problems and installing hardware and programmes as required.  Tosh also assisted the Regimental Association in many ways during this period, by taking over the day to day running of the website, Cabarfeidh.com and installing computer hardware and programmes.  He was the official photographer at many Regimental functions and gatherings leaving behind an invaluable photographic record of the period.  The Standards carried by Branches of the Association were designed and procured by Seoras along with a variety of Regimental items of clothing and memorabilia.  In association with Ronnie Sinclair and Ewan MacPherson they set up the “Moray Loons”, an annual get together for QO HLDRS from Moray in the Seaforth Club in Elgin which continues to this day.  His activities also took in visits to Belgium and France, cementing vital links with groups and associations with a shared interest in the Seaforth and Camerons exploits during the First and Second World Wars.

A very large Regimental Contingent gathered at the WG Catto Funeral Home in Elgin on the 1st of March 2019 to join family and friends in their farewell to Tosh. The story of his life was excellently expressed by Humanist Celebrant Janet Donnelly. The first-class turnout allowed us to line a large section of the route from the Funeral Home to the graveside. The Highland Branch Standard, mentioned previously, was carried and lowered by Terry McQueen as the hearse, led by Pipe Major Richard Anderson passed. In addition, this was repeated as the coffin was lowered to its final resting place. Good friend Ronnie Sinclair led the paying of individual respects at the graveside. Refreshments and craic followed at the Seaforth Club, fittingly, where the framed pennant hangs as a permanent reminder of the part he played in establishing the Moray Loons

James Munro

Seaforth
James passed away on 2019.

James of Dornoch and Inverness served in the Seaforth Highlanders during his National Service died in 2019.

Nigel G(Geoff) Smith OBE

Seaforth & QO Hldr

Geoff was born in 10 July 1939 and died on 11 July the day after his 80th Birthday at home in Devon.

Geoff joined the Army on 7 February 1956 aged 16 ½ years as a Junior Leader. He was Commissioned having served in the ranks for 13 years on 14 August 1969. He held many Quartermaster appointments and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel (QM) on 6 December 1991 retiring in 1995.

This Obituary is more of a Eulogy and has been produced by a close friend Major (QM) Dougie Shepherd.

Dougie states – having made note of Geoff’s passing on Facebook, and having seen the fantastic response which this post evoked, I thought it only fitting that I should expand on my knowledge of him, patchy as it is, but covering those many years since we first met in 1960, when I re-enlisted into 1 Seaforth, subsequent to my National service.

We first met, during a final series of exercises / schemes as they were called in those days. It was late in the year. Weather conditions were bad. Here was this “Ex Boy” (I make no apology for using this expression to describe Geoff or those many other members of our regiment, and there are many excellent examples who came from those superb Junior Training establishments such as Oswestry, Shorncliffe, Troon, and Plymouth), marching purposefully around this tented camp, smart as a button stick. He set his standards then and stuck by them throughout his whole military service, regardless of any criticism which came his way. And there was plenty of that. And why? Only because he set the bar so high.

I am sure Geoff was a Sergeant in Munster prior to amalgamation. (7 Feb 1961). He must have been special. There were not many youngsters who were promoted to Sergeant in those days and who could survive in a Sergeants Mess full of the real old and bold. Many with rows of campaign ribbons on their chest. E.g. RSM Wullie Murdoch, CSM Jim Vickers, CSM Casey Cobban, CSM Fred Shenton, CSM (Sweaty Feet) Peat, Sgt Shake MacKenzie, Sgt Dick Foss, Sgt Nod Hunter and many more. Geoff didn’t have any medals in those days but should have been awarded one for surviving that lot!

Amalgamation came and went in 1961 and we were posted to Singapore where our paths crossed again, mainly on the rifle range. We could both shoot well and were members of the Battalion Shooting Team, or Gravel Bellies as they were known.

Geoff was posted back to Fort George as a Training Sergeant at some stage and we were not to meet again until January 1964 in Hythe where we both attended the same Skill at Arms Course. This was right up our street. I can remember like it was yesterday when the results were read out at the end of the course. Only 2 x A gradings on the course – Sgt Smith and Cpl Shepherd. Unknown at the time, for two men from the same Regiment to achieve such a result, and both on the same course.
Our next posting was to Osnabruck in West Germany. I have a vivid memory of Geoff being there because he bought quite a flash looking Hillman Minx car (Was there ever such a thing?) from John Cooke, the Mess Caterer.

