Cavalry spirit has always played a part in the history of our, Army, but it was never easy to define. However, for us, Colonel Steve embodied all that it meant: he was handsome, brave, loyal, and in facing up to problems, he did so with dignity and ease, and above all always placed the care of others both in peace and war, above his own interests.
He joined the 4th Hussars after graduating from Cambridge in 1931 and, from the day that he joined, he devoted his energy and love to the service of the Regiment.
Virtually the Commander of ‘C’ Squadron in Greece, his total ‘unflappability’ and humour enabled him to treat total defeat with the equanimity it deserved. Prior to the surrender of the British Forces, he took to the hills to try and make his way to Turkey. In this endeavour, he would no doubt have succeeded if he had chosen to abandon the men he then led.
For his actions, he was awarded the Military Cross.
With typical bravado he attempted to escape from various prisoner of war camps and was twice successful, only to be subsequently recaptured.
After the war, Colonel Steve returned to the Regiment with Betty, and they remained with the 4th Hussars for their tours of Italy, Germany, Malaya, the UK and then Germany again.
He commanded the Regiment from 1952-1955 and this time is well remembered for being a particularly happy period for the Regiment under his wise leadership. He always led by example and from the front, and his standards were consistent of the very highest.
His-unselfish devotion to the Regiment was very plain for all to see and all ranks knew exactly where they stood.
An immaculate if perhaps gruff and imposing exterior concealed a man of great moral courage and wisdom with a kind and generous heart who earned the respect and affection of all who served under him.
Colonel Steve was a brilliant horseman, one of the few who had achieved a ‘distinguished’ at Weeden Equitation School. He represented the British Army at several international show jumping competitions and earned himself a very high reputation.
After commanding the Regiment for 3 years, he retired from the Army in 1955, and together with Betty farmed at Ashwell. With his love of horses, he willingly took on the responsibility of running the stables at the Burleigh Horse Trials, was Chairman of the Cottesmore Hunt, became a frequent judge at the major horse shows and also took over the Chairmanship of the local polo club. He also became Deputy Lieutenant of the County.
However Colonel Steve never ‘left’ the Regiment, and, on top of his other responsibilities, he became the Chairman of the Regimental Association which he served loyally and caringly from 1973 until he died.
He loved the Regiment. They certainly loved him in return. Our deepest condolences go to Betty, his constant companion, help and loving wife.
Mente et Manu.