Lockerbie – 26 years on.

It is 26 years since the Lockerbie tragedy and I have written  a lot about the day that changed my life for ever. Please read my blog from last year which was the 25 th anniversary where I spoke a lot on the effect it had on me and my friends in Mountain Rescue.  A few have said “Heavy  – time to let it settle” and forget it is very easy to say hard to do!
Lockerbie memorial window

Lockerbie memorial window

Last year definitely helped me chase the demons and a cathartic part was being with my stepdaughter Yvette who watched one of the programmes on National Television that I had been involved in. It was very hard watching especially with her as it did affect her and the rest of the family as I went into a dark period. Hopefully it will get easier every year but I can never forget what   we were involved in and how many lives were changed after that tragedy.
Every year at least  one of my team contacts me about this period so many still have  hard times and we have learned so much from these dark days.  Yet I still have the odd nightmare but at least things are better for the next generations in dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. ( PTSD)
When I arrived at Lockerbie very early into the tragedy I was asked by our Control at Pitreavie Castle what we needed. I said we would need psychiatric help. This was not accepted by many in the military at the time and I had several hard years afterwords with some good friends who were in the Mountain Rescue but not involved in Lockerbie.  Nowadays it is part of an emergency service protocols looking for and  after the effects of PTSD on all involved. These were hard one lessons and still we hear of problems to this day.  On a pre – release medical from the RAF in 2007 I was questioned by a doctor  how could I have had PTSD  after being  involved in SAR for 36 years was I cooking near by? ( I was a Caterer by trade) I walked out?

Trauma well worth a read about the effect of PTSD on rescuer.s

These were dark days and life goes on will we ever know what really happened and who was behind it and why ? This was a real tragedy that changed so many lives? Sadly it is still hidden in a veil of government secrecy and National security ,maybe someone will take up the torch and tell us the truth what really happened 26 years ago?
To all my Mountain Rescue colleagues and all the many other agencies personnel involved in this tragic period hopefully every year gets easier! My thoughts are with you all . Usually I get out for a walk in the hills and clear the head  but I am still struggling just now with my operations and health. I will still go out though to my lovely local walks and clear my mind as the fresh air is always great medicine.
The 21 st of December is the shortest but also the longest day for some.
Note –  pleases read some of my other Blogs on Lockerbie for a full picture!

About heavywhalley.MBE

After dinner speaker Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 36 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 4 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Aircraft incidents, Books, Friends, Mountain rescue, Views Political?. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Lockerbie – 26 years on.

  1. ptsd17 says:

    Thinking of you Heavy, take care!


  2. gasdoc2857 says:

    Recently read Gordon Turnbull’s book “Trauma”

    Thinking of you all at this time.


  3. David Thomas says:

    Heavy, our youngest son Callum was born 6 weeks early on 21/12/1994. I still think about Lockerbie every year but Callum’s birthday makes it easier
    take care Heavy
    Dave Thomas


  4. Tough that! What can one write? Nothing really, just watch yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. razzah says:

    Terrible event – I will look up your previous blogs. I was too young to fully comprehend Lockerbie when it happened but your post shows some are still recovering from this awful event decades later.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ian Rideout says:

    The tragic & traumatic event in Lockerbie should never be forgotton, nor the efforts of those who were involved in the response and recovery operations. Such events do leave have a deep and lasting effect and PTSD is suffered by far too many people, causing a negative impact on their lives. Despite the lack of support which they might have received at the time, there are now many practitioners who specialise in CBT and EMDR (and within the NHS) who by using these techniques can provide lasting help to those suffering from complex multiple trauma and PTSD. The results very often exceed expectations and can be life changing and I would urge those who still suffer as a result of their selfless actions at the time, to push for a GP referral.

    Liked by 1 person

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