Obituaries 2022

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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Major Charles Michael Crawford Crowe MBE

A&SH, Seaforth & QOHldr

Mike was born on 23 April 1931 and died on 16 January aged 90 years.

Mike’s father, a doctor, served in the Black Watch in the Great War. So it was no surprise when eighteen-year-old Mike Crowe joined the Army in 1949, he chose to be a Highlander. He attended Eaton Hall Officer Cadet School and was given a National Service commission into the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in early 1950. His first posting was a Training Platoon Commander at the Highland Brigade Training Centre, Fort George. In Sept 1951, he was detached to 7 A&SH as a Platoon Commander in Stirling. Promoted to Lieutenant in May 52, he returned to Fort George before joining A Company, 1 A&SH at Christmas of that year.

On arrival, his Commanding Officer informed him that the Black Watch were running low on platoon commanders in Korea. As a result, Mike and one other would be joining 1 BW on active service with immediate effect. An operational tour in Korea followed from Feb to Sept 53 and he remained with the Black Watch for their transfer to Kenya for the Mau Mau campaign.

Now an acting Captain, he became the Military Transport Officer (MTO) for HQ 39 Infantry Bde in Kenya until May 54, had a spell at the BW Depot in Perth before returning to Kenya as MTO 1 BW, (still not having learned to drive). In Apr 55 he was granted a regular commission in 1 Seaforth’s as Assistant Adjutant/Intelligence Officer. 1 Seaforth’s were just starting their tour in Egypt and Aden. He joined the Seaforth’s in Dec 55, from the Black Watch troopship in Port Said. John Whitelaw, expecting to collect all Black Watch Officers for lunch, returned with just Crowe to Tel-el-Kebir.

Mike joined Support Company, with fellow Captains Whitelaw, MacLaren and Neil under command of Major Ted Toms. Commanding the MMG Platoon, he served in Gibraltar and Munster (West Germany). A substantive Captain in May 58 he became 2 i/c B Company in Munster, through the move to Edinburgh and the amalgamation in Feb 61.

In the newly formed regiment, Mike was 2 i/c and then OC A Company, 1 Queen’s Own Highlanders (Seaforth & Camerons) (1 QOHldrs) in Edinburgh and Singapore. In May 62 Mike had his first posting to Depot Fort George as OC Training Company. Promoted to Major (Apr 65) he saw two years of active service on the staff at HQ Aden Brigade (Aden/Radfan). In Jan 66 he took command of C Company, 1 QOHldrs in Berlin and Sharjah. Choosing to remain with 1 QOHldrs in Osnabruck and Edinburgh, he took on the role as Unit Families Officer until May 72.

His 6 year spell with the Battalion ended when he was posted as DAQMG Accommodation 1, at HQ BAOR in Rheindahlen (West Germany) until May 75. It was followed by a move to the MOD as GSO 2, 1E (A)3. Hell bent on returning to Regimental Duty, he rejoined the QOHldrs as OC HQ Company, serving in a legendary capacity in Kirknewton, Northern Ireland, Hong Kong, Tidworth and the Falkland Islands from Oct 77 to Jul 83 when he ended his regimental service.

Mike moved to Bielefeld (West Germany) as OC HQ Company HQ 1 (BR) Corps, then to HQ 52 Lowland Bde in Edinburgh, before completing two years at Bridge of Don as OC HQ Company. It was here that he struck up his lasting friendship with Sir Alex Ferguson, then manager at Aberdeen. Mike’s final five months of his 37 year service was as Deputy Chief of Staff with HQ Highland Bde in Perth. Mike retired on 11 Oct 1986.

As a retired officer (RO) he joined the Inspectorate of Establishments, auditing military units, whilst retaining a close connection to his first joy – Football. Mike’s love of sport was never as evident as in the devotion he gave to football.  His dedication brought success especially to 1 QOHldrs who were Infantry Challenge Cup winners in 1969. Being one of Mike’s footballers conferred a privileged status on Jocks within the Battalion.

Mike managed the BAOR Football Team from 1971 – 75. Every week he could be heard giving the football results on BFBS from Cologne. He sat on the Council of the Scottish Football Association from 1984-94 becoming a Long Service Member of the SFA. As Secretary of Infantry Football from 1988 to 96 he was delighted when the Infantry won the Inter-Corps Football League Competition (Massey Trophy) in 1996. He was appointed Honorary Vice President of The Army Football Association in 2002 for his services to the game over 34 years. He was awarded the MBE for services to Army Football in The Queen’s Birthday Honour List 1982. He continued into retirement, attending the Army Football offices in Aldershot every day until disability stopped him in 2018 at the age of 86.