Next stop was Berlin where Geoff was CSM B Company. Actually, he was known by the Jocks as the Company commander but that’s another story!

In 1969 we were posted to Sharjah in the Persian Gulf. By this time, I had been Recce Pl Sgt for a year or so and it was here that I worked closely with Geoff for the first time, when he took over as OC Recce Platoon. (Commissioned in August 69). He believed in keeping us busy! We spent more time out of barracks charging around the desert and into the Jebel than anyone else. And when in barracks, to prevent us getting bored, he had us reconfigure our barrack rooms, as he put it, to make them look as much like home as possible. We painted; we made furniture; we made carpets of a kind (painted cardboard). I have to admit we made quite a good job of it. All down to his drive and initiative. What a man! For him there was no such thing as a; “good soldier out in the field”, “not so good in barracks”. Average was not a word which he understood. He strove for excellence, a word he fully understood and ensured we did too.

From 1970 our paths seldom crossed again, until I was Commissioned in 1981. Geoff in the meantime undertook various jobs such as Quartermaster of; 1 Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders where he was highly regarded. On promotion to Lieutenant Colonel (QM) he undertook Quartermaster appointments with; 1 QO Hldrs, HQ 1st (BR) Corps and the ARRC Sp Battalion in West Germany and ultimately HM Research Establishment Porton Down where he worked his magic on many an unsuspecting character and was very highly regarded. Geoff retired from the Army in 1995 having served for 39 years.

Did the man ever stop? NO!

He was a painter of note and his Iraq and NI Water Colours adorn many a Queens Own Highlander living room wall.

After retirement he lived out the remainder of his life in Devon where he acted as secretary to the Southern Branch of the A&SH Regimental Association. He was also instrumental in setting up the LE Officer Lucknow Dinner Club of the Highlanders (Seaforth, Gordons, Cameron’s and QOHldrs). Its continuing success today is very much due to the hard work and effort which Geoff put in during the early stages of its life.

In finishing this brief Eulogy to one whom I can call a genuine friend, may I apologise for any errors which it may contain. This is due to the march of time and to the demands aged 81, of my failing memory.

No eulogy to Geoff would be complete without a final word about Geoff’s unfailingly supportive wife Margaret. She is the perfect example of the army wife who has stood by her soldier husband through hard times and the constant turmoil of service life. I wonder how many times she moved house during their time together? Well done Margaret. “You also followed the drum”. Well done Geoff.

Cabar Feidh Gu Brath
Dougie Shepherd

Ian H, Macdonald

Ian H, Macdonald

 Cameron

Major Ian Hesketh Macdonald was born in Weymouth in 1920 and died on 15 August 2019 aged 99 years. 

 The son of Capt ARA Macdonald RN, Ian was educated at Old Malthouse, Sherborne and on his Grandfathers Yorkshire Moor at Middlesmoor.  He was commissioned from RMA Sandhurst in 1939 into The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders.  On reporting to the Camerons Depot in Stirling in September 1940 he was immediately posted to 11 Scottish Commando who were training in secret on Arran.

 In June 1941 he fought with 11 Commando at the Litani River, Lebanon a daring raid against the Vichy French.  Ian commanded 10 Troop with ‘layforce’ and they were landed by boat behind enemy lines and captured the Northern Litani Bridge, but overall the raid achieved only limited success.

 The CO, Colonel Pedder and 4 of his Officers were killed and there were over 100 casualties.  Ian played down his part in the raid, but he did let on that withdrawing on one’s stomach with a kilt on was not an act of war!

 Ian returned in 1941 to 2nd Battalion Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders to fight in North Africa, but his war ended when the British were overrun in Tobruk in 1942 and his hectic efforts to evade capture for 6 days in the desert near Benghazi ended with his capture by the Italians.

 Ian was to be a POW at the Chieti PG21 POW camp until 1945.  Ian dug tunnels and just before a “break out” he was transferred to Sulmona PG78 POW camp then by train to Germany and Aflag 79 camp near Braunschweig.

 After his release in 1945 he returned to the 2nd Camerons in Trieste and was appointed Adjutant.  He commanded a company of the battalion when it was disbanded at Cameron Barracks in 1948.  After serving at the Depot Camerons, he attended the Staff College and then became GSO 2 of Northumberland District.  Posted to the 1st Camerons, he was on parade as a Field Officer when the battalion received New Colours from HM The Queen at Balmoral in 1955.  He served with the 1st Camerons in Korea as OC B Company and was then posted to HQ FARELF as DAA & QMG.  He returned to the 1st Camerons in Dover in 1958 as OC D Company, before retiring in April 1960.

