Capt Mark Price died in Kampala, Uganda on 23 September 1998 and was buried at Well, near Bedale in Yorkshire on 5 October 1998.
Mark Price, or Pricey to those who had the good fortune of knowing him, was a dashing, delightful and dangerous individual who really enjoyed life to the full. He was a tall, good-looking, splendid character who was very much a man of style.
Born in 1942 in Gloucestershire, he went to Radley and Sandhurst prior to joining The Queen’s Own Hussars in Detmold in May 1963. (Within 24 hours of his arrival he managed to push the station staff officer into a swimming pool, and got away with it!)
He was a keen and knowledgeable horseman, a dashing jockey who enjoyed his polo and adored his hunting. He was a most generous man who would always bail out his friends when they ran into temporary difficulties.
His best-known piece of advice, to which he adhered religiously himself, was only to worry about things that mattered in life – your family, your horse, your Regiment and your Queen. On no account was one to worry about bank managers or tailors.
Mark thoroughly enjoyed both the Regular Army and the Yorkshire Yeomanry, and most of them enjoyed him. He served with the Regiment in Germany, Catterick, Maresfield, Aden, and Sharjah and ended up as 2IC ‘B’ Squadron in Cyprus. He was a fine, caring leader and was much admired by his men.
There are numerous stories told about him, about his colourful activities and scrapes with higher command, but he was a professional officer, steady as a rock under fire in Aden and always keen to ensure that Regimental custom, tradition and high standards were strictly maintained.
Mark was never known for his punctuality. At one Cavalry Memorial Parade, he dashed into the Cavalry Club long after everyone else had left, and asked an ageing retainer in the hall if he could have an umbrella and a bowler hat. The brolly was no problem, but the kindly old servant disappeared down into a cellar and eventually re-emerged, covered in cobwebs, clutching a bowler hat that was equally ancient and tinged with green.
Mark set off up Piccadilly at great speed, hurdled a few crash barriers and joined the Regiment just before the saluting base. The next minute the Colonel gave ‘Eyes Right’ and Mark swept off his bowler hat only to be left with the white silk inside lining firmly clamped to the top of his head, like a Jew going to the synagogue. Princess Anne, who was taking the salute, allowed herself a very broad grin.
It was out of loyalty to his family, and particularly to his father, that he left the Regiment in late 1969 and went out to see what he could do about the family estate in Uganda. Idi Amin was chucking out all the estate owners and there was nothing Mark could do at the time. He settled in North Yorkshire, set up a game dealing business and joined the Yeomanry.
He and his wife, Lucy, hunted like dervishes with the Bedale and Zetland. When they were not hunting together they were both extremely enthusiastic partygoers and very generous hosts at the Old Vicarage.
In the late 80s, the game business had to be closed down and Mark went out to Uganda to re-establish the family lodge at Ndali estate. He worked very hard to make something of the beautiful property and, thanks to a very considerable sum of money raised by his many friends and acquaintances, he set up a successful tourist location.
Sadly, he had one or two bad bouts of malaria and then a form of hepatitis which eventually wore him down. Mark was a legendary figure among his friends. We all have very happy memories of him, the sort of memories which make you smile when you think of him. But his death was untimely. It was too early and his family will miss him greatly, as indeed we all will.