All ranks of the Queen’s Own Highlanders (and their families), across many generations, regarded Mike as their paternal golden thread running through our regimental service. Mike never married but he never wanted for family. He knew the names, birthdays and history of every member of the battalion. He was a source of wisdom to his fellow officers and an encouraging word of advice to junior officers and young NCOs alike. It is fitting that his last phone call was with his old batman and regimental footballer, ‘Dinger’ Bell. He loved the Regiment as his family and the Regiment loved him like a father. He will be remembered.

 

James S, Murray

Seaforth

James was born on 27 July 1919 and died on 27 January 2022 aged 102.

He served in the Seaforth Highlanders during WW2 and later the Highland Light Infantry.  James evidently became a Life Member of the Seaforth Association in 1965 at Fort George. 

Robert Cuthbertson

Seaforth, QO Hldr

Robert who served in the Seaforth Highlanders and QO Hldrs died in February 2022.  His service included periods in Brunei and Borneo. 

Sir Christopher David Foster

Christopher was born on 30 October 1930 and died on 18 February aged 91 years.

On completion of his schooling at Merchant Taylors’ School Christopher did his National Service with the Seaforth Highlanders in Malaya. On completion of this service he progressed to King’s College, Cambridge where he was a scholar, reading History and Economics.

He remained in the University world initially at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, back to Cambridge and then in a Teaching post at the University of Manchester.

He pursued a career as an academic economist based at Jesus College, Oxford where he led a team on urban transport problems and at the LSE where he was appointed Professor of Urban Studies and Economics in 1976.

He was ‘Chair’ of numerous Boards, Vice-President of the RAC and its Foundation and a Governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

He advised successive Westminster governments during his distinguished career and was Knighted in 1986.

Andrew Rennie

QO Hldr

Andy was born on 16 August 1954 and died on 01 December 2021 aged 67 years.

He attended Grantown on Spey Grammar School and then worked locally in the Wool Factory.

He enlisted in Inverness on 28 December 1970, aged 16 and went on to do his Basic Training at Troon passing out on 27 November 1972.

Andy joined 1 QO Hldrs in Osnabruck, West Germany on 28 April 1973 joining Delta Company as an infantryman. In May 1974 he transferred to Support Company as an Anti-Tank Gun crewman, where he would remain until his discharge in August 1978.

Andy saw service in BAOR, Canada, Northern Ireland 1973 and 1978, Belize in 1976 and Scotland.  On Demob Andy settled in Irvine and joined the Territorial Army, the Royal Corps of Transport based in Troon in 1980 training to be an HGV 3 driver. He moved to Inverness in 1984 to work for Highlands and Islands Enterprise as a Driver for 17 years before a short stint as a projectionist at Inverness Cinema in 2001. His love of driving drew him South to Manchester in 2002 where he was an HGV Class 1 Driver.

Andy moved North again to Glasgow in 2012 continuing as an HGV 1 driver.

He married Mary in December 1978 and is survived by her and sons Andrew and Michael.   

Andy Morrison

1 HLDRS ACF, 2/51 Highland/3 HLDRS

Andy Morrison who served as OC Moray Company 1 HLDRS ACF and with 2/51 Highland/3 HLDRS passed away in Kirkwall in 2022

Alexander Freck

Cameron

Alexander who served in the Cameron Highlanders in 1958 and on to the Queen’s Own Highlanders on amalgamation with the Seaforth Highlanders died on 8 March 2022.

He served from 1958 to 1970 in UK, Singapore and Brunei.

Alexander is survived by his wife of 63 years Mrs Peggy Freck.

Robert B Millar

QO Hldr

Dusty was born on 6 June 1949 and passed away on 10 June 2022 aged 73 years.

 Dusty enlisted into the Queens Own Highlanders in June 1966 at 17 years old.

His service took him to many places which included: Berlin, Edinburgh, Shajah, Osnabruck, Northern Ireland, Kirknewton, Hong Kong, Tidworth, Falklands, Fort George, Belize and back to Germany.

 Dusty gained the rank of Corporal and was famously known for his role as ammunitions storeman. This role he manged to carry over into his civilian life after demob with Glencorse Barracks and later with 105th Regiment Royal Artillery in Edinburgh.

 Corporal Millar was demobbed in March 1993 having service 26 years. 

 A well respected and loved character within the Battalion and in his civilian life, Dusty will be sadly missed as a member of the Queens Own Highlanders Regimental Association, Edinburgh Branch.

 He is survived by his sister Ann McDonald to whom we offer our most sincere condolences.

William Mackintoch

QO Hldr

 William known as AB was born on 21 July 1959 and died on 13 May 2022 aged 62 years.