 In 1947 he married Miss Marjorie Lister and on retiring from the Army he joined RA Lister & Co as a personnel manager, making his home in Gloucestershire.  His younger brother Lt Donald J A Macdonald also held a commission in The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders and served with 1st Bn Seaforth Highlanders in Burma and Java.  He was killed on active service in Java in 1946.

Errol Flynn

Ian (Errol) Flynn

 Cameron & QO Hldr

Ian Flynn, better known as “Errol” Flynn, spent his formative years living with his family in the Edinburgh district of Gorgie.  In 1948, when turned sixteen years of age, he joined the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders as a boy soldier, going on to serve with the Cameron’s before becoming a Queen’s Own Highlander on amalgamation with the Seaforth Highlanders in 1961.

 Ian was a keen sportsman and regularly competed in water polo, basketball and football.  He went on to complete a 22-year engagement, retiring as a Colour Sergeant.

On demob he initially found work at McDermott’s in Ardersier, before returning to Edinburgh to take up work as a driver for Group 4 Security.  Ian was a regular attender at the Cameron Highlander reunions in Inverness and often turned up to the Edinburgh Branch of the Queen’s Own Highlanders Regimental Association, immaculately turned out, sporting his beloved Cameron Highlanders tie!

Over the last few years of his life Ian was sadly struck down by Alzheimer’s and became a resident of the Erskine Care Home in Gilmerton.  Until his death on 24 November 2019, at the age of 87, he was cared for by the compassionate and dedicated staff of Erskine.

Ian was laid to rest on 2 December 2019 and fittingly, the March of the Cameron Men was played as he was interred.

Graham D, Anderson

Graham D, Anderson

Seaforth & QO Hldr    

Major Graham D’Arcy Anderson was born on 28 October 1932 in Glasgow and died on 23 November aged 87 years.

He was educated at Christ’s Hospital and RMA Sandhurst, Intake 9, gaining a Regular Commission on 2 August 1952.

Graham was commissioned into 1 Seaforth and became a Platoon Commander in D Company for 4 years in Buxtehude, Elgin and Egypt.

In 1955 he became PA to COS MELF in Cyprus and then went back to Regimental duty as a Captain with 1 Seaforth in Gibraltar and Munster (W Germany) as Assistant Adjutant and Signals Officer until 1961 and the Amalgamation with 1 CAMERONS.

Graham was then posted to be Adjutant of 11 Seaforth in Dingwall until June 1963 and then on to the Staff as GSO 3 (Ops) and GSO 2 (Ops) as a Major to Headquarters in Kenya until June 1966.

Graham then move to St Andrews where he was Training Major of the University OTC until September 1968. Further Staff appointments followed as DAQMG (Maint) in HQ Eastern District, Colchester and DAAG R & LS in HQ Scotland, Edinburgh until October 1972.  His next posting saw him move back to Colchester where he became Training Officer of the Military Corrective Training Centre (Army Jail) until April 1975.

Graham returned to Regimental Duty this time as OC Admin/HQ Company of 1 Queen’s Own Highlanders in Osnabruck / Kirknewton and Belize until September 1977.  Grahams last 8 years of Service would see him fill ‘Recruiting’ appointments in London,

Woolwich and Colchester.  He retired from the Army on 27 May 1985 and moved North to Drumnadrochit in the Highlands.

Jas Anderson

Jas Anderson

 Cameronian & QO Hldrs

Jas passed away in Rutherglen on 4 December 2019, aged 76.

He joined 13 Pl D Coy in Berlin in 1968 on arrival from the Cameronians.

Alisdair McInroy

QO Hldr & Hldrs

Alisdair McInroy passed away on 7 December 2019 aged 54 years.

2018

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Jack McCall

Cameron
Jack McCall passed away on 28 December 2018.

Ronnie Dove

Seaforth
Ronnie died at Christmas 2018.

After completing his training, he was posted to 1 Seaforth’s who at the end of WW2 was stationed in Malaya.  Ronnie was a National Service Officer stationed in Gillman Barracks, Singapore.  He as a Platoon Commander conducted counter terrorist Patrols in the Malayan jungle.  In May 1948 2nd Seaforth were amalgamated with 1st Seaforth and Ronnie found himself surplus to requirements and was seconded to the Royal Military Police initially in Singapore and latterly Ceylon.  He completed his National Service in 1949 and returned to Edinburgh to become an Estate Agent.

