Mick South, who died on 18 December 1994, was born in Lincolnshire in 1926.
Following his early schooling, and with his mother’s blessing, he began a fitter and turner apprenticeship. However, he was not very enthusiastic and after a time he moved to the local college of commerce.
In 1945 he enlisted in the RAF where he trained as a pilot bomb aimer. With the war over, he transferred to the Infantry and became a paratrooper, being posted to Palestine with 21 Para Independent Company, which was then known as the Pathfinders.
On their disbandment in 1946, Mick joined the 3rd King’s Own Hussars in Sarafan. He went with 3H to BAOR in 1948 in the following years’ his promotions came at regular intervals, culminating with his appointment as SSM of ‘C’ Squadron.
After a posting to the Signals School, he returned to the Regiment as ROMS, organising the moves from Münster to Detmold and then to Catterick.
In 1964 he left the Regiment on promotion to RSM of the Gunnery School at Lulworth. Mick was commissioned in 1965 and returned to the Regiment as 2IC HQ Squadron. As a Captain, he returned to Bovington in 1968 as an instructor at the D and M School. During his stay at the D and M School, he was promoted to acting major, which he retained until his retirement on 1 March 1972.
Mick was a very talented games player and represented the Regiment in football, hockey and cricket. The latter, no doubt, was his favourite sport, and while on Regimental duty he ran and played in the Regimental team as a batsman and bowler and in later years, as wicketkeeper. It was of no surprise that during his time as SSM ‘C’ Squadron they won the Natal Cup for being the best all-round sporting squadron. His tremendous energy emerged in many ways, and apart from sport, he was responsible for starting many functions in the various Messes of which he was a member.
On leaving the Army, Mick settled in Tolpuddle and started a second career with a local engineering company supplying agriculture machinery to the farming community. Once again his energy and enthusiasm to do a job well came to the fore and he took over the duties of managing director in 1977. In 1987 he was invited to address the British Agriculture and Garden Machinery Association convention in Eastbourne attended by some 170 delegates. The theme of the convention was Profit Matters; with Mick making an excellent speech on behalf of agriculture machinery dealers.
Following this convention he had a lengthy article Profit From Your Customers published in the Agriculture Machinery Journal, His firm was an ardent supporter of agriculture shows and on numerous occasions was awarded first prize for best agriculture stand at the show. Mick’s dedication and down-to-earth attitude earned him the highest respect from the farming fraternity and other associates.
Sadly, Mick had very little time in his retirement to enjoy his garden, which he tended with great affection, or to enhance his creditable DIY skills around his home.
We extend our deepest sympathy to his wife Marie and their family, and also his mother and brother in Lincolnshire.