AB initially joined the Royal Marines and after sustaining an injury during training he later enlisted into the QO Hldrs in 1977. On joining the Bn in Kirknewton he was posted to 7Pl B Coy and was a member of the Royal Guard at Balmoral. His service included deployment to Northern Ireland, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, the Falkland Islands, Kenya, Belize, Germany and the UK. He represented the Bn at rugby, served as a Sgt in the Milan Anti-Tank Pl and as a recruiting Sgt in Elgin, Wick and Inverness. Many individuals from the Highlands were recruited into the Bn and the wider army by AB. On his discharge in July 1999 his second career was as a taxi driver in Inverness until retirement.

He is survived by his wife Carole, daughter Sara-Louise and son Campbell. An extremely proud QO Hldr, AB was a Bn character and friend to a great many, he will be sadly missed.

John Donlevy

Cameron, Seaforth & QO Hldr

John was born on 3 March 1941 and passed away on 8 July 2022 aged 81 years.

 John enlisted in the Cameron Highlanders on 14 March 1960 at 19 years old.

Upon amalgamation with the Seaforth Highlanders, John continued his service with the Queen’s Own Highlanders until his discharge on 20 June 1984 having served 24 years with the Regiment and achieving the rank of Corporal.

 He was a well-known sportsman during his service excelling in both football and boxing.

 During his service, Donny was awarded the following medals – GSM (Army & Navy) (1918) with clasp, Borneo Brunei medal and GSM Northern Ireland with clasp.

 

John served as a stalwart member of the Edinburgh Branch of the Queen’s Own Highlanders Regimental Association. Attending many Branch events and dances, John held the respect of all members of the Branch and will be deeply missed.

Michael Gall

QO Hldr

 Michael was born on 14 March 1971 and died on 19 July 2022, aged 51 years. 

He served in the Queen’s Own Highlanders.

John Mackinnon

QO Hldr

John who served in the Queen’s Own Highlanders tragically died in Teangue, Sleat, Isle of Skye on 10 August 2022.

Joe Mann

QO Hldr

Joseph, known as Joe in the Regiment, was born on 10 March 1959 in the Duke Street Hospital in Glasgow. He had six brothers and sisters. He left school at 15 and went to work in the docks in Perth and whilst there he also ran a scrap business to increase his income.

He joined the Army aged 17 and after recruit training joined the Queen’s Own Highlanders and saw service in Hong Kong, N Ireland, The Falklands, Tidworth, and Belize.

Joe loved a tattoo and wherever he went in the world, he came back with a new one.

After 10 years he retired from the Army, and subsequently owned a pub, Whisky Joe’s, and the Caritas Club in Airdrie. In his youth he enjoyed collecting ‘stuff’ and this continued throughout his life with sheds and garages filled to the brim.

He loved family occasions with his wife Rosa and children Jordan, Josh and Danielle and his grandchildren Jackson and Olivia.

Joe tragically died whilst attending the Regimental Gathering on 14 June 2022.

He will be sorely missed by his family and all those that knew him CFGB

Charles PD, Millar

Cameron, Seaforth & QO Hldr

Charlie was born in Corstorphine, Edinburgh on 28 October 1934 and died after a long illness on 2 August 2022. He was the second of four children Marion and Adam Millar, who managed Belstane Farm, West Lothian. Charlie did well at Kirknewton Primary School and was dux for his year, but by the time he had moved on to West Calder High School, he had decided to join the Army. Charlie fostered a lifelong interest in wildlife and nature, particularly in birdwatching – a pursuit he continued for the rest of his life. He learned to play the accordion and regularly played at family gatherings. His sister, Edith remembers Charlie’s sense of humour: dropping her in the sheep dip and him playing his accordion just to annoy his sisters!

The young Charlie always wanted to wear the kilt and would choose it in preference to trousers.  During a visit to Edinburgh when he was sixteen, he watched a pipe band march down Princes Street. He discovered the regiment was the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders. Immediately he made his mind up to join them. On leaving school, Charlie briefly worked in a printer’s workshop until called up for National Service. He enlisted in Inverness on 5 November 1952 and started his basic training at Cameron Barracks.