Ian S, Gibb MC psc

Seaforth & QO Hldrs
Ian Gibb was born on 7 July 1926 and died in December 2018 aged 92.

He was commissioned into the Seaforth Highlanders on 19 August 1945.  He served with 1 Seaforth in Java FARELF from 1946-50.

He was awarded the MC for gallantry and exceptional leadership in 1950 having commanded a Rifle Platoon in ‘A’ Company since June 1948 fighting bandits in Malaya.

In 1951 he was posted to the Highland Bde Training Centre at Fort George and in 1952 back to 1 Seaforth in Germany.  He then spent 2 years, 53-55 as an Instructor at Eaton Hall OCS UK.  In 1955 he again joined 1 Seaforth as a Company Commander on Operations in the Western Aden Protectorate, Egypt, Aden and then in 1956 in Gibraltar.

He attended the Staff College, Camberley in 1957 before taking up a post as GSO3 HQ 51(H) Div (TA) and Highland District, Perth, 58-59.  During the early 60’s he was again a Company Commander with 1 Seaforth in Germany before transferring to 1 Queen’s Own Highlanders (Edinburgh) on 7 February 1961 on amalgamation.

He remained a Company Commander with 1 QO Hldrs in Singapore 61-62 before taking up a Staff appointment as GSO2 HQ FARELF Singapore 62-64.  He became Training Officer of The Liverpool Scottish (TA) from 64-66 before his final posting as DAA G (2) Manning MOD (Army) UK.  He retired voluntarily in December 1967 after a distinguished military career.

Michael A, McCulloch

QO Hldrs
Michael died on 24 November 2018 aged 68.

William RD, Anderson

Cameron
William Anderson was born on 25 May 1931 and died on 20 November 2018 aged 87. 

Dougie MacLachlan

Cameron
Dougie MacLachlan passed away in November 2018.

Mr Dougie MacLachlan died in November 2018 in Lochaber aged 85.  He enlisted for National Service in 1952 (No 22628767) and was posted to 1st Bn Black Watch during the Korean War.  He later joined the 4th/5th Camerons TA and was CSM of B (Lochaber) Company from 1965 until the reorganisation of the TA in 1967.  An outstanding shinty player, he represented Kilmallie for many years.

Jock MacKenzie

Seaforth
Jock was born in 1921 and died in 2018.  He served as a Seaforth throughout the Second World War and was demobbed soon after.

Eddie Chorley

QO Hldrs
Eddie passed away quite unexpectedly in his sleep on 5 October 2018 aged 67.

Eddie Chorley passed out of the Scottish Infantry Depot, Glencorse in October 1970 as a member of Burma Squad.  Before signing on he came from Johnstone where he was a time-served joiner.

Eddie served with the Queen’s Own Highlanders in Edinburgh, BAOR and Northern Ireland, mostly with the Bonny B.  It was whilst serving with the Battalion that he passed his HGV test.

When he was demobbed, he quickly found work as a joiner with the local Council and after successfully re-sitting his HGV exam which had by that time ran out, subsequently found work as a driver.

Although he lived on the west coast of Scotland, he was a regular attender at the Edinburgh Branch where he enjoyed meeting up with old comrades at social functions and marching on Armed Forces Day.

He was an extremely well-liked and respected member of the Regimental Association and will be very much missed by all who knew him. 

Jim Fraser (17)

QO Hldrs
Jim died on 22 August 2018.

He joined the Battalion in 1964 passing out with Mareth Squad as Best Recruit and Best SLR Shot.  A member of a very fine Battalion Shooting Team and a fine all-around sportsman, he was one of the smartest men in the Queen’s Own Highlanders.

Anne Donlevy

QO Hldrs
Wife of John Donlevy announce the passing of Anne Donlevy on 9 August 2018.

Robert A, Malloch

Seaforth & QO Hldrs
Robert passed away on 5 August 2018 peacefully in France. 

Bob enlisted straight from school, joining The 1st Battalion Seaforth Highlanders in Münster and going on to serve in the Queen’s Own Highlanders through the 60s and 70s and finally leaving the battalion when stationed in Tidworth in 1983.  He finished his service on the Long Service List with positions at the Regular Commissions Board, Westbury as RQMS and then the Recruit Selection Centre Edinburgh before he was finally discharged in 1988. Bob had a special fondness for his time as a young man serving in the Far East and BAOR.

Thomas L, Riddell

Seaforth
Thomas passed away on 30 June 2018.

