Page 151 - The Chapka 2016
P. 151

 David was called to the Bar at Gray’s Inn in 1951 and practised law on the Northern Circuit while maintaining an interest in politics and fighting for his first seat in parliament for the Con- servatives in 1964 and winning it 1968 and losing it in 1974. Throughout this period he continued to practice law and took silk in 1971. His political career was far from over and in 1979 he was offered the safe Conservative seat of Clitheroe and not long afterwards he was a Government Whip. He held a number of ministerial posts in the 80s before being made Secretary for State at the Home Office in 1989. David was elevated to the House of Lords by John Major where he was the Leader and a member of the Cabinet until he was made Governor of Bermuda in 1992.
David and wife Gillian retired to Somerset 14 years ago and he was delighted to find that the parish church at Horsington was closely linked to another 12th Lancer, General Dick McCreery who had commanded the Eighth Army with distinction in the Italian Campaign of World War 2.
WO2 D Crookes BEM
Dave Crookes joined 5 RTR from train- ing in 1965 but on their disbandment in 1970 rebadged to 17/21L and joined C Squadron in Omagh Northern Ire- land. It was clear from the start that the regiment had gained a first-class soldier who was later to become a very popular, well-respected, professional man. After the excitement of Northern Ireland and
the move to Wolfenbüttel, Dave “dipped’ his toes into civilian life but not for long and re-joined C Squadron in Fallingbostel. He was later attached to CAAT Iran but the revolution meant a fairly hasty retreat to the UK and then another short tour as a Staff Sergeant with the Armoured Recce Troop in Belize. He returned to the regiment in Munster and was appointed as SSM D Squadron – commanded by Major RIS Purbrick! Dave left Regimental Duty again to join B Squadron (SRY) Royal Yeomanry as their SSM in Carlton and then after another at- tachment, this time to BAAT in Zimbabwe, he returned to the regiment as RQMS (T) with Captain G T Neil as QM (T). Dave spent his last six months in the army back with the Yeomanry. A quite remarkable career!
On leaving the army Dave continued work in the stores environ- ment where the skills he had gained proved invaluable. His final employment was as a Stock Controller, a job he shared with his two sons, travelling around the country. However, he could not leave the army entirely and worked tirelessly with the TA, which was recognised, with his award of a British Empire Medal. Sadly, Dave was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s and his health deteriorated quite quickly resulting in him needing the support of a nursing home. As well as his beloved family, he was visited by some of his old colleagues for which the family remain ex- tremely grateful. Dave died on 6th December 2016 leaving an extended family to whom he was totally devoted.
Dave Crookes was a true gentleman – dignified, polite and al- ways supportive. He managed to blend all of these qualities with the professionalism of a true soldier who loved army life and his regiment. A great man who is missed, by all, very much indeed.
WO2 F Richardson
Fred Joined the Army in October 1959 too young to join the regiment as they were in Hong Kong so he waited with the 4/7th DGs and in August 1960 he became a member of the 17th /21st Lancers Regi- mental band, serving in Hong Kong, Aden, Senelarger, Northern Ireland, Wof- fenbutel, Fallingbostel and Bovington.
Fred rose through the ranks to become Band Sergeant Major of the JLR RAC Junior School of Music. I first met Fred in BOAR when he was Trumpet Major, he was the largest member of the band, that played the largest brass instrument, so you had to be very careful when on parade not to get in his way on the counter march!
Fred was a first-rate musician, he even taught himself to play the string bass so he could join the dance band, and would al- ways make the time to help out his fellow members of the band, always enjoyed a good laugh but remained professional at all times. As BSM of the lads at Bovington Fred was a well-known face and scores of young lads looked up to him for guidance which he gave with pleasure, he must have made a huge differ- ence to so many of those who served there. Fred died on the 8th July 2016 after a short illness at the age of 74, and leaves a wife and family.
WO2 P J Griffin
Peter Griffin joined the regiment in 1957 in Munster and was posted to C Squadron where he stayed for the next seven years. He moved with the squadron to Barker Barracks in Paderborn and then Hong Kong where he married Sandra. From Hong Kong he moved with the squadron to Sennelager in 1963. From there on he had a varied career serving with the TA
in Newark, MT Troop for a spell, Recce Troop Leader and then Assault Troop in Belfast in the early days of the troubles. He was appointed SQMS served with a TA Infantry Battalion in Retford and returned to the regiment in 1974 where he became SQMS of B Squadron and then their SSM. He finally moved to HQ Squadron and retired whilst the regiment were in Boving- ton. Peter Griffin will be remembered for his fair, friendly but firm approach coupled with a never-failing sense of humour - a long serving and loyal regimental man.
On leaving the army Peter embarked on a second career as a Civil Servant when, as a Clerical Officer, he was the custodian of Officer Records at Bovington. During this time, he passed the Civil Service Computing Aptitude Test. This success saw him promoted to Executive Officer and was transferred to the MoD in London in 1983 for employment as a programmer and sys- tems analyst. It was in this capacity that he continued for the rest of his career moving to Winchester, Warminster, Bath and Portland before leaving the service in 1998. Despite this he was retained by the MoD on a consultancy basis until he finally ceased work in 2000. In retirement Peter was very active and en- joyed dancing and war gaming. When not doing either of these he could be seen gardening or walking his dogs. He died on 28th May 2016 and his funeral service was well attended by friends and colleagues. Peter was a devoted family man and is survived by his wife, Sandra, and two daughters Christine and Anita.

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