Charlie joined the 1st Battalion, the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders in Spittal, Austria and served there from April 1952 until August 1953 when the Battalion was posted to Luneberg in Germany. In February 1955, the Battalion now stationed in Elgin was preparing for service in the Far East and in July the Camerons arrived in Korea and joined the 1st Commonwealth Division. The Camerons had embarked from Inchon for Singapore and Malaya but were re-routed to Aden to perform internal security duties due to the Suez Crisis. In 1958 the Battalion returned to the UK and was posted to Dover under command of future Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Peter Hunt, when Charlie was his Signals Sergeant. The Camerons were the last infantry battalion to occupy Dover Castle. It moved to Redford Barracks, Edinburgh in 1960 and having been on the Royal Guard at Ballater, Charlie was then posted in 1961 to the RMA Sandhurst as an instructor. In 1964 he returned to the newly formed Queen’s Own Highlanders now as the Signals Platoon Colour Sergeant.  From there he went on to be CQMS of HQ Company, and in 1966 was promoted to CSM A Company when the Battalion was stationed in Berlin. In 1969 he was appointed RSM of HQ NORTHAG at Rheindahlen, Germany before being posted in 1970 to 21 Cadet Training Team (CTT) in Inverness, where he was instrumental in encouraging many cadets to join the Regiment. In January 1973 he became the RSM of the 1st Battalion now stationed in Osnabrück, Germany. Charlie was a well-liked and respected RSM, always being firm but fair in everything he did and setting high standards for the Battalion. Many Jocks can testify to this, particularly for his penchant for stopping soldiers around the barracks to show them the correct way to wear their tam o’shanters and to pull the offending hats down to the right and correct 79th angle!

Charlie was commissioned on 10 January 1975 and became OC of the Scottish Division’s Golden Lions Freefall Parachute Team, based at the Depot at Glencorse in Midlothian. Not having to make any jumps, he became adept at giving running commentaries during the Team’s many public displays. He returned to Inverness in January 1976 to become OC 21 CTT and it was while there he was granted a Regular (Quartermaster’s) commission on 4th July 1977. He was posted as Quartermaster to Headquarters 1 (BR) Corps in Bielefeld – a job he held until December 1981 when he returned to be Quartermaster of the 1st Battalion.

Apart from a brief period when he was posted as Camp Commandant to the UN Multinational Observer Force, based at El Gorah in the Sinai, he was to spend the next seven years with the 1st Battalion at Tidworth, the Falkland Islands, Northern Ireland, and Fort George. His final posting before retirement was as Quartermaster of the Scottish Infantry Depot from May 1988 until October 1989, from where he took a retired officer role working at Headquarters Scotland, Craigiehall before finally retiring in 1991.

By this time Charlie had settled down back in Kirknewton with his partner, Janet.  They shared a love of accordion music, and regularly attended the Livingston Fiddle and Accordion Club, as well as other clubs throughout Scotland. They were frequent attenders at the Edinburgh Branch of the Queen’s Own Highlanders Regimental Association and Cameron Association dinners. Charlie was highly respected by many in the Regiment: a gentleman who could relate everyone, irrespective of rank or status. Charlie is survived by his sisters Elizabeth, Edith and his beloved partner Janet.

Ian Morrell

Cameronian & QO Hldr

Ian was born on 13 June 1945 and died on 14 July 2022 aged 77

Ian enlisted as a Cameronian and served with them until their disbandment in 1968 when he transferred to the Queen’s Own Highlanders as a Cpl in A Coy.  He made his mark very quickly and was part of the Nijmegen March and Bn Football team.

In 1972 he attended his Small Arms Course and was then posted to the Scottish Infantry Depot as an instructor. During his time at the depot, he was part of the football team both as a player and a coach, often bearing a resemblance to Jock Stein and never far from his blue tracksuit. On his return to the Bn in 1975 Ian was posted to D Coy 14 Pl. Over the next 4 years he moved between D Coy and A Coy. Promoted to Sgt in 1979 Ian again returned to D Coy before being posted to 21 CTT.  During the Falkland’s tour Ian was 2IC Battle Camp at Blackhill House before being promoted and posted to 2/51 Highland, Elgin. 1984 saw Ian return to Bn as Pl Comd 2 Pl before finally becoming CQMS HQ Coy.

 Ian was discharged in 1986 having served 22 years and settled in Antrim.

Ian was an immensely proud Queen’s Own Highlander and a stalwart of the Bn Football team, both as a player and coach where he oversaw some very memorable victories.

Ian is survived by his wife Sarah and 2 stepchildren David and Aaron.

Stephen O’Donnell

QO Hldr

 Steph O’Donnell was born in Balornock in Glasgow on 24 October 1959 and died on 3 August 22 aged 63 years. 

When he was old enough, he decided to enlist in the army and went on to carry out his basic training at the Scottish Infantry Depot, Glencorse where he passed out as a member of Balaklava Platoon on the 18th March 1977.  He was subsequently posted to the 1st Battalion, Queen’s Own Highlanders and joined 6 Platoon in Kirknewton shortly before B Company took on the duties of the Royal Guard at Balmoral. 

