Bill, who was auburn-haired and freckled, died on 21 May 2001.

His death was notified to Home HQ after his funeral by his widow Doreen.

He enlisted into the RAC on 11 August 1948 and following his basic and driver training with 8 RTR at Catterick he was posted to 4H and then in Malaya on 8 March 1949. He was employed as a driver of B vehicles within HQ Squadron at Ipoh.

The writer of this obituary still has vivid memories of Bill’s first day with 4H. He had been issued with a sten gun and four magazines; at that time all members of the Regiment carried their personal weapons with them at all times.

Apparently, Bill was unfamiliar with his weapon. With a loaded magazine clipped, the weapon cocked and programmed for automatic fire, Bill accidentally dropped it on the slabbed floor of his tent in HQ Squadron lines of Gunong Panjang Camp. The whole 28 rounds were fired and sprayed through the canvas walls of surrounding tents.

The squadron clerk at that time was Geoff Grayson. He was typing and on looking up noticed a line of holes in his tent wall no more than two inches above his bowed head. With extraordinary coolness, he observed that the termites had been overactive that evening!

Bill returned to the UK with the 4th Hussars on the Empire Windrush, on 14 December 1951 and after disembarkation leave, he served at Tidworth until the completion of his engagement in August 1953.

He married on 23 November 1957 in Coventry and eventually set up a home in his native Scotland at Fraserburgh. There were sons and grandchildren who were close to Bill and to them, we offer our condolences.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 4th Hussars
  2. Timeline: Malaya 1948-51