Tom was conscripted in 1948.  Within months of completing his National Service, he was recalled serving a further two years in Korea.  After a few months in civvy street, he re-enlisted finally completing his reserve commitment in 1960.

Molly Murray

QO Hldrs
Wife of Dougie Murray passed away on 20 May 2018. 

Dougie Murray was in the Military Band in Singapore, but many will remember him in his civilian occupation as a driver at the Depot Glencorse and of course as the man who took all the Passing Out Parade squad photos over a 27-year period at the Depot.

Robert Munro

QO Hldrs
Robert (Bobby) passed away on 26 April 2018. 

Robert served in the battalion from 1962-1971 in the QM department as a sign writer.

John Yarrick

Cameron & QO Hldrs
John passed away on 21 April 2018.

A fine soldier who originally served in the Cameron Highlanders and later with the Queen’s Own Highlanders. Mav passed away on 21st April

Hoss MacLean

QO Hldrs
Hoss Maclean was born on 20 November 1945 and died on 10 April 2018 aged 72 years.

Hoss served in the QO HLDRSS from 25 September 1971 until 24 October 1983.  He was a fine man, very helpful, quietly spoken, but strong in stature.  He is remembered as a mainstay of the Macdelta Company Quartermaster Sergeants team.  He served in N Ireland during the Battalions early tours and in the Falklands.  His period of service also took in tours in Belize, Hong Kong and New Zealand.  He was awarded the GSM NI and Falkland’s Medals.

A large Regimental Contingent (General to Jock) paraded in Lossiemouth on a fine sunny day to say farewell.  A first-class service conducted by Lay Preacher Campbell Murray paid a fine tribute to Hoss as we remember him.  A Guard of Honour lined the route from the Steven Thomson & Son Funeral Home to the hearse coming to attention as the coffin passed.  At the Lossiemouth Churchyard Rod Sutherland, Robert CW, Donnie Petrie and Chalky Whyte provided the bearer party to his final resting place.  The RAF also did him proud with a well-deserved impromptu fly past at this stage.

Jack Iveson

REME
Jack passed away in 2018.   

Jack was the LAD WO1 when we were 432s in Osnabruck in the early 70s. The OC LAD may have been Peter Gange.

Jack’s obituary is worthy of inclusion on our Cabarfeidh site.  You will remember as well as I do the valiant work done by these LAD Trojans to keep our 432s on the road night and day while we were on exercise.  How did they do it?  Late evening a 432 would go off the road requiring an engine change and the Comd would be screaming for it to be back on the road by dawn. Job done.  That’ll be 2 crates of beer please, Sir. Their contribution to the regiment was immense.

Ronnie Henderson

QO Hldrs
Ronnie passed away on 7 March 2018.

A fine soldier whose brothers also served in the Queen’s Own Highlanders.  He was Harbourmaster at Portree at his time of joining the 2nd Battalion.

Sandy Forbes

Seaforth
Sandy passed away peacefully on 25 February 2018 at the Kintyre House aged Care Home in Invergordon.

He was a proud ex Seaforth Highlander and member of the Association Pipes and Drums.

Tam Doughty

Cameron & QO Hldrs
Tam passed away on 13 February 2018 in Liberton Hospital, Edinburgh.

Sidney Thomas Doughty, better known as “Tam”, was born in Glasgow, and once old enough, joined the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders.  After amalgamation he rebadged to become a Queen’s Own Highlander.

Tam went on to complete twenty-two years’ service, spending time in Rifle Company’s and the Mortar Platoon, where he was a Mortar Fire Controller.  He served in Singapore, Brunei, BAOR, Belize, and Northern Ireland and was always renowned for his immaculate turnout.  His final posting was as a Colour Sergeant at the Infantry Trials and Development Unit in Warminster. 

On demob he found employment as the resident handyman for the British Legion/Poppy Factory in Edinburgh and on final retirement, settled down in Musselburgh with his wife, Betty, son, Brian, and daughter, Sharon

In 2016 he had a stroke, which affected his mobility and he sadly passed away on the 13 February 2018.  His coffin was piped into the Chapel of Rest at Seafield Crematorium on the 26 February 2018 to the tune of “The March of the Cameron Men”.  He was surrounded by friends, family, and members of the Regimental Association. 

James B, Hutton

Gordon
James (Jim) was born on 12 July 1936 and died on 10 February 2018 aged 81.