After some time in a Rifle Company he was posted to the Mortar Platoon, where he completed his time with the Battalion.  Whilst he was with the regiment, he completed two Northern Ireland tours and trained in Belize and Hong Kong before returning to Motherwell, where he initially found employment in a Sawmill and then as a Stores Controller in a factory.

Steph was diagnosed with cancer a mere thirty days before he passed away at home surrounded by his family.  His sudden death came as a shock to everyone that knew him.

Steph was a proud Queen’s Own Highlander and very much a family man, as could be witnessed by the large turnout of his family and members of the Regimental Association at his funeral service.   

James Barrie

QO Hldr

James known as Jas to those who served with him was born in Cambuslang Glasgow on the 18 March 1958 and died on the 18 July 2022 aged 64 years.

He attended school on occasions (from a reliable source) and on leaving school, worked at Marshalls Chunky Chicken Factory. Jas married Mary on the 24 January 1976 and enlisted on the 12 October 1976 he completed his basic training at SID Glencorse as a member of Balaklava Platoon passing out on 18 March 1977.

Jas joined 1 QOHLDRS in March 1977 in Kirknewton and went to Bravo Company as a rifleman where after that he joined Support Company and served in the Anti-Tank Platoon.

Jas saw service in United Kingdom, Falklands, Hong Kong, Brunei, Northern Ireland, Canada, BAOR and Kuwait in the first Gulf War. On completion of his 22 years regular service Jas settled in Corby.

Jas is survived by Mary and their children, daughter Maxine and son James.

Ron Jenkins

Lt Col RJ Jenkins MBE died on 12 August 2022.

‘Ron’ Jenkins was the son of a Seaforth Highlander Warrant Officer and was a very accomplished sportsman. He was a Junior Under Officer in Rhine Company from 1953-55 and passed out amongst the top few on 4 February 1955.

On commission he served with the 1st Battalion the Seaforth Highlanders in Gibraltar. He later transferred to the Parachute Regiment.

 

Following retirement, he settled in Kent where he had been born. A loyal supporter of the Regiment and respected friend to many. 

John McLeod

QO Hldr

 John (Jock) McLeod sadly passed away in 2020. He started his military career as a boy soldier in Troon. He then joined the Queen’s Own Highlanders in 1972 serving in ‘A’ Company before being released from the Colours in 1977 and returned to live in Dundee.

Pete Martin

QO Hldr

Peter (Pete) was born in Bo’Ness on 3 March 1939 and died on 23 August aged 83 years.

He enlisted after first trying his hand as an apprentice butcher, and then as a coal miner and was one of the first batch of new recruits to join the Queen’s Own Highlanders in the early nineteen sixties.

He served with the 1st Battalion Queen’s Own Highlanders in Scotland, the Far East, and in BAOR and during this time Pete boxed for the Regiment and became a competent driver/mechanic in the MT Platoon. He left the Army at his nine years point to return to coal mining, then driving, before finally settling down in Inverkeithing and finding work at the Royal Naval Dockyards in Rosyth as a scaffolder

George Grubb

QO Hldr

 George who served in the Queen’s Own Highlanders died in October 2022.

George passed out of SID Glencorse as a member of Nagpore Platoon on 11 November 1970.  He served for most of his career in 5 Platoon B Company before moving to the Assault Pioneer Platoon.

 

Philip Sherwood

QO Hldr

Philip who served in the Queen’s Own Highlanders as a member of the Military Band died in 2022.

John Sutherland MBE

QO Hldr

John passed away peacefully at Raigmore Hospital, Inverness and will be lovingly remembered by his family.

John enlisted into the British Army in 1966 as a Junior Leader at Oswestry and joined 2 Platoon ‘A’ Company the 1st Bn Queen’s Own Highlanders in Edinburgh in 1969.  He then went with the Battalion to Sharjah in 1969.  During his long career he was a Section Commander, Platoon Sergeant, CQMS and Company Sergeant Major.  John also had a tour with 14 Intelligence Company in Northern Ireland.

In 1987 John was promoted to be Regimental Sergeant Major of 1st Battalion 51st Highland Volunteers and on completion of this appointment he was commissioned on his return to the 1st Battalion in 1989.  His appointments included MTO, Families Officer with the Royal Scots and finally Quartermaster Technical in Londonderry before helping move 1st Bn The Highlanders to Catterick Garrison where he ultimately decided to leave the Army.  He was awarded the MBE in 1997 shortly before his retirement.

After leaving the Army he set up a very successful Security, Health & Safety Training Company in Inverness.

John is survived by his wife Ishbel, son Mark, daughter April and grandson Leo

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