Dougie died on 15 July 1997, aged 67.
He joined the 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars at Leicester East Airfield in October 1949 from the 14th/20th King’s Hussars, which he enlisted in June 1948, and he soon found that the 8th Hussars did things differently from the 14th/20th.
He was promoted to Sergeant in October 1951 and served in ‘A’ Squadron in Korea. He served for a year in Luneburg, before being attached to the Northants Yeomanry and the RAC Depot between October 1953 and November 1954, when he rejoined the 8th Hussars in Luneburg.
He became an active member of the Sergeants’ Mess and a flamboyant member of the Regiment. He lived in the fast lane and could not understand anybody who was not there with him. He was a founder member of the Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars and served with the Regiment until posted to the Command Arabic School in Aden as an SQMS. He returned to the ‘Irish Hussars’ while they were in Aden.
Shortly afterwards he left the Army and the Regiment briefly as an SQMS. He re-enlisted very quickly and rejoined the Regiment in February 1962, when he was employed as Troop Sergeant D of E Squadron. While the Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars were deployed in Sarawak, he was with ‘B’ Squadron as SQMS. He broadcast regularly on Radio Sarawak and was a good ambassador for the Regiment and the Forces.
He was a leading light, together with Ralph Newble, Bernard Sharp, Pat and John Lea, John Pope, with Ted Worthington providing technical support, on the Regimental and Sergeants’ Mess drama scene. His most publicised skit was the piece written with Johnny Russell for the visit of the Colonel-in-Chief to the
Sergeants’ Mess in Luneburg in March 1958.
On the Regiment’s move to Wolfenbuttel, he was posted to HQ 54 East Anglian Division, returning to the Regiment in July 1966.
He continued to interest himself in amateur dramatics and took part in the Regiment’s show at the Lessing Theatre in the town. The Commanding Officer played a key role in the production, which was produced by Lt RJ Rhoderick-Jones. It was in Wolfenbuttel that he was appointed technical quartermaster sergeant, a job he much enjoyed.
He moved with the Regiment to Perham Down and on to Bovington, leaving on release in June 1969. We did not see much of him after his release and rather lost touch with him.
Sadly his contemporaries were not aware of his death and did not attend his funeral. Ken Marriott, a reservist who served with Dougie, organised his funeral and ensured that this loyal and well-known Irish Hussar had a good send-off.