From the Alps to the Prairies of Canada and over a fair proportion of North West Europe, Captain Andrew Meredith made sure that a lot of people had a lot of fun.
It was this ability to share the better things in life that marked Andrew out. He was never more at home than with a glass in one hand, a cigarette in the other and an audience in front of him, be it after dinner in the Mess, indulging in a little après ski, or briefing his Troop on Soltau.
During his six years with the Regiment, Andrew proved himself to be a thoroughly efficient Troop Leader who valued above everything else the soldiers under his command. He had a tremendous ability to get on with everyone either above or below him but was not afraid to speak out to get the best for his Troop.
In camp, he supported them in their work and pressed for ever longer opening times for the Squadron bar and on exercise he really came into his own. Andrew’s ability to know where he was, what was going on and what he should be doing about it, set him up as an example for more junior Troop Leaders to follow.
In the Officers’ Mess, he literally was the life and soul of the party. He used his amazing energy to organise impromptu parties at the most unlikely times and for no better reason than that it would be rude not to. He ensured that the behaviour of new officers was up to his exacting standards and advised them accordingly if it was not.
With a natural dislike for spending the winter months in Hohne (possibly an instinct he had developed as a child), Andrew nurtured his love for skiing.
He managed to get away for a fair proportion of each winter to indulge his passion, either with the Regimental Alpine Team in Austria or at the lodge in Bavaria, where he was responsible for teaching newcomers to ski and developing talent for the team.
It would have been selfish of the Regiment not to share Andrew and he was temporarily detached twice. The first time was in Canada with the BATUS safety staff where he led his ideal life – a six-month cycle of three weeks of exercise followed by ten days of leave in North America to spend the money.
During his time as a watchkeeper in Northern Ireland, Andrew livened up the otherwise dull proceedings with his natural affability and good humour.
When the Regiment moved to Cyprus Andrew became a Squadron Second-in-Command giving him control of a bar and an account. There was absolutely no problem with the bar but he had as much luck with the account as he did driving cars.
He also filled the post of Adjutant of the Dhekelia Sovereign Base Area, where he was able to supervise the dress standards of the whole SBA and fulfil a long-term ambition and answer his phone by drawing out the first syllable. No one will forget phoning him and hearing ‘Aaaadjutant’.
With the return from Cyprus and the news of Amalgamation, Andrew decided that the time had come for him to leave the Army.
He then set about life in Germany again with so much zest that speculation began that he would in fact not leave. But this was merely wishful thinking as he had made up his mind.
Andrew was born into The Queen’s Own Hussars and made the life of the Regiment his own. His tragic and untimely death a week before he was due to leave made him sadly missed. But he is also happily remembered.
Everyone will have their own favourite Meredith story, but it was Brigadier Charles Bond who summed Andrew up best at his funeral – Andrew Meredith was a walking party. To his family and many friends outside the Regiment, we extend our deepest sympathy.