He enlisted into The Gordon Highlanders in January 1957 where he progressed rapidly. Jim was a Sergeant Instructor at Bridge of Don (Gordon’s Depot) 1959-60 before returning to the Battalion as a Platoon Sgt in Celle and Kenya 1961-63.  Promoted to CSgt in 1963 he became an Instructor at the RMA Sandhurst until 1966.

Jim was promoted to WO2 in 1967 and appointed CSM D Coy 1 Gordons in Minden, Germany.  In 1969 he was appointed SPSI ‘D’ (Gordon) Company 2/51 Highland Volunteers in Aberdeen but was swiftly redeployed to 1 Gordons in Minden as RQMS 1969-1971.

He was to return to 2/51 Highland Volunteers in Elgin as WO1 (RSM) in 1971 for 18 months before returning to 1 Gordons in Fort George and Singapore in 1972-74.

Jim was commissioned in June 1974 and appointed MTO 1 Gordons.  Promoted to Captain in June 1976 he continued as MTO in Belfast before becoming Technical QM in 1978 in Chester.

Jim retired from the Army in July 1979 and went to work for the Police (Northern Constabulary) in Inverness.  On retiring from the Police, he worked at RHQ the Highlanders in Cameron Bks.

Robert D, Strachan

Gordon
Robert (Bob) was born on 8 September 1930 and died on 2 January 2018 aged 87.

Bob was the son of CSM Doug Strachan 5th/7th Gordons and his two brothers Alex and Tiger both served with the Regiment.

Bob who hailed from Banchory joined the ACF in 1944 where he became the Drum Major of the ACF Pipe Band.  In 1949 he joined the Gordons TA moving to the Regular Army as a Gordon Highlander in 1950.  He completed his training at Fort George, Inverness and joined the 1st Battalion in Germany.  He was soon promoted to LCpl and was Batman to Lt Col WDH Duke MC.

Bob went on to serve with A Coy in Malaya 1951-1954 and was promoted to Sgt in June 1952.

In 1954 the Battalion returned to Redford Barracks, Edinburgh where Bob was promoted to CSgt and was posted as an Instructor to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst for 18 months.  He returned to B Coy 1 Gordons for the Cyprus Tour in 1956 and on return moved with the Battalion to Dover in 1957 before moving North again to Aberdeen with the Recruiting Team.  In 1958 Bob was posted to the Gordon Depot, Bridge of Don, Aberdeen as an Instructor where he would remain until it closed in 1960.

In 1961 he returned to D Coy 1 Gordons in Celle, Germany (BAOR) where he was promoted to WO2.  On promotion, he moved with the Battalion to Kenya 1962-1964 before serving as CSM of A Coy in Borneo in 1965-1966.

On returning from Borneo the Battalion undertook the Royal Guard at Balmoral where Bob was both the Battalions ‘Drill Sergeant’ and Guard CSM.

In 1967 Bob was posted back to the Depot, Bridge of Don as the Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant (RQMS).

In 1968 he was promoted to WO1 and returned to 1 Gordons in Minden, Germany (BAOR) as Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) until 1970.

Bob was commissioned in 1970 and went on to complete appointments as Assistant Adjutant, Motor Transport Officer (MTO) and OC PRI through to 1973.

During the period 1973-1975 Bob was the Unit Families Officer in Fort George, Inverness and in Singapore for which he received his MBE

In 1975 he took over as Technical Quartermaster (QM Tech) in Singapore and continued in post when the Battalion returned to Fort George in 1976 and then in Palace Barracks, Belfast through to 1978.

In 1978 he was promoted to Major and took up the appointment of Quartermaster for the move to Chester where he remained until 1980.

Bob was posted to the Scottish Infantry Depot, Bridge of Don in 1980 and would remain there until 1985.  He was promoted to Lt Col (Quartermaster) in 1983 and retired from the Regular Army in 1985.

Bob was a member of the Volunteer Staff at Drum Castle, Aberdeenshire and an active member of Murcar Golf Club.  He assumed the appointment of Secretary to The Gordon Highlanders Regimental Association working out of the Doocot at St Luke’s, Viewfield Road (Museum) from 1992 to 1 September 2000.  He and his wife of 63 years ‘Mollie’ remained very active Volunteer and linchpins of the Gordon Highlanders Museum, where they worked closely with their old friends Lt Gen Sir Peter and Alison Graham.

2017

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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

Cameron
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

Seaforth
Jimmy passed away of 30 September 2017 aged 82.

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

Jimmy Fraser

Seaforth
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

Cameron
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

Cameron
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

Seaforth
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.